I wish I could just watch this and enjoy it, but it reminds me of a trend that pisses me off and it won’t let me go.
This probably seems obvious and unnecessary to say, but women are not running the world. Except it isn’t obvious, apparently, and so it is necessary to say. Songs like this, to me, are very damaging because they seek to find comfort in complacency. Like by claiming we have the power to manipulate men makes us empowered.
When the achieved power position is reliant on someone else’s transference of power or permission, newsflash: that was not a position of power. And it is certainly not equality, which should go without saying. What frustrates me the most about this video is that I feel like everyone watching it should spend the whole damn thing wanting to laugh in Beyonce’s naive face. Are you seriously going to stand up there and say that “girls” run the world, without recognizing how your wording betrays the fact that we don’t? We can’t be women and rule the world; we have to be perpetually youthful or infantilized? And you’re going to whip your blonde hair back and forth, and say we rule the world, without recognizing that your attractiveness is shaped in the image that white, male America deems most worthy of their attention? (A black woman’s natural hair is fine for back up dancers apparently, though. Even though — or because — no one will ever know their names.) Or hey, bend over and do a back bump, or spread your legs, and try to pretend like it’s owning your sexuality, ask men to pay you, and request politely that, if they respect you, to “please receive your shine.”
Fuck that shit! As women, we are worthy of respect. FUCK THAT, AS HUMAN BEINGS, WE ARE WORTHY OF RESPECT. And that respect should be earned by our minds, by our passion, by our courage and integrity. As women, we need to recognize that not only is manipulation through sexuality a cowardly method of achievement, it is NOT EMPOWERING TO CONTROL SOMEONE VIA SEXUAL MANIPULATION. If we are going to own our sexuality, we have to own it in the same way that men are allowed to own theirs. As an expression of our truest selves. As a gift from our bodies for pleasure. As a perfectly acceptable biological urge. Not as a tool that we detach from ourselves.
Every time I see some horribly misguided person talk about how the women are in charge in a relationship, because they control the availability of sex, it just fucking enrages me. As if sex is separate from the person. As if women need or want it less. As if it’s expected that we use it to win arguments and get our way. More than that, men are expected to submit to this! It’s accepted that men will do anything for sex, if the woman is desired enough.
Why can’t it be generally accepted that, in a relationship, sex should be used for pleasure, that it should only be because both people wanted to have sex? The effect of this “women are empowered because they are sexual beings” aspect of our visual culture is the woman who has sex with her man without orgasm nearly everytime, and thinks it’s normal. She’s so detached from her sexual existence she only comes when she’s on her own, because it’s only then that it’s truly on her own terms. If you can’t believe this would happen, think to yourself — how many men do you think regularly have sex, not because they want it, or expect to be able to orgasm, but because their woman desires it? Now ask yourself how many women?
How can people not see that difference as being a huge problem?