Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lemonade

     Beyonce's visual album has received much praise since its release, and with good reason. She received praise for its role in showing many of the challenges women have and are facing today.  The praise she received ultimately led us to Dr. Nardone's presentation, and the question, is Beyonce a feminist?  A common argument that people have made is that it is merely a response to Jay Z cheating on her.  I believe that this is an irrational and improbable assumption.  Beyonce has shown her feminism countless times throughout her career.  
    In Beyonce's 'Don't Hurt Yourself,' she repeatedly says, "Call me Malcolm X."  I found this use of language to be direct and powerful, and also show her determination to fight for feminism.  Dr. Nardone touched on many points made in "Lemonade," and related them to works of art and literature from earlier times.  One of Dr. Nardone's comparisons that I found interesting was her breakdown of "Denial."  The first time watching it I did not understand the use and importance of water, but after listening to Dr. Nardone my view on the whole video changed.  She said that the water symbolized birth and beginning.  Going back to the main question of 'is Beyonce a feminist? I believe that Beyonce is a Feminist.  She continued to challenge societal norms throughout 'Lemonade,' and I am sure that Beyonce believes that she is a feminist. 
      Dr. Nardone spent a portion of her presentation questioning whether or not art can influence political change.  I continued to think about question this idea, and I concluded that art can and does influence politics.  Art is a representation of ideas, issues, and political climate present at the time, and art effectively expresses these opinions and changes mind.  Another fascinating element from Beyonce's "Lemonade" was her use of "the gaze."  Beyonce played with this throughout the whole video, and it is something that many people are blind to. Dr. Nardone argued that throughout much of the film industry videos and movies are filmed from the view point of a man. Beyonce played with this, and was able to make the viewer question the gaze present.  I found Beyonce's video album to be progressive and bold, and after viewing it I do believe that she is a feminist.

Signing off,
Harrison Gray

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