“Men are free and women are not” says Beyoncé in the latest issue of Out magazine. The mother, wife, singer and feminist is defending her latest self-titled album, Beyoncé. The visual masterpiece Bey dropped in 2013 without so much as a sniff of promotion went on to break records and stir-up controversy. The album is considered Beyoncé’s most risqué and sexually explicit to date. The controversial lyrics and accompanying videos led to criticism and the usual slut shaming most women in the business experience today. But Queen Bey is not backing down, telling Out:
There is unbelievable power in ownership, and women should own their sexuality. There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that. You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist—whatever you want to be—and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.
Beyoncé has never been shy when it comes to advocating for gender equality. Her mission began in 2009 when she hired all female band members for her tour and it hasn’t slowed since. In a recent ‘Ban Bossy’ campaign, the singer calls out for a ban on the word ‘bossy’, often used to describe assertive women. You can watch her video for the campaign below:
In an essay written by Beyoncé titled ‘Gender Equality Is A Myth!’ Mrs. Carter describes the current state of employed women in America:
We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes.
Not to mention the fact that the salary gap widens over the course of a women’s career, especially if she has a college degree.
Of course, as with everything in life, critics have suggested Bey’s motives are less than genuine. But say what you will about her agenda, the movement (thanks to every feminist) is going in the right direction.
Barrack Obama signed in two new executive orders on equal pay for women just last week. One order allows employees to share their salary information with each other, the second creates regulations which requires contractors to report wage-related data to the government. This is in the hope that employers will be held accountable for salary differences based on sex or race.
To finish, let me leave you with an expert from Beyoncé’s ‘Flawless’ track, which quotes Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie while giving a TED talk about feminism:
We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: “You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise, you will threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: a person who believes in the social Political, and economic equality of the sexes.