Beyonce’s “Bow Down” Puts a Mirror in the Face of the Feminist Movement

Happy Monday #ButterflyNation!!

It’s been a while since my last post, and honestly I didn’t plan on posting this soon in the week; but there comes a time when a Butterfly has to say what’s on her mind. You know, to lighten the load so the flight won’t be so turbulent….

Music is a passion of mine. I believe that it is a form of communication that transforms culture, language, space and time. Music allows us to express ourselves and connect with each other beyond the articulation of mere words. It is a powerful force that can inspire, create change, heal wounds and create unity. And because of this, I believe that music can change the entire dynamic of the world by producing a harmonious choir of humanity.

With that said, I am very sensitive to music that creates discord as much as I am to music that creates harmony. Especially as it pertains to women. While there are songs that empower women to be strong, self reliant, self confident and leaders, there are many more that degrade and humiliate women as a whole.

It is not shocking to hear songs that brand women as bitches, hoes, sluts, etc these days. Unfortunately it has become mainstream in some music genres. But it does become shocking to me to hear women sing these types of songs. Especially when it comes from women whom I respect as and expect to be those who are a part of the powerful force of Womanity.

Let me say that while I am not a huge fan of her music, I am a fan of her work ethic, her drive and her accomplishments. To be 31 years old and accomplish only a fraction of what Pop sensation Beyonce has, is commendable. I will also say that I have come to appreciate and to admire her character. She has always come across to me as a person/entertainer who overcomes adversity. Everyone knows the amount of heat she gets in the media, from other entertainers and from the blogosphere in general. I’ve always admired how she refrained from getting caught up in the hype. No Tweet Beefs or Facebook drama; she just keeps it moving.

"Bow Down" by Beyonce

“Bow Down” by Beyonce

That is until now, with the release of her new song “Bow Down”. Let me say that the song its self does not change my mind about the superstar, but it did make me take an unexpected step back. After you hear what I have to say, I hope you take a step back too….

For those of you who have not heard it, the song opens with:
“I know when you were little girls/ You dreamt of being in my world/ Don’t forget it, don’t forget it/ Respect that: Bow down, bitches.”

Wow…Yeah, I know. Sounds  a little too much to be coming from Beyonce. This is not her steez at all. With all that she has accomplished, you would think that she didn’t need to go there. But she did.

Now, I get her frustration at others for coming at her, but I don’t get why now she is choosing to let them/it take her out of her character. When you let people take you out of your character Butterflies, you are the only one who looses-remember that. And unfortunately,  I think this response is going to hurt her in the long run. Just a little over a month ago she was quoted in an interview as saying how much she wants to empower women, and now she is calling women bitches. It doesn’t matter what women she is talking to, the term in this context applies to women as a whole.  This is more of an affirmation of what men have been saying about women in music for decades: women are nothing more than subservient bitches, and we have one of the biggest females in music confirming it.

Are we there right now?  Is this where we are at with each other? Regardless of who she directed this song too, the song has the potential, in my opinion, of going far beyond it’s intended targets.
What do I mean?

How many young girls are going to sing this song? And who is the song going to be reflected upon? Think about that…. This song is not going to stay locked on it’s intended target(s) it’s going to hit every woman in it’s path, unless we do something to change it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to tell someone what to do, nor am I saying that no one has the right to express themselves freely. But what I am saying is this:

If we are going to empower women, then we have to pick a side. We can’t fight for female empowerment with one arm and help to destroy the strides we make with the other. No, this song is not going to single handedly destroy the feminist movement nor is Beyonce in any way less of a part of Womanity now than she was before. She is merely a woman who came to her final point of frustration and she vented. She is allowed to do that. She is human. The problem is not just the song but what led up to it; constant badgering by others, mainly women.

While this song is not in the least bit empowering,  it is powerful and we can use it to make some changes if we look at it for not only what it is, but what it can be: a mirror in the face of the feminist movement that shows us that we have a bigger enemy among us-OURSELVES!

The War on Women has been in full combat mode for years now and it is time that we realize that women are the biggest allies to the enemy in the War. Think about it in relevance to this song. Why did such a person have to produce such a song? Not because men were dogging her, but because other women were! This is a common problem among women around the world.

In the sex trafficking trade, women own the majority of the brothels that force young children into sexual slavery. It is normally a female relative that sells the child into slavery in the first place. In places where female children are neglected, left to die or even killed because they are female, it is often the mother that participates in such a abomination. A mother in impoverished nations, if given the choice between the two, would more likely educate a boy than a girl. And right here in the good old USA the competition between women and female bullying has caused some women to kill and/or commit suicide.

Am I upset by the song “Bow Down”? Yes. Not only because Beyonce chose to go here, but also because she got to a point that she felt she had to. That upsets me. It would have been glorious to see her approach those women and say “hey, let’s work together and create some music or projects that show unity and support women.” That would have been BADD ASS in my opinion and would have given her true Queen status in my book. Instead of tearing them down and stooping to their level, she could have brought them up to her level (remember, she wasn’t the aggressor nor a participator up until this point, that gave her a “1Up” on them) and inspired a movement that could have encompassed women around the world to do the same. Her voice is that loud and it does have that kind of power.

Actually, she can still do that; if she chooses to.

Of course it would be great if there wasn’t even a need for her to extend that type of olive branch in the first place. Were we in a place where women celebrate each other for their accomplishments and individual contributions to the female species as a whole, no need for such a song would exist

Butterflies, I said all of that to say this: We have to do better. If  the female species is ever going to obtain true unity, and if we are going to win this war that has been waged against us, we have to come out of agreement with our enemies, come back from across enemy lines and fall in line with our sisters and make this thing happen.

Womanity

 

My goal, and I hope it is your goal as well, is to see unity among women world wide. Womanity is not just a term, it is a real concept that can be fully achieved if we want it to. The full power of the female species will only be obtained if WE not only take action to obtain it, but make strides to maintain it.

*If we want men to stop calling us bitches, then we have to stop calling each other bitches.

*If we want men to stop calling us hoes and sluts because of the clothes we have on, then we have to stop calling each other hoes and sluts because of the clothes we have on!

*If we want men to respect us as valuable first class citizens, then we have to start treating each other as valuable first class citizens!

*If we want the sex trade industry to go bust and young girls to obtain equal educational opportunities, then we have to be the ones who reach out to other women and teach them the value of their daughters.

*If we want equal pay and equal opportunities in business and in the work place, then we have to reach out to each other first! 

*If we want to be respected, appreciated and celebrated in our accomplishments, then we have to learn how to respect, appreciate and celebrate the accomplishments of our sisters!

*And if we want if we all want to be treated as Queens, then we  have to treat each other as Queens without the expectation of one Queen to toss her crown or bow down to any other.

If you want to hear the song, here is the link to the Sound Cloud. Check it out and let me know what you think. I ‘d love to hear your thoughts!

Until later Butterflies!

Love and Butterfly Kisses

Steen

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