Beequality – Equality Questions in Beyoncé songs
With the experience, I made by talking to Raffaela there was an immediate wish to talk about gender equality. No one has ever brought it more on point than Beyoncé with several songs. A look behind her songs and the texts.
We as women still live in gender inequality. We suffer from harassment and meet with resistance when we attempt to discuss issues such as discrimination at the work-place or unequal wages in organizations.
There are many women who fight against the gender inequality. One of them is the Pop and R & B Singer Beyoncé. With songs like “pretty hurts” and “flawless”, she draws public attention to the predominant inequality of sexes and races and the increased public pressure on women.
First, Pretty hurts – a phrase women often use when they struggle with a diet or body waxing. To look beautiful, a lot of women suffer pain.
In this song, Beyoncé sings about ideal of beauty that are supported by the beauty contest. She sings: “Mama said: You’re a pretty girl. What’s in your head it doesn’t matter. Brush your hair, fix your teeth. What you wear is all that matters,” and “Perfection is the disease of a nation.” We once again see, that to look beautiful or how you dress seems to be important in the nation (see also: You are what you wear – Deconstructing Female Identity)
Secondly, in her song “flawless” a part is spoken by a woman:
We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man”
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now 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?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes
In this part of the song, Beyoncé points out several issues why women and men are not seen as equal. Women should aspire to marriage and not for their success at work, because they could threaten the men. An absolute clear aspect when you look at the society or just in the Swiss Economy. Women still suffer under suppression when they want to be successful. If they get pregnant, they lose connection. If they do not have children and are successful, they are seen as very masculine or cold woman and if they even have children, they are called bad mothers (see also: Short Hair and conspicuous Hair colour – New Implementation of Women in male-dominated professions?)
To finish up, it is going to be very difficult for women to ever reach equality, but if we stand together and do not fight against our own gender by being jealous or involve us in intrigues, we could really run the world.