Thursday, December 19, 2013

To Bey or not to Bey

I need to get a few things off my chest in regards to this new Beyonce album. I’ll start by saying that I absolutely love it. So, you'll have to take my word when I say that these opinions are not coming from a biased place.  I pride myself on being an honest critic. By no means am I always right, but I often times critique my favorite artists harder than those that I am not so fond of, and still…I am in love with Beyonce’s surprise, self-titled album. I find nuances and elements in it that enlighten and surprise each time I listen.

With that said, it is really disheartening to read these articles and blog posts, most of which are written by women, bashing the album and calling it anti-feminism, “bottom bitch feminism” and misogynistic. One of the main arguments (and only argument where I can even begin to slightly see validity) is that “Drunk In Love” is a misogynistic song that strips her of the strength she has shown in previous releases like “Irreplacable” and “Single Ladies”.  NONONO! You're not getting it, ladies!

I woke up this morning to a Huffington Post blog post shared on my Facebook feed asking how Beyonce has gone from Tina Turner to Anna Mae. Are you kidding? And on top of that, one of the main sources of back-ups for such a claim is a lyric that Beyonce herself did not even say or write:

Jay Z:
“Baby know I don't play, now eat the cake, Anna Mae
Said, "Eat the cake, Anna Mae!"

If any of you have seen the film “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, then you recognized this reference immediately. And you also know what an abusive, disgusting human being Ike Turner was to my girl Tina.  So Jay Z says this on "Drunk In Love" and now Beyonce is a "drunk, profane woman"?! Drunk AND profane, though? Beyonce lets her HUSBAND pen his own lyric and spit it on her song and she is now promoting abuse? NONONO! Number 1, Rap is like 90% metaphor. I am not going to graphically explain sexual acts on my blog, but if Jay Z is talking about beating anything on Beyonce, I promise you it is not necessarily something that she would not enjoy…catch my drift? ALSO, let’s talk about how she allowed him on her song, just another way she has indirectly shared her sexuality, as a woman, with the world. Something we, as a culture, are clearly not ready for.

Question: If said lyric was on a Jay Z album, with absolutely no connection to Beyonce, would it be getting such backlash? I venture to guess that it would not, but I’ll leave that open for debate.

Here’s where I REALLY get pissed. Beyonce decided to get drunk and express how sexually attracted she is to her husband, and now she is Anna Mae and not Tina Turner. GET REAL! She’s weak because she is in a relationship where she feels comfortable enough to release all inhibition and let her guard down? Is that what we are saying? Keep in mind, this is the same woman who was Crazy in Love in 2003, but we weren't as sensitive back then, I guess. Let’s also keep in mind that she’s been singing about the same man since then. Now, how many of us can say that? 

Woo! Gotta take a pause. I'm getting all up in my feelings here.

Now, let’s listen to the rest of the album and watch the liberating videos. Where are the articles about “Pretty Hurts”? ….??? Oh, Ok. But don't worry, a Daily Mail reporter did comment on her trim waist in the video, so there's always that...

tisk, tisk people!

I’ll say, a few months ago when she initially released “Bow Down” I was a little perplexed. Disappointed even.  But I’ve done my research (and you should too because she has addressed it),  and after hearing what she did with it on “***Flawless”, I’m okay with it. But again, that’s my opinion. Think what you will.

Beyonce’s album may not be full of the club hits that we are used to hearing from her. There may not be an anthem where we get to exercise our directional knowledge and point and sway to the left, to the left. What there is though, is a woman expressing her desires, her fears, her loves, her wants, her dreams. She shows us her “fatty” because she wants to. 

Where were all of these articles when Jay Z was big pimpin’ and spending Gs?

I’m so over my fellow women not wanting to be stereotyped and wanting to be treated as equals to men (who are allowed to show and speak on their sexual desires), but when one of us steps up to plate, steps out on a ledge, takes a leap, breaks a wall, does her thing…we hate. HATERS.

Don't Hate.

That is all.

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