Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sex, Media & Feminism - My Open Letter to Beyonce

Dear Bey,

I jumped off your bandwagon.

Before any of your bees come a stingin' in reply to my post, hear me out.

I was sorta cool with the whole, "I transform into another person, and this other being comes out of me and I named her Sasha Fierce". I defended you against all the "Illuminati" drama that surrounded you after watching your documentary and seeing how many times you attributed your success to God. Now though, it's just not worth it to me.

Someone on my Instagram posted a video on their feed from one of your concerts on this tour. Crazy costumes aside, you basically wiggled and showed everything plus the kitchen sink in front of HD cameras for all the world to see. It's no longer about clever lyrics or enviable choreography in high heels, now it's string undies - and I mean string - and barely covered behinds. I'm all for sexiness and I applaud you totally for making women around the world feel sexy and confident no matter what the shape of their bodies or color of their skin is. You have done a great thing for women, for me personally as a black woman. But honestly, there has to be a line drawn somewhere and you've crossed it.

This whole new album and the explicit videos, I just don't get it. I mean, how can this be healthy for anyone or any marriage. You've got it. You're a game changer. All these "PYT's" coming up are just trying to live up to you and your talent and you are SO talented. You are probably one of the best vocal talents of our generation and a songwriting genius. You are a voice honored and respected by many and so many people look up to you. 

You added this line to feminist Chimamanda Adichie's TEDx talk which wasn't in the original speech "We teach girls that they should not be sexual beings in the way that boys are". And boldly declared your FEMINIST stance. Well now, we ought to be teaching our boys not to be sexual beings in the way that women are because if we go on like this, with absolutely nothing left to the imagination, what sort of world are we heading into?

Feminism in my humble view is about defining, establishing and defending equal rights between men and women. Catchy anthems won't be enough to raise the standards if you don't model them in your own life. Catchy anthems will fade away but what you show through your life, that's what people will remember. You can't just talk a good game Bey, you gotta actually be.

You are setting a standard I can't live down to. I don't think men are going to be performing naked anytime soon and while they get more suave and sophisticated in their suits and ties and designer labels for their performances, you inspire us to keep degrading ourselves and becoming objects men ogle and view as sex symbols rather than people. The complete antithesis of feminism.

I mean have you seen Amber Rose's outfit to the 2014 VMA's? Or Rihanna's sheer everywhere dresses? Don't! This industry now is 70% porn, 20% marketing and 10% explicit music. It's hard to live in a world like that, it's enough of a battle to fight for purity by setting up filters on my computer, but this is People magazine, Youtube & every channel on TV.

Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, everyone, I don't need to know what goes on in your bedrooms, come on!

I get it. Your definition of feminism as confidence in your sexuality and owning it. By all means, own it! Don't give it away on the media silver platter. That would speak volumes louder for feminism than pin up posters in man caves and teenage boys bedrooms. In the same breath I would warn that placing your confidence on something as wavering as how tight and right your body is and many times you can wind, grind and twerk per minute is a very bad idea.

Being a woman in a man's world isn't just about equal wages, it's about respect. More than that it's about honor and value. I don't care if women top the charts or we get the promotions just because we are women. I care about being valued and honored and respected first because I am a person and second and most importantly because God made me a gifted woman and that is a pretty awesome thing.

I have no right to speak into your life, you are probably never going to know I exist, but I do respect the voice and position you have over this generation, and I pray that somehow the tides will shift and this public sexual craze will stop being how you or the rest of us are defined.

Once A Fan,

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