Feminism is totally cool with Beyoncé posing in her underwear

Beyonce GQ coverEd. note: This is a joint post by Sesali and Maya in response to this article criticizing Beyoncé for posing “nearly naked” in a new GQ profile.

Sesali: First off, one of the most interesting things about people like this who come after Beyoncé for “fucking up feminism” is that I have never once heard Beyoncé self identify as a feminist. So whose feminist standards are we holding her up to and why? This reminds me of a feminist stance we’ve seen here recently–one that is basically waiting for the opportunity to tell someone else that their feminism, that they may or may not own, isn’t good enough. How ironic. And do I catch the tiniest whiff of white privilege here?

Maya: Yes, I’d venture more than a whiff. And you and I have actually touched on this topic before. I don’t think celebs who have never claimed to speak for the feminist movement have any obligation to be feminist role models, period. But no matter how anyone self-identifies, it’s far more interesting to look about what they’re doing and the ideas they’re supporting–whether they have a gender awareness and commitment to equality. And in that regard, Beyoncé is killing it in this profile. “Equality is a myth, and for some reason everyone accepts that women don’t make as much money as men.” she says. “I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men. And let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.” On fucking point.

That’s my main problem: of all the things you could possibly discuss about that profile, Freeman chose to focus on the most boring one. I mean, of course Beyoncé is half-naked on the cover of GQ. Kinda like how she is in many of her music videos. Kinda like basically every other pop star today. It’s one thing to bemoan the fact the fact that the sexist objectification machine is so extreme that even women who are famous for other things, like, say, playing sports or being pundits, are often sexualized by others or sexualize themselves. Even in the latter case, though, I’d generally recommend not being a judgmental, slut-shaming asshole towards other women, since, ya know, the whole point is that there is strong cultural pressure to conform to this expectation. But pop stars? Please. Beyoncé’s image–which, yes, is damn sexy–is part of her multimillion-dollar career. Call me if Hillary Clinton starts doing strip dances for the Austrian ambassador or something, and maybe we’ll stage a feminist intervention.

Sesali: Yeah, the slut shaming in the article is so real. Freeman acts as though somehow because Beyoncé already has money and fame, she should not fall prey to the same sexist ideas that women’s worth is defined by their sex appeal. “I never fail to be amazed at the high profile, often A-list women who celebrate their professional success by posing near naked on the covers of allegedly classy men’s magazines, such as Esquire and GQ, and these covers are, to my eyes, becoming increasingly close to porn.” Does she really think that Beyoncé’s appearance in GQ was an opportunity to “celebrate her career”? She doesn’t think that magazine spreads and other endorsements are just part of the job? Please, Freeman, I’d love to be clearer on the boundaries between owning my own sexuality, doing my job, and participating in what you later call “attention-seeking nonsense.” And at what point do we acknowledge sex appeal as something that we can embrace?

Maya: Seriously, has it really never occurred to Freeman that sometimes women like being seen as sexy? And that is not an inherently awful thing? Or that sometimes posing in your underwear is empowering? Or that just because there’s pressure for female pop stars to take off their clothes doesn’t mean that there aren’t also opportunities for claiming control of your own image? Can we please have some recognition of nuance and context here?

Sesali: Nope. It feels like we can’t fucking win for losing with these people. In the same way the patriarchy sucks for telling me I need to be more sexy, you suck for telling me I’m too sexy. 

Maya: Yah, weird how you sound so much like the patriarchy, Hadley Freeman. We may never be able to win, but we should at least be able to expect that other feminists not play the role of sexy-police.

And even beyond the slut-shaming, it’s just so disrespectful of Beyoncé. There’s an assumption that either she’s too dumb to not realize that she’s being duped into stripping down for the patriarchy, or else she’s a just hypocritical narcissist who only cares about her fame. The possibility that she’s an extremely powerful woman who works in a sexist industry–one whose gender dynamics she quite clearly understands way better than Freeman–and is constantly navigating how to assert her own agency while resisting/accommodating/subverting the world’s expectations of her is not entertained. Which is weird since that’s basically what all of us, even Helen Freeman, are doing every single day. We just don’t do it will millions of people watching.

Speaking of claiming control of your own image…what does that remind me of? Oh right, that whole fascinating part of the profile that discussed Beyoncé’s extensive archive as a way of “owning your own brand, your own face, your own body,” which Freeman dismissed out-of-hand as about nothing more than her ”raging narcissism.” Nope, couldn’t possibly be any interesting feminist analysis to be found there, let’s talk about her underwear instead!

Sesali: Exactly, Maya! In conversations I’ve had with folks on the web, I’ve also found it interesting that Bey’s insistence on controlling her own image and her willingness to put in the work to do so via all that archiving makes people worry about her sanity–her ability to function in the world and capacity to actually experience life and process emotion–and, as we see here, gets her called a narcissist. But this is the same person who has resisted the demand to bare all of the intimate details of her life in a way that tells me she is very much concerned with her personal well being and that we should trust her to make healthy decisions for herself. Plus, what would we call a man who was such a perfectionist like that? The hardest working man in show business? A genius? A boss? A role model?

Maya: Totally. And that’s the other thing–we can’t ever really know about the pressures Beyoncé must face on a daily basis, but if there is one person in the world that I’d trust is making an informed, empowered decision whenever she displays her body, it’s Beyoncé. I mean, as the woman herself said–in the cogent analysis Freeman all but ignores–the thing about money is that it gives you the power to “define what’s sexy.” And I think it’s safe to assume that, at this point in her career, Beyoncé is defining sexy–not the other way around. Like, I’m pretty sure that she could don a trash bag and the world would worship at her feet.

Sesali: Yes, and she would look amazing in it! And speaking of her power, I’m actually really offended by the way Freeman dismisses Beyoncé’s extremely moving statement “I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest” as another example of her narcissism. I understood this as a sign of her resilience and a commitment to respecting her own individual and unique greatness: something we all have. I personally would encourage every black girl I know to say that to themselves at least three times a day.

Maya: Ugh, yeah. Here’s Beyoncé offering a structural analysis of gender inequality, as well as just being the greatness that is Beyoncé. And here’s Freeman complaining about what another woman is wearing. Remind me again who is supposedly hurting the feminist cause?

Sesali: Yeah, seriously, I think there are bigger feminist fish to fry than Beyoncé in a pair of panties.

Maya: To conclude:

Photos via GQ, “Telephone,” and Beyoncé’s Tumblr.

and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

26 Comments

  1. Posted January 18, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    As a feminist mother, I think the idea of a newer, working mom on the cover of a magazine looking amazing and sexy is fantastic. There are so many stereotypes of what mothers should be like, many of which involved some version of frumpy and asexual or “damaged” by the fact we reproduced. Not all of us feel that way and its fabulous to see a different version of being a mother shown (instead of sexy just being young, single gals in their 20s).

  2. Posted January 18, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Thank you! Finally! I am a 32 year old woman and it’s taken me as long to own my sexuality. It taken me a lifetime to feel safe, confident and worthy of being sexy. And I am sexy. I’m gorgeous, I’m flirty, I’m a mother, a wife, and an educated woman. I wear revealing clothes when I want, I shave if I feel like it, I put on mascara if I want to, I wear a bikini, I smile if someone checks me out. This is my OWN body. If my sexiness has been co-opted and subjugated by the patriarch, that is absolutely no reason for me to abandon it. If I do I have allowed them to steal it–hell, I’ve given it to them. I agree completely with the writers (again, thank you! what a breath of fresh air) that women need to stop attacking other women and defining their feminism for them. We could also stand to lead this culture of ours by example and trust these women have brains in their head, are on their own journey, and are struggling with the issues that are important to them. Maybe if we took less time attacking other women we could use that extra energy to build women up and offer guidance and support where it’s asked for and needed.

  3. Posted January 18, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Beyonce has said she’s ‘a feminist, in a way.’ So she has self-identified, at least a little. While I agree that we shouldn’t slut-shame and I have no problem with Beyonce’s cover, I am a little troubled by some of the defense here.

    Specifically: “It’s one thing to bemoan the fact the fact that the sexist objectification machine is so extreme that even women who are famous for other things, like, say, playing sports or being pundits, are often sexualized by others or sexualize themselves…But pop stars? Please.”

    The thing is, pop stars are famous for other things too, their music. And yes, image is a big part of that career, but the same could be said for other celebrities. I don’t think we should just assume that all female pop stars have to sexualize themselves. I don’t think it’s a fair expectation for pop stars anymore than athletes or pundits.

    • Posted January 18, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      I see what you’re saying and pretty much agree with you. Certainly don’t think there should be an expectation that pop stars have a “sexy” image–I was just trying to convey that bemoaning that fact is kinda boring/unsurprising. Because there definitely is that expectation, so it’s weird to single out Beyonce, or any other individual pop star, for playing the game. Yes, image is important for lots of celebs, but for pop stars, it is the game to a large extent–and sexualizing yourself is almost mandatory. You could write 10 articles about a female pop star posing half-naked in a magazine literally everyday. I mean, it’s so much a part of the industry that even artists like say, Taylor Swift, who try to opt out of it must define themselves against the default. Which, again, I think is sexist and bad and we should criticize it. I just feel like we should be hating the game, not the player.

  4. Posted January 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Yes- good job Beyonce, for supporting GQ and their continued ability to publish articles like this:

    http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/01/gq_publishes_hottest_women_list_ranks_women_by_race.html

    Love, love, love when women sell it out and assure the continued profits and power of rich white men. Long live patriarchy- and racism, capitalism, heteronormativity…! No problems here at all.

    • Posted January 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, context has to count for something. Certainly does not reflect well on Beyonce that she either did not know what the magazine were publishing when she was on the cover, or worse, knew and just doesn’t care because her financial independence from men includes doing just about anything for the wonga.

  5. Posted January 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Maya, you just wrote an article recently about the relationship between those ESPN announcers reaction to that football player’s girlfriend and rape culture. “now seems like a good time to point out that this bullshit is part of the rape culture that directly enables assaults like those in Steubenville and Notre Dame.”

    It is confusing to me then, to say the least, that you and Sesali completely ignore that relationship in this article, and instead defend the photos. I am not suggesting we attack or blame Beyonce for posing in them. I’m looking at the big picture, too. So that’s why all I can think when I look at those pictures is “Oh great, another magazine spread created by and for the male gaze, enabling more entitlement, and another airbrushed, perfect woman to make the rest of us feel like shit.” I get that this article was meant to deconstruct Freeman’s response, but y’all spend most of it defending these damn pictures. Be as sexy as you want, but what we’re seeing with these photos is the same version of a sexy female body suited for the same group of people. And that is a problem when those people already believe they’re entitled to those and any female bodies, i.e. rape culture. How fast the fall from from street harassment to gang rape, from the omnipresent objectification of women to DV. There are, of course, layers to these examples, but the path remains.

    And on an unrelated note….Beyonce isn’t a narcissist? Seriously? Y’all are reaching. Trust me I get that there’s a connection between being a self-assured black woman and getting called a narcissist, but we can talk about that relationship without denying that she, J, and every other A-list celebrity is every bit the raging narcissist.

    • Posted January 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      ELot,

      I was going to make exactly the same point (we have corresponded on the Miss Alabama outrage (err, uproar)).

      I really cannot understand how one woman posing in her underwear provokes cries of ‘demeaning’, ‘rape culture’, ‘slut shaming’, etc., and another invites approval, ‘empowerment’, ‘sex celebration’, etc.

      It seems to me that what makes the difference is celebrity: some poor unnown does it and it is bad, and if some celebrity we like does it, then it is very good.

      What do you think Feministing would say if Miss Alabama posed near-naked for GQ?

      • Posted January 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        But there’s a big difference – Beyonce has consented and agreed to these photos. In fact she likely had at least partial creative control over what pictures were taken and what was written. Miss Alabama didn’t ask to be featured during the ESPN game.

        Also here Beyonce is controlling the message while Miss Alabama was purely a bystander.

      • Posted January 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Uh, what? When did we condemn Miss Alabama for posing in her underwear? Perhaps you are thinking of a different site?

    • Posted January 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Oh, well, I guess I thought it kinda went without saying that I think the larger structure of media images that promote unrealistic beauty standards, commodify women’s bodies, dehumanize women by reducing them to their sexuality, etc, etc, is sexist and bad? I actually don’t think that anything I wrote was supposed to be a defense of the photos per se. Where do you see that? My only position on the photos themselves is…well, as you said, that they are exactly what you’d expect to find on the cover of GQ (and that Beyonce looks pretty as always). But the context in which the photos are consumed is a separate question from what I was tackling in this piece–namely, the context in which Beyonce took them and her agency in controlling her image (which I think is very interesting and it’s sad that Freeman ignored that) and Freeman’s response–which by ignoring Beyonce’s words and reducing her to an image and implying that her status as a “successful, powerful or smart” women is inherently undermined by the fact that she posed “near naked” is, I think, just as sexist as the larger culture of objectification she’s trying to critique.

      Sure, as long as we describe every single other A-list celebrity as a narcissist, then, fine, Beyonce’s a narcissist. I really don’t care/don’t think that word has much real meaning when applied to celebrities who we do not actually know.

      • Posted January 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Well you say that you think the “larger structure of media images that promote unrealistic beauty standards, commodify women’s bodies, dehumanize women by reducing them to their sexuality, etc, etc, is sexist and bad”, but the name of this article is “Feminism is totally cool with Beyonce posing in her underwear”. Of course it’s cool for anyone to pose in their underwear if they want to, but I am not cool with the context in which this is being done. Not that it’s anything new. But my points here are that 1. Not all feminists are cool with it. (Which, btw, I think is ok. Yay for respectful discourse and dissenting opinions/thoughts/feelings.) And 2. this is why the article comes off as defending the photos, among other examples (see below), since you asked where it comes across that way.

        By claiming Beyonce is “in control of” her image when she’s on the cover of GQ, as objectified and whitewashed as she is, next to another “article” that rates the hottest women by race….I’m sorry I don’t see where one finds any shred of authentic control in that. Is Beyonce navigating f*cked up systems the best she can, given her resources and life experiences? I certainly think so. But that doesn’t necessarily make it empowering, IMO; it makes it survival. I mean, these are her options. It’s bullish*t, not empowering.

        I also don’t see how she is “defining what’s sexy”, particularly when you quoted her earlier on how it’s impossible for her, as a woman, to define what’s sexy. And how ironic/interesting/depressing to me that these statements were made in the context they were, with her completely manufactured and defined on the cover, by and for the white men she speaks of, as Jeff G. below articulates much better than I did. I’m not hating on her here for that, tho. Quite the opposite. It’s the context I hate, the irony, the ties that bind her and all of us into situations like that one…the patriarchy. And my response to her statements being in such stark contrast to your response is why that part came off as in defense of this magazine spread, as well.

        Look, no doubt Freedman’s white privilege took over, combined with her own internalized sexism, and is what influenced her to write her article. There is a near naked white woman on the cover of GQ and every other magazine every single month; it’s no accident that she’s never asked how *those* women are helping feminism. My point is, that there’s enough to tackle in Freedman’s article without needing to defend these photos. Or, if we’re gonna talk photos, which your and Sesali’s article did, keeping the context in which they are manufactured and consumed on the table, rather than trying to save the photos from scrutiny. I realize it doesn’t come across this way to you, but it sure does to me.

  6. Posted January 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    ‘Feminism is totally cool with Beyonce posing in her underwear’.

    Yes and no. It is a bit like saying that the church accepts LGBT people. Some do, many do not. There is a huge diversity of opinion and ideology within feminism, as with all non conservative ideologies. As I grow older, and understand more about how being viewed as sexy is very different to feeling sexy (ie I am too old for the external gaze to even acknowledge me, let alone see me as sexy – which is a welcome relief actually).
    I think that there is little point debating if a woman like Beyonce has expressed any feminist attitudes when her actions show us clearly that she does not. What she has done with this cover is shown us that she is happy to prop up sexism (choice of publication), and sexism and racism (the particular article ’100 Sexiest women of the 21st century) in this particular issue.
    Women who earn a lot of money and can claim financial independence cannot automatically be lauded as feminist role models. Context is important. Beyonce works in an industry where her looks are paramount and she sells her ‘sexiness’ at least as much as any talent she has. In addition money appears to be a higher priority than any ideological or ethical belief. That is her choice, obviously, but certainly undermines any ‘role model’ status she may have.

  7. Posted January 19, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I’m baffled as to why Beyonce’s remarks in a magazine are being compared to Betty Friedan’s “flawed feminism” as if the two are similar.

    • Posted January 20, 2013 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      Susan,

      Yes, lots of people seem to be baffled here!

  8. Posted January 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    No. I don’t agree with this article.

    This article is arguing that it’s alright for women to dress sexy because some women enjoy it.

    I believe that women who dress sexy don’t really enjoy it at all.

    A dress, jeans, tight clothing, or any other feminine, sexy, or attractive clothes are not comfortable compared to plain shorts and a t-shirt (or any other comfortable clothing). Every time a woman puts on clothes that are less comfortable she needs to ask herself why.

    A woman can enjoy sex with a partner she chooses and enjoy being attractive or sexy to them. A prospective decent partner can imagine her naked anyway and doesn’t require her to be uncomfortable.

    The average woman is making herself uncomfortable to be attractive to random strangers in the street, and no one can tell me that this is an enjoyable or self-respecting thing to do.

    Beyonce, and all other female pop stars, perpetuate, to men, the myth that women enjoy dressing this way. Men know that Beyonce is doing this for the money, but they also believe that she enjoys it as well.

    I believe women who say they enjoy dressing sexy are enjoying the power of being attractive, but it is self-degrading to know that this power is coming from others and that if men changed their preferences on what is attractive then she would have to change too.

    • Posted January 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      I couldn’t disagree more. Myself and many others have often expressed that we – at times and under our own conditions – enjoy being sexy. I do. I love it in fact (when I’m in the mood for it).

      I will wear “uncomfortable clothes” as you put it on purpose to look sexy at times (though in all fairness other then heels I really don’t find “sexy” outfits to be any different or less comfortable then regular clothes. Also you can look super hot in shorts and a t-shirt with runners on so you lose me a bit with that point.)

      Who are you to tell others what they should enjoy? Even if I was doing it so strangers will find me attractive – so what? If I enjoy it, what’s wrong with that?

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating we define ourselves purely based on strangers finding us attractive. But I don’t see how wanting someone to find attractive is any different or worse then wanting someone to find you intelligent. Nor are these mutually exclusive desires.

      To me the problem is if you’re dressing sexy because you feel forced to. Those are the people we want to reach out to. But the people who enjoy looking sexy, and who do it on their own terms, con-sensually, are not the ones we need to worry about. If anything we should celebrate such women – women are living their lives the way they want and confidently doing what makes them happy are good, not bad.

      • Posted January 26, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        I just want to make it clear that I am Pro-Freedom. If you want to dress sexy, I’m not going to ever try to stop you. I’m just making my personal belief clear -I think it is a pointless hobby which gives only minor enjoyment at most and encourages men to think that women enjoy dressing sexy for strangers even when they have a partner already.

  9. Posted January 21, 2013 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that to read Freeman as simply attacking Beyoncé misses a more important point that the article is raising. Freeman’s conclusion that we live in an age where “famous women can sing about ‘independence’ and ‘girl power,’ as long as they’re wearing next to nothing” is not a personal slur against the singer, but a general and troubling observation about what constitutes “acceptable feminism” in 2013. One can criticize heterosexual male power provided that one displays a sexual image that perfectly conforms to its demands. And although the problem goes beyond Beyoncé, her GQ article and photos illustrate it perfectly. Beyoncé’s spot on criticism of men’s power to “define value,” “define what’s sexy,” and “define what’s feminine,” comes in the context of a magazine photo shoot in which powerful men are using her image to do just those things.

    • Posted January 23, 2013 at 1:36 am | Permalink

      Thank you for stating my nearly exact thoughts.

  10. Posted January 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    This is the worst argument ever.

    “Of course she is naked on GQ!”

    And what’s with having to be a card-carrying feminist, otherwise you are exempt from doing things to support the advancement of women?

    The “That’s awesome to see a mom being sexy” is also lame. That cover shoot is not at all about empowering a mom, that cover is about titillating men. What about that cover, or that publication, is good for women?

    I actually went through the pain-in-the-ass process of registering for this site so I could speak out about what a load of crap this argument is.

  11. Posted January 22, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    My first reaction to a story about Beyoncé is, “Who cares?” But I get over my apathy toward pop culture and reconnect with my sexually frustrated teenage self, remembering that I once fawned at half-naked celebrities on TV and the internet. And I recognize that GQ is a magazine dedicated to keeping men in a permanent state of post-adolescence. Feminists surely aren’t doing men any favors intellectually by supporting these kinds of escapist promos. I think the idea that Beyoncé is someone to admire is pathetic. It seems obvious to me that someone in her position is naturally going to use feminism and whatever else to get what they want: I mean how many people is she actually helping with her money and fame? That’s a better test of virtue than what she might passively accomplish through her sex appeal and celebrity status. Her philanthropy is not absent, you can check it out on Wikipedia, but I don’t know if it’s high impact; most of it seems tinged by show business and other features of self-interest. It’s a virtual obligation of the rich to give back in some way and it’s usually not high impact but more about their media image and self-gratification. I have a few other points, too. The first point that Sesali makes is that Beyoncé doesn’t really identify as a feminist and the author who questions her on feminist grounds is racist and/or using white privilege (with the stupid implication that white privilege delegitimizes her criticism). It’s just as ridiculous to say that I can’t criticize Barack Obama on socialist grounds because he’s not a socialist. Also, Maya agrees with the racist assessment more strongly and validates Beyoncé by saying that “I don’t think celebs who have never claimed to speak for the feminist movement have any obligation to be feminist role models, period.” Well, okay. Any hope of claiming the powerful have a social obligation to others aside, I think that’s kind of superficial. There were feminists before there was a feminist movement to speak for it who didn’t self-identify as feminists but who definitely felt that obligation, and besides I’d like to live in a society where the people we celebrate extol something besides rugged individualism, power politics and sexual empowerment. At one point Sesali makes this Goldilocks formulation: “In the same way the patriarchy sucks for telling me I need to be more sexy, you suck for telling me I’m too sexy.” Maya goes on to say that “it’s just so disrespectful of Beyoncé,” a woman who has apparently earned our respect because of her supposed intelligence and modesty. Maya constructs an unconvincing image of Beyoncé as “an extremely powerful woman” who “is constantly navigating how to assert her own agency while resisting/accommodating/subverting the world’s expectations of her,” a form of hero worship that romanticizes the idea of being rich and powerful. In short, Beyoncé is not a sexy Robin Hood and it’s naïve to think she’s more than an entertaining diversion from the real issues of the day.

  12. Posted January 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Seeing beyonce’s GQ cover and Megan Fox’s Esquire cover has made me think about self-objectificaton. Is it really empowering to self-objectify? Is presenting yourself as an object of sexual consumption any better than someone else presenting/perceiving you as such? Women need to thoroughly question why, if at all, self-objectification feels empowering to them. At some point you may realize that self-objectification may feel empowering because women are taught from the get-go that they are consumables, valued by the number of interested consumers. We are taught to not only invite male attention, but to fight for it because it is what (the media would have us believe) determines our value in society.

    There is a reason that new mother’s such as Beyonce and Megan Fox opt to do cover’s like this, and I do not believe that it is solely because their careers depend on it. Their actions are symptomatic of a larger issue women face of self-objectification, in which it is important for a woman to prove that they are still sexually viable even after giving birth. I believe that to misconstrue women self-objectifying as empowerment would be like saying a slave treating their shackles like a cute accessory is empowering.

    If motherhood can’t snap women out of self-objectifying what can? I ask you this, would you want to raise your daughter telling them that their self-worth is dependent on their ability to be sexually attractive and attract men?If the answer is no, then maybe magazine covers featuring sexy new moms should shed light onto the larger issue of women being seen and treated (and seeing/treating themselves) like consumable objects, which dehumanizes women and contributes to rape culture.

    I urge all women to set an example for our younger generations that our worth is defined by who we are, our actions, our hearts, and knowledge. Our worth is NOT defined by how many men find us sexually attractive.

  13. Posted January 26, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a problem with Beyonce posing like this or making money from it. I have a problem that she claims it is an act of self-empowerment.

    Many men want sexy images of women and are willing to pay for it. That’s fine. I have no problem with that.

    Beyonce, however, is trying to claim that it is empowering for a woman to take her clothes off in public.

    It is profitable to take her clothes off, and women should be allowed to do it, but it’s not empowering. She is telling men that women naturally enjoy behaving like this when instead she should be telling them she would not take her clothes of if they weren’t paying her, or she wasn’t benefiting from it.

    Many women will behave like this if there is something to gain, but they don’t enjoy it without the gain.

  14. Posted January 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Bey’s my girl I love her. I rarely self-identify as a feminist because people love to feminist-check and all my beliefs may not align with the playlist.

Feministing In Your Inbox

Sign up for our Newsletter to stay in touch with Feministing
and receive regular updates and exclusive content.

242 queries. 0.422 seconds