The re-launch of this site seems to be timely because on the heels of the release of Beyonce’s most recent album, the word ‘feminist’ seems to be on everyone’s lips these days. Let me start by saying, this will not be another piece on Beyonce and whether or not she can honestly be characterized as a feminist – the blogosphere is already inundated with those. This is, however, a discussion on the new feminist rulebook that could in fact be written in part by the album which was just dropped by the superstar.
As a woman who is, among other things; college-educated, professionally successful and happily married, it is my firm belief that as women, we owe it to ourselves to embrace all things that make us who we are: thinking, liberated, feminine, sexual beings. AND we should accept, and force others to accept, these as things that come from positions of power. I don’t know if those beliefs alone make me a feminist, but if they do, I proudly accept the title. I think it’s time for a resurgence of woman-power. I want to see women, in droves, claiming loudly that they are proud of all aspects of womanhood. Well regarded author and poet Erica Jong once said that ‘women are the only exploited group in history to be idealized into powerlessness’. In an effort to categorize women as the delicate, soft-spoken, fairer sex to be appreciated and protected by men, we are stripped of our right to fight aggressively for: academic and professional advancement, a strong sexual identity, and all of the double standard advantages that men enjoy on a regular basis.
I recently accepted a Director-level position with a new company. My immediate boss told me in a meeting that I am her #2 and that she wants me to regard my time as a resource, meaning that my job is to conceptualize and allow those in positions junior to mine to execute. And if I’m being completely honest, I have to say that the first time I had to issue a directive to someone else in the office, I was very well aware of feeling something that was reminiscent of “I hope she doesn’t get mad at me for telling her to do this”. Is that cray cray, or what? I recognize that I’ve been conditioned to always be nurturing and in consideration of someone else’s feelings – even when it doesn’t benefit me to do so. As women, we should be willing and ready to accept a position of leadership (and all of the acrimony that potential comes with that position)– in the boardroom, the bedroom (if you so desire) and in the home.
To be honest, I thought I was over the whole Beyonce visual album thing – it’s still in light rotation in my car and I was content to allow that to be the extent of my relationship with Beyonce: The Album. But we all know by now that Mrs. Carter is not interested in allowing us to only have a passing relationship with her, and as such, she has been time-releasing short behind the scenes video clips of her making the album. Part 5, which was released late last week and was simply title “Honesty”, struck a chord with me. In this clip, the singer talks about how she made a conscious decision to show off her sexuality because she finally felt free of the constraints she had placed upon herself out of fear of what people would say or think when they met this new, carefree uber-sexual Beyonce who now stood where the docile teenage Beyonce once was. She has spoken openly about wanting to be her own woman again after becoming a mother and has been vocal about the sense of accomplishment and pride she felt after the successful release of the album because she used the production company that she created – like a bawse.
I say, in 2014, let’s all get into bawse mode. Let’s all rise up like the powerful beings that we are and embrace the power that is innate in each of – be a boss at home, at work, in your sex life or wherever you may please. Do it with fervor and without apology. Let’s take back the right we have given others to objectify us and idealize us into a place of powerlessness.
That’s my New Year’s resolution. Will you join me?