When Beyonce tells people to “bow down,” they listen.
In ‘The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink” the 32-year-old pop star — writing under her full name, Beyonce Knowles-Carter — proclaims that “gender equality is a myth!”
The “average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change.
Humanity, she continues, “requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. … We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.”
Last April, Beyonce told British Vogue that she hesitated to call herself a feminist. (Katy Perry similarly ducked the designation while accepting 2012’s Billboard Woman of the year award, during which she said she’s “not a feminist,” but does “believe in the strength of women.”)
The word feminist “can be very extreme,” she told Vogue. “But I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything? I’m just a woman and I love being a woman.”
Her chart-topping surprise 2013 release, the self-titled “Beyonce,” has been endlessly debated as a symbol of her feminist perspective — or lack thereof.
In the song “***Flawless” from that album Beyonce samples words from celebrated writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s April 2013 TED Talk “We Should All Be Feminists.”
“Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage,” Adichie says in the sample. “Marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage, and we don’t teach boys the same?”
In her piece for The Shriver Report, Beyonce echoes Adichie’s perspective, saying “these old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. … Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more — commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.”
The singer’s contribution is one of many pieces that fill Shriver’s report, which explores the rates of financial insecurity among American women, examines its impact, and offers solutions for change.
Along with Beyonce, Shriver’s report pulled in actress Eva Longoria, who wrote a piece entitled “Empowering Latinas,” and basketball star LeBron James, who penned an appreciation of the nation’s working mothers.
Do you think Gender Equality Is A Myth? Has Beyonce’s essay/article helped the issue at hand -Gender Inequality- in anyway or is this just a publicity stunt?