Can a Feminist be Crazy in Love?
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 16:02
Beyoncé seems to be everything – a performer, an artist, a diva, a wife, a mother – but is she a feminist? I doubt she’d be quick to say yes. Feminism is the “F-word” of the entertainment industry. Just last October, Taylor Swift managed to deny being a feminist in a very roundabout way, telling an interviewer that she doesn’t “really think about things as guys versus girls.” While it’s nice that Taylor manages to maintain a gender-blind view of the world, she’s missing the point of feminism.
A feminist, in simple terms, is someone who believes in the equality of men and women. I’d like to think that most people I know share that belief, but oddly, very few of them would be quick to identify as a feminist. In order to get rid of the stigma around the F-word, we need to allow more than one definition of what it means to be feminist.
Case in point: Beyoncé. In her highly-hyped HBO documentary, Life is But a Dream, Beyoncé caught some heat for calling husband Jay-Z her “foundation,” saying, “I would not be the woman I am if I did not go home to that man.” Many, like the writers at feminist blog Jezebel, were disappointed in Beyoncé for mentioning her husband as a cause of her success. Jezebel blogger Dodai Stewart wrote, “Wouldn't you like to believe she'd be amazing whether or not she went home to a man? (She would be.) It's a much better message when she talks about how powerful she is as a woman and what a woman can do — without mentioning [Jay-Z].”
Stewart makes a fair point, but she, too, misses the point. I don’t think it’s right to fault a woman for saying that her partner makes her a better person. Isn’t that why we look for a partner in the first place? To have someone to share your life with? Someone to support you and back you up? Beyoncé is not any less of a feminist, or a woman, for that matter, because she relies on her husband as a support system, namely because she chose him as her support system.
The fact that other feminists are criticizing Beyoncé for extolling her relationship with her husband does more to hurt their cause than to help it. We need to accept feminists in all shapes and forms. Beyoncé, the F-word is yours for the taking, and I really hope you take it.