Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Beyonce 'bitch' - why does she use such aggressively anti-women language

Beyonce
Beyonce
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03: Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé Knowles

You have to hand it to Beyonce's marketing team– they've certainly got a knack for creating a buzz.

They succeeded, once again, in setting rumours flying last week with a six-second video on her tumblr, which ends with the message '4.4.2013 9AM EDT #BeyHereNow'.

The video, it transpires, points to an advertisement for Pepsi. A slight anticlimax, perhaps.

But it does give a preview of the video for her upcoming release, Mirrors. In the video, Beyonce is faced with previous incarnations of herself from past singles.

The video arrives just days after Beyonce outed herself as a "modern-day feminist" in Vogue. As opposed to what? A suffragette in the early-1900s?

By adding 'modern-day' she's presumably trying to separate herself from the more extreme end of the spectrum; the feminism she perceives to be outdated and anti-men.

Beyonce's apparent reluctance to label herself should come as no surprise; there are few recorded instances of her associating herself with the women's movement.

Yet people have been determined to shoehorn her into the role of feminist icon for years. It strikes me as an odd thing to do.

So what of the latest single? In the first half, she throws down the gauntlet: "I know when you were little girls/You dreamt of being in my world/ Don't forget it... bow down bitches."

The word 'bitch', in itself, isn't shocking (many female artists have used far worse).

But it's not a word you might expect from an artist who has said that her idea of beauty is "someone who is confident, but not competitive, with other women".

It's a shock to the system to hear her using such aggressively anti-women language.

After its release, Beyonce has been accused of only adopting the feminist label when it suits her.

But it seems to me as though other people want to see her as a champion of the feminist movement more than she does herself.

There are, without question, plenty of things to admire about Beyonce. She is phenomenally successful and no-one could claim she's lazy.

But why can't we separate the things we admire about Beyonce from the things to critique? Why is it that she's seemingly always either lauded as a feminist role-model or blamed for letting the side down?

Enjoy her music, by all means. Admire her work ethic, even. But don't call her a feminist icon.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Libra:

You long for a change. Getting a new image or adding fashionable items to your wardrobe will certainly help fulfil your need. Don't hesitate to splash out on your appearance. When you look good, you feel good. It will be easy to attract admirers when you radiate confidence. If you're looking for love, you could find it with a bold adventurer who likes to travel a lot. Do you have a partner? You will both benefit from a short trip out of town and a change of scene.More