“To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren’t is to learn inequality in little ways all day long. So even if we agree that sexual imagery is in fact a language, it is clearly one that is already heavily edited to protect men’s sexual and hence social confidence while undermining that of women.”
Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
I stumbled upon this quote on That African Kid and it made me stop in my tracks. I have heard of ‘The Beauty Myth’ somewhere along my way. I have never read it but I think it deserves a spot on Rumbi’s reading list.
Now, the word ‘feminist’ is a rather tricky one. I penned my discomfort with the term in ‘A Feminine Feminist‘ a few years back during my feisty varsity days. My thoughts around gender, equality and feminism still ring true to this day. Naomi Wolf’s quote was just a friendly reminder.
On December 13, 2013, Beyonce AKA King Bey dropped her self-titled visual album whilst the world was deep in snore. Beyonce has always vouched for women particularly in terms of equal opportunities. She went one step further on this latest album and featured Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s renowned TEDx speech: ‘We should all be feminist‘. I applaud some of what is said here and what these two ladies are fighting for. I disagree with other elements.
Something that struck out to me and a lot of people I have spoken to who have watched her album, is how naked and sensual the videos are. Just the other Sunday, we had a viewing party with a few ladies and as we watched King Bey’s latest offering, we were perplexed. Why was she so naked? What is she going on about?
Stumbling upon Naomi Wolf’s quote really expressed my sentiments and feelings towards ‘BEYONCE’ well. As much as Beyonce is a feminist, she is, at the same time, justifying the objectification of women. I struggle to make sense of it all. I have always been a fan of her music and really enjoy some of the songs on ‘BEYONCE’, but somehow, I just can’t reconcile her stance on feminism with her image. By now we know that being a feminist does not mean you need to reject your feminine qualities as a woman. It does not mean women want to be like men. At the same time, however, I don’t think it necessary for new-age feminists to overly assert their sexuality in order not to be considered manly.
My view on this is rooted in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you… You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.” Surely being so naked to the world does nothing in honouring and glorifying God?
Now, I know the BeyHive might get mad, but it had to be voiced. What then are we saying to men? Respect us but it’s OK for you to look at us as pieces of meat? Treat us as equals but it’s OK for you to treat us as arm candy? Food for thought.