Daisy, MSC Student Life Intern
Beyoncé certainly has woven feminist ideas and themes in her latest songs and performances. Some people call her a bad feminist while others bow down. Either way you look at it, Beyoncé has made an impact on feminism and society today.
Beyoncé has worked to empower women, especially women of color (WOC). Some people may call Beyoncé a bad feminist due to her provocative lyrics, dance moves and photos. I believe this tests the acceptable “boundaries” of feminism. Whatever boundaries society has placed on how feminists should look, act and behave, Beyoncé has challenged them by asserting herself as a strong, yet feminine woman. Beyonce has challenged many stereotypes associated with feminism and has begun to pave a new path for modern feminists.
According to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the featured TEDx speaker in Beyoncé’s track ***Flawless, “a feminist is a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes.” The track contains other influential bits of Adichie’s “We Should All be Feminists” TEDx talk. The union of Adichie’s strong words and Beyonce’s beats truly is a victory in feminism. Adichie and Beyoncé challenge societal pressures that both men and women face. From gender disparities in aspirations to marry, expressing sexuality and competing with each other, Adichie covers it all in her influential talk and Beyonce flawlessly incorporated it into her latest album. I would strongly encourage you to watch Adichie’s talk as well as listen to ***Flawless.
Beyoncé has done an incredible job working to raise awareness to issues that mainstream white feminism does not address, mainly the intersection of race and gender. By putting feminism directly into her work Beyoncé has made society think about and research what feminism means as well as connecting feminism to WOC. Beyonce has exposed feminism to women who need feminism–her listeners. Read more here.
I will let you decide whether you think Beyoncé is a “good” or “bad” feminist. Either way, Beyoncé stands strong in what she believes and has made an impact on how society views and understands feminism today.