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Is Beyonce a Clear and Present Danger to Feminism?

Let me first admit I did not listen to Beyonce’s new album. I am not interested in listening to Beyonce’s albums anymore. I have been disappointed in what she represents for some time. Beyonce has power. Beyonce had the potential with that power to influence women. She could empower women (and men) with her ‘take no prisoners’ attitude.

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Instead, I have thought for some time that she along with her husband were but pimps in the hip-hop & R&B world. Their listeners are the prostitutes. Of course, no one is listening to me. Life goes on.

According to the Huffington Post,

The album was the fastest-selling to ever hit iTunes and sold 617,213 copies domestically. Featuring collaborations from Drake, Frank Ocean and Beyonce’s husband and daughter Jay Z and Blue Ivy, the LP is a huge boost for Sony. Beyonce’s tally will be the highest for a woman since Taylor Swift’s “Red” sold 1.2 million copies in November 2012. The final first-week figure will also be Beyonce’s personal best, topping 2006′s “B’day,” which sold 541,000 in its first week. “Beyonce” went No. 1 in 104 countries.

I must admit that when I read the article at Real Colored Girls “The Problem With Beyhive Bottom Bitch Feminism”, I felt vindicated. You should read it in its entirety. There are three paragraphs in that article that hit a grand slam.

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When elements of the feminist community rise up to applaud your simplistic, pro-capitalist, structurally violent sampling of feminism, the metaphor becomes even more relevant. Moreover, we’re concerned that the capitalist ethics of mainstream hip hop has seduced feminist allies into flirting with bottom bitch feminism in their silencing of those who would critique Bey and the systemic violence she represents.

To this we ask: Is a feminism sponsored by the corporate music industrial complex as big as we can dream? Is the end game a feminism in which the glass ceiling for black women’s representation only reaches as high as our booties? Can’t we just love Bey as an amazing corporate artist without selling out the hard won accomplishments of our black feminist and womanist foremothers? Can we not love her for the gorgeous and fierce mega pop star she is without appropriating her for some liberal, power feminist agenda?
… …
Our work is not done. Beyhive Bottom Bitch Feminism does not replace nor is it even in the realm of the critical work of black women writers and artists across the discursive spectrum, as some folks have proclaimed across social media. As womanists and black feminists, we have a responsibility to bring it with our cultural work which we will infuse, at all times, with an ethic of care and responsibility. The coontocracy of assimilationist corporate negroes is in full effect, riding for patriarchal capitalist agendas and having us believe that somehow Bey’s success is a step toward some dystopic vision of progress for Black women. There may be empowerment for some folks but by and large it is a false hope steeped in capitalism and individualism, supporting the escapist desires of rampant pornographic consumerism.

It would be wonderful if more folks would speak up. It would be great if feminists of all stripes would not fear repercussions from vociferously fighting the misogynist nature of much of hip-hop. Hip-hop does not need to abuse women to be a viable art form. It can stand on its own. One must wonder why this has gone unabated as long as it has. Dual purposes anyone?

egberto-willies

This author gets it. This feminist gets it. Thank you so kindly.

Egberto Willies
EgbertoWillies.com