Is pop music introducing the idea of woman empowerment even while being questionably counter-feminist?
A couple albums have come out this year that have left a lot of listeners scratching their heads at contradictory messages about the topic. We can start with Beyoncé and then move to Pherrell, who is trying to bounce back after the misogynistic controversy of Blurred Lines.
As an avid feminist, Beyoncé has basically been a deity to me. Single Ladies was my singleton anthem. I had a massive breakup and unapologetically bulldozed through the available men about it. Isn't that what Put A Ring On It is about?
I need no permission Did I mention Don't pay him any attention Cause you had your turn and now you gonna learn What it really feels like to miss me
I workout three times a week blaring Run The World on loop. It makes me feel like I can, and will, accomplish everything, with my lady comrades, and more fiercely than men can.
So, between those songs, she's created anthems to which I have actively lived my life to (don't laugh, those songs made my life awesome) and I was eager to apply the messages that the self titled Beyoncé album would deliver to my life.
Flawless was the song that people told me it reminded them of me. Adichie's reading is great, but what Beyoncé is saying ("bow down bitches" for example) feels a little defensive to me. Why is The Goddess addressing cynicism and criticism?
Then there's Pherrell's (in)appropriately titled album G I R L. The lyrics, even the song titles, really lack what Pherrell tries to achieve. Just listen to the song Hunter, where he compares himself to a predator with his romantic subject his unwilling prey. Blurred Lines much?
But can what I think is a step back, still be a step forward for some? Troublingly, these messages are supposed to pay reverence to women. I consider my level of feminism high and esoteric. Many a pop music fan could just be warming up to my girl-power ideas, so should we give Pherrell an E for Effort when when he so obviously missed the mark? That's for you readers to decide, and when you do, we should talk about it over drinks. Hit me up.