Tuesday, July 5


There's been some rabble about the Beyonce song "Run the World" and I've decided it's entirely up to me to rebut. First there was a YouTube video, then a Jezebel post, and while both of these bloggers bring up valid points and are merely using the song and music video as a jumping-off place to bring up larger points, which do matter, I think it's a bummer that it has to happen at the expense of something that doesn't happen enough: a massively popular hit song that is empowering and optimistic for women.

There are too few things in popular culture that celebrate femininity and womanhood (honestly, off the top of my head right now, I can't think of any except this song and some one-hit-wonders from the 90s), and those few things that do are usually a little contrived and, I dare say, hollow, but if it works for anybody, who's to say it's wrong? Clearly the song's intentions are good. Additionally, I don't think anyone who thinks about it for a second or two really believes that women run the world, but it's nice to feel a little disconnected from the reality. Plus, nobody's going to dance to a pop song with lyrics about the pay gap or rape statistics or vaginal legislation, which are important issues that everyone should understand, but they're also very, very disheartening ones.

Pop music is inherently idealistic and optimistic. That's exactly what makes it popular: it's fun, it's an escape. If society has you so constantly angered and embittered that you can't sit back and enjoy a completely inoffensive (albeit naive) song without working yourself into a tizzy, well, I think you should look at how you’re expending your energies. There are things worth fighting and getting angry about and a song that harms almost zero people and is only going to be popular for about six months is not one of those things.

Personally, I miss girl power. It is a difficult thing to be a feminist; many people are ignorant, crude, disrespectful and unrepentant when it comes to many women's issues, and it only gets harder when you see that sometimes these of kinds people are your friends and loved ones. It sucks reading feminist news sites and blogs and every article just makes you feel angrier and shittier.

I don't like to feel angry or shitty. Instead of being bombarded with more bleak news, I just want to be empowered. It is really great to be a woman despite all the crap we have to work against and fight, and I don't think enough people are talking about that. I commend Beyonce for performing a song that's got a positive attitude about ladydom, no matter how surreal it is.

For every lady out there who is angry about the "lies" in a pop song, keep in mind that there's another one who feels empowered by it and rushes to the middle of the dance floor whenever it comes on. It's nobody's place to say one person's form of empowerment is better or right, and if you're angry, fine, you have plenty of reasons to be, but me, personally, I'd rather feel good about being a woman than bad. I demand more naive (but positive and potentially empowering) pop songs!

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