It sounds good on paper, but the bad news is as follows.
Contrary to the belief of some of her scandalized fans, bloggers, TV pundits and the exceptionally clueless fleshbag that is Rush Limbaugh, a chopped and screwed song from Beyonce is not derailing female empowerment.
The R&B diva’s latest single, though it is rather silly sounding, is no threat to gender equality.
Because the bottom line is that Queen Bey ain’t exactly this generation’s Gloria Steinem or Sojourner Truth. She’s an entertainer, and her calling some unseen folk “bitches” or insisting they “bow down” in a crazy-sounding track isn’t really what’s holding the women of the world back. And the notion that it’s some kind of ratchet anthem that can cause us to unleash our inner Evelyn Lozadas is also bunk. After all, did her “Single Ladies” influence a lot of guys to “put a ring on it?” or did it just serve to make a whole lot of babies bounce up and down.
It would be easy to blame Bey because an apology from her and a vow to get back to her “Single Ladies” swag could return us to our regularly scheduled programming. But we all know that if she never cussed on a record or channeled Bun B again, the problem of women being looked at, and treated, as less would continue.
There is no easy solution, but before you ever ever get to the Destiny Child refugee, I suggest taking aim at these pop culture culprits. And yes, I purposely picked things we “sisters” can do all by ourselves ourselves. Let us begin with targeting:
This butt-popping, clapping dance trend– popularized by strippers– is so mainstream these days that Miley Cyrus of “Hannah Montana” fame is obsessed with it, and even showed off some kinda sorta skills in a recent video in which she (mercifully) hid her face in a unicorn costume. (See below.) And she’s far from alone. You can find thousands of videos of Middle Americans of all hues and ages thirsting for male attention and acclaim online…For example, check out the skanky moves on this produce-defiling deviant below. Now, I’m not trying to play the role of the small town preacher in “Footloose” so I support dancing of all kinds, but you can’t really object to being objectified while you’re flapping your tail like a duck on YouTube.
And now watch Miley embrace ratchetness with open arms.
2. Fishlip Photos
Yes, men take their shirts off and take stupid looking bro shots, but their quantity seems to pale in comparison to the number of booty-out, lip-out images that women post on social media, including Instagram. No matter what filter you put on it, you look crazy and my guess is you’re not really making an argument for shattering the glass ceiling with your selfie shenanigans. I hate this epidemic so much my sister and I made a damn video about it. If you haven’t seen it, fast forward to 00:52.
3. Supporting Simple-minded Male Artists
If only I had a dollar for all the Lil’ Weezy-watch statuses when the diminutive MC was allegedly at death’s door in the hospital. I would not have wanted him to die, but I did wonder a bit at all the worry from female Facebook friends and online commenters who have clearly heard this person speak harshly, disgustingly and divisively of women. I don’t have a lot of admiration for a man who thinks light-skinned Black women are better than their counterparts and makes this notion clear through numerous songs, despite the fact that he has a very brown-skinned daughter and was personally addressed by these adorable little girls who pleaded with him to use his talent for something better. I can’t crown the best MC alive a slurring, giggling entertainer who seems to think “females” are not much more than sex toys, as again evidenced in his music and his growing harem of baby mamas. He is far from the only offender, but as his “health scare” proves, he is highly influential and considered by his peers to be the best at his craft. Male fans can do what they want. But frankly, I think any woman financially supporting this man– and his fellow fools, including Rick Ross (see his latest egregious offense) 2Chainz, Gucci Mane, and occasionally Drake– might be sipping on some dangerous mental sizzurp themselves.
4. Record Industry at Large It’s 2013, It’s 2013 and we still live in a society where Adam Levine, fine as he is, could keep his shirt on and make hits. John Mayer looks like he’s got a dust mop on his head and he’s good. Usher shows his abs, but he doesn’t have to. Can you say that for more than a dozen female artists on the charts today? Ummm, no, I didn’t think so. And it sure doesn’t advance our cause when the sexy singers and rappers of today look more like video vixens than shot callers. Ya listening Rihanna, Nicki, Katy Perry and company?
5. Reality Show Producers
We’ve got the “Real Housewives” of every zip code and it’s still the same mess. Hair-grabbing, accusation-flinging, petty argument-starting clowns who demonstrate that they don’t know how to make, or keep, a real female friend. The latest, and possibly most ignorant, drop in this bucket, a Bravo show looking at the “wives” of doctors. To be fair, yes, at least one of them appears to be an MD, but since when do shows need to be based on the non-featured male presence? You barely see hide nor tail of the husbands in any of these shows, but the title seemingly has to contain the words “Wives” or “Married.” None of the more popular programs depict the cast as having much common sense or priorities. and a number of smackdowns have happened over men who aren’t worth breaking a nail over. But many of us intelligent, sentient beings watch them and spend the evening Tweeting about our ratchet findings.
So there you have it, a host of things trampling on female empowerment that have not much to do with Beyonce’s crazy-sounding track. Now, if you want to get mad and do something about all of the above, I’m with you. If not, please miss me with the madness.
Your turn: What do you think of this pop culture backlash against Beyonce? Is she sullying her female empowerment position or are folks focused on the wrong thing. Hey, I don’t mind if you disagree with me, but please keep discussion civil. The Kyles Files is a safe haven for rational beings. No trolls allowed.
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