"...But [Bey] does something new on Beyoncé...Men and love are a focus, but she makes sure to let us know that those songs are also about empowerment: there’s even a spoken word passage in “Flawless” from a Nigerian feminist that calls for young girls to “lean in” and be more than someone’s wife. She sings about love and sex more boldly than ever, peppering those songs with messages about independence and motherhood. And we’re eating it up.
Maybe the reason my millennial generation feels so entitled is partially because Beyoncé told us we could be. We can have it all. But don’t take my word for it. Look at the lyrics...There are feminist lessons for every woman entwined among the usual addictive musical riffs.
3. “Partition” — It’s important to please your man (yep, that’s feminist).
Driver roll up the partition please
I don’t need you seeing ’yoncé on her knees
Took 45 minutes to get all dressed up
We ain’t even gonna make it to this club…
Oh he so horny, yeah he want to f***
He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse
He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown…
Take all of me
I just wanna be the girl you like, girl you like
“I just wanna be the girl you like” isn’t the most feminist message — especially compared to the rest of the album. It’s not a give and take like “Blow.” It’s simple submission. How do you reconcile being a proud, independent woman and wanting to be desirable and please to your man? But wait! Beyoncé has an explanation. You might have missed it because it’s in French, but it’s there.
Est-ce que tu aimes le sexe? Le sexe, je veux dire l’activité physique, le coit, tu aimes ça? Tu ne t’intéresses pas a sexe? Les hommes pensent que les féministes détestent le sexe mais c’est une activité très stimulante et naturelle que les femmes adorent
The translation, thanks to one of my French-speaking co-workers:
Do you like sex? Sex, I mean the physical activity, coitus, do you like it? You’re not interested in sex? Men think that feminists hate sex, but it’s a very stimulating and natural activity that women love.
The Dude fans might recognize this as Julianne Moore’s monologue in The Big Lebowski. The message: feminists like sex too. So brush up on your French, haters."