The Conundrum of Beyonce

The singer is currently featured on the cover of Ms. Magazine:

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I tend to have mixed emotions about Beyoncé.  I will admit I am not a fan. I am a 70’s/80’s child. I grew up with singers like Stephanie Mills, Angela Winbush, Miki Howard, Phyllis Hyman, Regina Belle, Vesta, etc. When compared to these amazing (underrated/respected) women,  Beyoncé’s singing style/music catalog, tends to be “okay” to me. However, she is an electrifying stage performer/entertainer.

I also respect that she has worked hard for her career. Recently, a blog asked should young people look to Beyoncé, as a role model. In some ways, I would say yes. She has shown that having goals/aspirations are important. She has shown that you must work hard and be dedicated,  to get what you want. She has shown that you must demand respect (but I ain’t bowing down, cuz I ain’t a bitch 🙂 and be professional.

However,  I would be hesitant to embrace her as a feminist. I find it interesting that so many other feminists (black/white), do.  Yet, these same folks have had no qualms ripping women like Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Khia, etc., to shreds. Is it because folks tend to view them as “ghetto girls,” without redeeming qualities? Is it because Beyoncé comes across as sweet/humble, even though she sings about the same things they do (money, status symbols, being “freaky” in bed, etc.). They have also shown that if you work hard and go for yours, you can achieve. Yet, no one praises their accomplishments.  Lil Kim (especially) tends to be mocked and deconstructed about her plastic surgeries. But, Beyoncé has also altered her appearance for mainstream acceptance/male gaze (long blonde hair, breast implants, colored contacts, skin lightening, etc.)

It’s not surprising that Ms. Magazine would pick Beyoncé, as their rare black woman cover. She is non-threatening and reinforces white women’s superiority complex (e.g. white beauty standards). Don’t we all remember them making Michele Wallace, take out her braids for her cover shot? I think it  would’ve been more powerful, if this new issue had Assata Shakur on the cover. Shakur was recently listed as one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorist. 

Ironically, I believe Beyoncé and her husband’s trip to Cuba, helped to realign the target on Shakur’s back. In their  quest to show off/sense of entitlement, I believe it forced President Obama’s hand. As the husband, rapped about getting clearance from the president. Of course, he was just bragging, but it made President Obama look bad. I think the president wanted to show republicans, that he’s tough on “crime.” We all know the president, tends to worry  what these racists think about him (that’s a whole ‘nother post).

Speaking of the husband,  he is another reason I don’t  readily accept Beyoncé as a feminist. She married an unrepentant misogynistic, colorstruck  man. If you don’t believe me, all you need to do is look at the man’s music catalog.  I find it disturbing, he recently joined Beyoncé on stage, at the Chime for Change event. When has he stood  for anything representing empowerment of women?  I guess because he’s nice towards Beyoncé (his ideal of beauty)/has a new daughter, we are supposed to forget he has gotten rich off the degradation of black women/community?

I think Beyoncé peddles “soft feminism.” In other words, sure she will talk about women needing to be paid equally to men, how important it is to be independent, etc., but she doesn’t really challenge/reject the status quo. If anything, she accepts/feeds into it…

I don’t dislike Beyonce, I really don’t. I just don’t see all the supposed feminist stands she takes, as others do.

New Series: When people show you who they are…

The activist/poet Maya Angelou is known for her famous quote, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” 

It means, when someone shows you their true colors, believe it. Don’t make excuses for them (or accept their excuses/apologies).  Take it as a warning, that you now  know who you are dealing with.

Self-preservation is always important in the face of oppression.

I have decided to start a new series, named after Ms. Angelou’s poignant quote. There are so many folks out there that are being abusive in their actions/language. Then they turn around and act like we didn’t see them do, what they just did!

I think black women (especially) tend to find ourselves on the receiving end of degrading situations. We are often forced to grin and bear it. When it’s a black celebrity doing it, we are told we are supposed to support them (cuz, ya know you don’t want to be seen as a crab in the barrel), even when they are throwing us under the bus. Oh, hell naw! Life is too short for that.

That’s why, I have decided to dedicate this first post to Mike Epps. Recently Epps, ranted about his daughter/ex-girlfriend,  at one of his stand-up shows (personally, ole boy has never been funny to me). He stated that his visibly black looking daughter/ex-girlfriend,  were jealous of his new “light-skinned/good-haired” children. HA, HA, HA! Hilarious, eh?

I guess it hasn’t dawned on him (that his daughter/ex-girlfriend probably hate his guts) because he cusses them out and refers to them as “bitches” that look like James Brown. A common assault on visibly looking black women, that we are “manly” evil bitches.  What a jerk…

#FAIL