Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Beyonce: Lemonade

“I put my things down, flip it, and reverse it.” At the beginning of the presentation, I did not know exactly what Ms. Nardone meant by the quote. By the end of the class, I realized what Beyonce was referring to. She embraces and empowers the identity and diversity of the black woman. Lemonade does a great job of exploring common themes in today's world such as racism, sexuality and equality. When watching the video, I noticed how Beyonce takes typical stereotypes such as the “male gaze” and different narratives about women, black women and black men and gives them a new meaning. In the video “Hold Up”, it is interesting because it shows a black woman in a particularly masculine and dominant role. Women in general are normal objects of “the gaze” that is constantly depicted in society, but in this video, Beyonce is seen in a monster truck and with a bat, which society associates with masculinity. To top it off, she destroys the idea of the "male gaze” with the smashing of the camera that was theoretically gazing at her. Throughout the video, Beyonce and others are now gazing at society, reversing the once sexist behavior.
I do consider Beyonce to be a feminist. I think she sends a good message and truly believes what she says. I do not know, however, if it is right to profit as much as she does from her feminist beliefs. I also agree with Chimamanda Adichie when she says “We women are so conditioned to relate everything to men.” I think we tend to relate issues in our daily lives, and issues regarding sexuality, to men most of the time. It got me thinking about how often we put our energy into men.
After the class, I did some more research on Chimamanda Adichie and found the rest of her quote. She states, “Put a group of women together and the conversation will eventually be about men. Put a group of men together and they will not talk about women at all, they will just talk about their own stuff.” Although I find this quote to be a bit extreme, I also have realized that this does tend to happen when women converse. Women, in general, seem to fixate on men, and to be honest, I’m not quite sure why. We could use the logic that we have been taught through society to seek approval and attention from men. It is hard for me to understand why we still do this when we talk about our desire to eliminate male approval regarding issues of female sexuality. Whether we like it or not, I think part of the issue for women in today’s society is that we have a tough time excluding the thoughts and opinions of men. 

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