She Said, She Said: Beyonce = Feminist?

Ok, so right away, before we get into this conversation, full disclosure: Veronica worships at the Church of Latter Day Beyonce. She buys all her albums and has the DVD of her concert performances. She does the dances.

I am a little more ambivalent. And while I like some of her music, I won't actually spend money on it. But somehow, it magically shows up on my I-pod. *wink*

I will admit, sometimes I think I sell Bey a little short.

But she makes it so easy when you see her interviews. Because everyone who interviews her has the same observation: she's had a lot of media training, and she won't reveal jack shit.

So it's a little difficult to gauge who the hell she really is, which has led some of us to believe that she's not too bright. (I used to say I'd like to have an intellectual affair with Jay-Z because really, what the hell do they talk about???)

Except once in a while, she'll drop a little gem like this one (because if anyone will get it out of you, it's the almighty Oprah):

"The most important thing is to make sure you have your own life before you're someone else's wife."

*wipes drool from chin*

See the entire interview (which is about as hard to find as Tupac's killer, because you know, Oprah has taken over the Internets too in her quest to rule the universe) here. Even when I replay it, I get a big grin, and I want to just reach out and hug her.

She really intrigues me, because Bey is the queen of the woman-empowerment anthems. See: "Independent Woman," "Survivor," "Irreplaceable," etc.

But sometimes I think she has, or at least promotes, a very narrow interpretation of what it means to be an empowered woman, and Salon breaks this down a whole lot better than I can by offering opinions on the messages in "Single Ladies" and "If I Were A Boy."

Sometimes I feel as though Beyonce has a man-bashy, neck popping, eye-rolling sort of idea of what feminism is, i.e. "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Irreplaceable."

But hey, clearly the woman's evolved. "Suga Mama" will always be one of my favorites.

And now we know where Jigga's Hamburger Helper reference in "Party Life" came from.


Veronica says: You are now beginning to understand my devotion. Like every other woman who has walked this earth, Bey is simply complex -- only for some reason, the public seems to feel entitled to know about all her complexities. (I say, if she wants to keep it to herself, good. Oversharing is overrated.) And when it comes to her music, it resonates with me because it reflects the many things I want out of my own life -- I'm more than looking forward to being someone Mrs. Carter, but I'ma handle my business (and tell him about himself as needed), too.

Beyonce puzzles people because she refuses to stay still -- and that's the number one reason I love her.

Soraya Says: I get that. But I think the problem, particularly for music critics, is that when they're reviewing an album, they look for originality and growth. And part of calling yourself an artist is that you put yourself in your art. It makes it resonate. It makes it real, and kind of raw. That's why good art sticks with you. And I think Beyonce frustrates them, because even the "real" part of her reflected in
"I Am" is still wrapped in cellophane, and well, not all that real.

Don't get me wrong, she puts out some good music. It just seems that her deepness ain't all that deep.

But hey. People say the same thing about Mariah Carey. And I love her anyway.


T. said...

This is all I have to say about Beyonce.

Duck said...


k.k. said...

just spreading some love... glad you're at it again :)

k.k. :)

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