Beyoncé: This is The Wrong Message for Female Empowerment


Beyonce PartitionI’ve admired Beyoncé for years…her work ethic, determination and drive. And I got the opportunity to meet her years ago when pitching an idea for a “social” website and she’s lovely. She has been a role model for young women since her early career and her anthem song like “Who Runs The World” and from the Destiny’s Child days with “Independent Woman” to this day are statements on female empowerment. To that end, last week, Beyoncé made the news by partnering with Sheryl Sandberg to “Ban Bossy.”

However this week, she is back in the spotlight with a video for her new song “Partition” worthy of 2 Live Crew from the 1980s. The video is labeled “explicit” for a very good reason so you are forewarned. I was stunned as were other mothers particularly at the scene where she is wearing nothing but a thong or the innuendo in the final scene where is doing the chair in silhouette. It’s the equivalent of soft porn and I’m no prude. I was especially surprised she released a video of this ilk in light of being a mother. These videos will be online forever for Blue Ivy to discover as she grows up. It seemed so out of character.

Is this video a porn video?

“When people do something that is radically out of character, it’s usually caused by a combination of factors. All I know is that her HUSBAND willingly participated in the making of that video, which says something to me. My husband is usually my voice of reason that I call in at the very end of my thought process to give a yea or nay. HERS MADE A BROADCAST PORNO. A”As the mother of daughters ages seven and two, I would shut the laptop lid if they  walked into the room,” said Kathy Zucker, founder of the Metro Moms Network.

Sarah Walton, CEO of “Better Way Moms, had this to say, “I really like what you said about her husband taking an active part in this. I would actually be really upset if my husband wanted me to do something like this…you can just FEEL how objectifying and disrespectful this video is to her. It stripped her of her talent, her beauty and her power – not just her clothes. It’s objectification on display for all to see. I think that’s why it feels so creepy. It’s dripping with desperation and “Look at me! Look at me!” And don’t even get me started on the lyrics. I don’t ever want my daughter thinking to herself, “I want to be the kind of girl you want.” I would much prefer “You’re lucky I gave you a second glance, because I’m a great catch and a lot of fun!”

There’s a difference between showcasing “sexy” and “sexual power.”

Remember Britney’s video for “Toxic”? Now that was a powerful sexy video. It was playful sexy. It’s easy to watch and it doesn’t make you feel dirty. It’s energizing and fun, not depressing and embarrassing. Toxic is a great example of a woman owning her sexual power. There is a huge difference between owning our sexual power as women, and displaying it as if it’s all we’re good for. It’s an incredibly damaging message. This does NOT mean I condone all of Britney’s videos or her behavior by the way, that specific video is a good example of powerful sexy, not desperate sexy,” concluded Sarah.

There is going to be backlash around this video.

And all of us agreed, there is going to be a backlash about this video, and not just because it’s Beyonce and it’s release being so close to her “Ban Bossy” PR moment. But because it’s desperate and sad. This is not the powerful Beyonce we’ve come to know and love. This is not the woman known for her beauty, her voice and her incredible dance moves (hello Single Ladies). This is something a two-bit, classless, wanna-be would do.

We feel bad for her. And can’t wait to see how she handles the storm to come.

What do you think of “Partition”?

2 Responses to “Beyoncé: This is The Wrong Message for Female Empowerment”

  1. I don’t feel as though the video started off so bad, but it definitely got worse as it went along. I liked how it went full circle at the very end, but the video in its entirety really bothers me. Aside from not wanting my daughter to see this, I wouldn’t want my sons to see this video. You’re right, this isn’t the way to empower women. We are more than our sexy bodies and this video doesn’t show a powerful Beyonce at all. It shows a desperate woman who is trying to get a man’s attention by using her body rather than her brains and brawn. Boys are as guilty as girls in making women feel like objects and I feel as though this video just tells my sons, “It’s OK for a woman to throw herself at you and for you to ignore her or use her for physical pleasure alone.” I’m disappointed in Beyonce for this. But now I must go feed my children breakfast and make sure I remind them that we are more than our appearances.

    Summer Davis
  2. Full disclosure: I did not watch the video, but I got the gist from your description. You bring up an issue I’ve always had with Beyonce. I don’t find any of her messages empowering to women. Put a ring on it? Her stripper chair dance at the Grammys? That creepy Ike & Tina Turner domestic abuse reference in one of her songs? Um, no. Also, I believe the song is “Who RUN the World?” Poor grammar to boot! Seriously, though, thanks for shining a light on this.


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