Beyonce and Feminism


On Tuesday of this week, I had my first day of class with this semester’s Women In Politics students at the University of Houston.

To wake them up for the early morning class, I created a short playlist and it included Beyonce’s Rule the World and the spoken word Feminist Interlude.

It helped to spark an intriguing discussion among students. When I asked if Beyonce was a feminist, some said yes and some said no. One gentleman bravely said that she was “too sexual to be a feminist”. I couldn’t have planned it more perfectly! I asked the class what a feminist was supposed to look like and laughingly said “an older white woman like me?” There were actually a number of positive responses.

How can people question whether or not Beyonce is a feminist? Why should this even be a topic of debate? I’m lost. I find her commitment to the cause exciting and hope that she is leading a new generation of women and men to embrace the term.

Since she was a part of Destiny’s Child, Mrs. Carter has performed songs that speak to female empowerment. Her Rule the World song that is currently generating discussion is exceptionally strong. Seriously here are a couple of the lyrics “Who runs the world? GIRLS” and “Our persuasion can build a nation” How can we even question that these lyrics don’t inspire young women.

As I said, this is not her first dive into the feminist discussion. Last year, she published an essay in the Shriver Report by Maria Shriver. Click here to read it.

In my humble opinion, this dynamic young women proves the EXACT point of feminism. You can be beautiful and sexual, married, a mother, have a successful career and support equality for all women.

Thank you Beyonce! Thank you for speaking out and empowering women across the globe!

3 responses

  1. Inspiring discussion Professor Sims!
    We are experiencing so many women of all shapes, styles and sizes “running the world,” and setting new standards for what has been the traditional role of the women. I must admit I struggled with the extra (not even necessary) sexuality of Beyonce’s work. But in a conversation with a colleague and friend they reminded me that she is an entertainer. That is the market. And she is the best at her trade. I saw the concert and I vouch for that.

    She is the epitome of feminism.

    And at the core of the life she has so graciously shared with us she represents the ability to have a place at the table with men socially, politically and clearly economically.

    Now, I still won’t let my precious nieces watch her videos, guess I’m just #oleskool like that. I do think she represents where we are – the modern day feminist movement.


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