This post was inspired by the “Girls Gone Anti-Feminist” article in the course textbook. It is, what I would call, a “rant” from Susan Douglas about how the feminist movement is going backwards. She describes the new generation of young women in the 21st century as voluntarily subjecting themselves to the very same sexual objectification from which previous generations of women had worked to be free from.
A real life example of Susan’s claim today is the sensational pop star singer Beyonce. If you aren’t familiar with her music then you may have seen her performance at last year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show in New Orleans. Better yet, you may have seen her perform live at the Grammys last Sunday night. And if neither of these ring a bell then maybe you’ll remember her from the pop singing group Destiny’s Child, but that was a long time ago. However, keep those memories at the front of your mind because, they’ll be important for making my point later.
If you ask her fans and read her lyrics from many of her popular songs in the past, Beyonce has established herself as being a female pop star known for performing songs with the theme & goal of female empowerment. Looking at Beyonce’s songs & concerts in the past, you will see that this claim was consistent. She often performed with bands, in which all of the musicians, singers, & dancers were female (and usually black as well). The lyrics of songs in the past were about encouraging women to have confidence in themselves rather than depending on an abusive boyfriend for self-worth.
While this is admirable, remember Beyonce’s recent performances at the Super Bowl & the Grammys that I was talking about earlier? Neither performance seemed to reflect anything about female empowerment. In fact, they seemed to send the opposite message: “enlightened sexism”. The way that she objectified herself sexually by the way she dressed & performed seemed to be doing everything that Susan described in our generation: voluntarily subjecting themselves to the very same sexual objectification from which previous generations of women had worked to be free from.