Who Are the Real Feminists?

woman cleaning house - who are the real feminists

I read an article this morning called Don’t Call Beyonce’s Sexual Empowerment Feminism. I’d recommend you read the article, but the gist of it is that Beyonce (and, by extension, all female artists who are using sex to sell records) is not a feminist, regardless of her claims to the contrary.

I agree with the article. And I don’t think this issue needs to be all that complex.

There is a clear way forward for women who wish to be sexy, intelligent, creative, and feminist. All we have to do is look at Pink.

Pink is sexy without being a sex object, she’s a fantastic singer, she writes powerful songs about life and female exploitation (without participating in it) — she’s the whole package. And she’s wildly famous to boot.

There are others, of course.

How about Kelly Clarkson? Sara Bareilles? The greatest  and arguably the most successful female singer of all time — Whitney Houston?

There are, and have been, plenty of successful, beautiful, incredibly talented women who have not sold out, not been willing to participate in their own objectification and that of their fans.

BTW, I never want to imply I’m against women having the right to use their bodies to sell their records. This is their choice, and it’s a continuum anyway. I remember when this album cover of Amy Grant was considered sexually exploitive by some:

Amy Grant  - Unguarded (1985, A & M) Who are the real feminists?

Amy Grant – Unguarded (1985, A & M)

[insert eyeroll]

So that’s where nuance comes in and it’s not black and white. But this article is about those way further out to the extreme edges.

Beyonce, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, etc. — certainly these woman have the right to use their bodies to sell their records. But they need to chill about being feminists is all.

It really does come down to this: If you want to be a feminist,stop talking about being a feminist and let your art speak for itself. Refuse to prop it up on your tight, hot booty.

That’s what real feminists do.

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  • Poledra

    I love P!nk! Awesome of you to set her as an example!

  • G Nelson

    Let’s be honest here female artists who use sex to sell themselves aren’t doing anything new but they are doing it to get attention from other women more than from an males in the audience. Most men I’ve met honestly don’t like the hyper sexualized, plastic surgery etc I’m sure a few guys exist out there but they are really the exception not the rule. All the guys I know find it creepy and like a normal woman who hasn’t lost their femininity. The ones who seem to have a problem with it and protest like crazy are other women they are the ones who impose crazy beauty and sexual standards on each other, not men but they like to blame men. Sadly women have lost their femininity because of the feminist movement, they think acting hyper sexual makes them powerful and it can often does, but you get a lot further being feminine, it seems women have equated femininity with being mentally weak and it is far from the truth. We fortunately live in a country where you have the right to do whatever you want so if you want to use sex to sell yourself fine but it would be nice to see somewhere in there that we bring femininity back as well. You men can talk about it all you want but at this point it is women who need to start addressing these issues & we should start hold women more responsible for a lot of things in society including this.

  • Jeff Vannest

    As you know I disagree, but I’ll post my reasons here for your blogging community: this reasoning makes no distinction between being a sex object and being objectified. By definition one cannot be objectified if that person has given permission. Since feminism stands for equality, as long as both men and women can equally and freely strive to be made an object of sexuality then there is no problem. Beyoncé and Pink are different in that one has strived to become a sex object and one has not. One is not right or wrong, better or worse, just different.

  • Kim Nebel

    I loved a Hillary Clinton quote I recently heard that said something like “it’s come a time when it is no longer appropriate to discuss womens rights as something seperate from human rights” ……that’s how I’m feeling about womens sexuality discussions from a Christian framework.