Ya know, I said I wasn't going to do this. I wasn't going to utter the single word on my blog about this lady...but alas........
I am a true audiophile. I LOVE LOVE music. Seriously...and a wide array of artists. There are tons of artists I just do not care for that others enjoy with a fervor that is borderline "religious". Artists such as Alicia Keys. Ke$ha, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Madonna ............. There are others that I "mildly" tolerate because although their antics are borderline unstable..they do have talent such as Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Kanye West....
But no other artist brings up more hysterical debates, fervor and foolishness..than Beyonce.
I am no fan of Beyonce. Never have been. Never will be. I didn't like Destiny's Child. I wont be paying my rent money for her tickets. I won't be buying her music as gifts. I maybe have two of her songs strictly as instrumentals for my work out mix. My musical tastes have always been a tad bit more sophisticated...(with only the occasional dash of "ratchet pop-hop-ness" for dancable moments). But it is as if as a black woman, you cannot say loudly "I do not care for Beyonce" without being called everything but a child of God....or as most of the hood-rats would say... "a hater". I have every right to choose with whom I'd like to spend my hard earned monies on. While folks were in an uproar about her latest Itunes efforts, I was like Miss Celie...just waiting to see the colors on the walls. All the whooping..hollering..and crying. I mean I get it..we have our favs....I've cried at a few concerts and while listening to a great song. We all have different taste levels. I am not here for her musically and I find her marginally talented.. Hey...she isn't my cup of tea... Hey. I even joke and call her "BeFunyon", because just like a "Funyon" (those tasty, ghetto snack treats), she is airy, musical "junk food", and lacking little substance other than "fun" for those who enjoy.
..but you can't seem to say that out loud re: Beyonce cause "stans" will work all your black nerves and make it seem like you are "anti-woman empowerment" or "hating" some sh8t. It aint that deep. I try to keep my dislike strictly on a musical level... but this new turn in her adoration is stepping on the necks of black womanist and feminists who have done the work, pounding the pavements, breaking the door on the ivory towers and getting dirty in other ways. Not just the gyration in Louboutins and wild weaves. It's not about being "bootylicious" and what not. That ain't the totality of black feminism
Look..I don't know that lady.She might just be nice as they all say she is. Do think she is good at marketing and business? Sure? Do I think accusations of saying she "faked" a pregnancy (embellished maybe..but faked?? Nah) or saying she's the Illuminati (Look. Let's be real. She's black. a Real "Gs" move in silence) are really lame?? Most def. But what I DO know, that I am really adamant about, is not hailing her some neuvo-poster child for Black Feminist Thought lest Patrica Hill Collins and Beverly Guy Sheftall clutch their pearls. Gimme a break ya'll......
Feminism is deeper than gyrating your hips or talking about how you give head (So no Nicki Minaj....you are def no feminist). Feminism is greater than making your own money and being a "boss b*tch". Feminism sure...is SOME of that...but it isn't ALL of that. And now Beyonce is being hailed as the second coming of Audre' Lorde and Nikki Gionvanni....all because in the midst of a Rachetville song...she threw in a very powerful speech by author Chimamanda Adichie from a TedTalk she did last year. And now..Beyonce, in addition to being the Queen of the Beyhive.... is the Queen of Feminism!
Spare me. PLEASE oh Please...spare me!!
I have a real problem with them hailing Beyonce as this "neo-feminist". Yeahhhhhh..... *pause* No. lol I am not here for that. It is the same disdain I have for hailing Lena Dunham a feminist because she shows her flabby pale body for the masses to see. Feminism IS NOT just about the body. IT IS NOT! I've read far too many books, taken far too many classes and been engrossed in too much of the work to even recognize her as such and solely as such.
I was shocked they (the media) said Beyonce used Adiche. I was shocked....because hearing her (Beyonce) speak...Beyonce sounds a bit on the (for lack of a better word) "slow" side. No shade..but the girl does not appear to be eloquent and not very well read. *shrug* Her letter to Michelle Obama proved that for me. Perhaps someone in her camp brought that to her attention. This also isn't to say the woman isn't a "researcher"........but.......... something in my spirit about that doesn't sit well with me. It just...doesn't seem authentic.
*insert "Oh you're a hater* by her fanatics*
Do I believe Black Feminism is all encompassing? ABSOLUTELY. It is the ability to move your body the way you want. Dress the way you want. Express it how you want. It is about how you perform gender and how you do NOT perform gender. but it is NOT just about the body. It is not just about saying how you "suck a mean D8ck" or "get on that ass" or whatever. It also isn't about money. It isn't about how you are so "independent" or how you "buy your own rocks" and the like. That's not black feminism. That's pretty much the summation of Beyonce..Certainly more "I buy my own sh*T" than "We run this town".....therefore that most CERTAINLY isn't black feminism. And before you even go there...... Yes...I love Janet Jackson too (also another artist who is a great performer but weak vocally)..but yes...these same arguments were made about Janet 20 something years ago when she released "The Velvet Rope"...........and I still stand by what I am saying now..and that too applies to Janet. Loving an artist doesn't mean you won't call them out on their sh*t...whether it be a bad album or some bad theoretical comparisons.
My same sentiments seemed to be echoed (although in a much more aggressive way) by Real Colored Girls in their Article "THE PROBLEM WITH BEYHIVE BOTTOM BITCH FEMINISM" . In it the authors write:
"Insisting on a rank and file consent and approval to these ‘terms of engagement’ is a form of bullying and in the spirit of Audre Lorde we remind you that silencing dissent will not protect you. We feel strongly that it is our duty and imperative to engage multiple perspectives in the marketplace of ideas, supporting open discourse, lest we find ourselves guilty of policing one another into a dishonest respectability........"Can’t we just love Bey as an amazing corporate artist without selling out the hard won accomplishments of our black feminist and womanist foremothers? Can we not love her for the gorgeous and fierce mega pop star she is without appropriating her for some liberal, power feminist agenda?""
And I totally agree. There is room for MULTIPLE perspectives. However, let's not just limit it to body performativity and sexual expressions. Especially not for black women.. We've come too far to throw it back like that. If you want to ride for Beyonce as a fan of her music..her business acumen or even the love of her husband, then so be it.... but. Let's not hail this woman for the feminist agenda.
I can't stand it....
So go on and buy $800 tickets and such...pull out all your edges and hail her new video as the second coming of Christ....that's all well and good. Hey...I may do the same whenever Maxwell drops his albums...but let's face facts: I doubt we'd see Beyonce at a NOW rally with Gloria Steinem or bell hooks...or as a guest with Melissa Harris Perry....anytime soon. Let her live in that world.... and allow her to be "feminist when it's fun and not costly".