My thoughts on Beyoncé's new single

{ Thursday, May 19, 2011 }

Before I start my post, I want to say that as a woman, of course I am in favor of women's rights and women being able to live their lives as they want it. I want that women everywhere are able to achieve their full potential, whether that is to stay at home or to go out working. Of course I believe women are equal in worth and deserve respect and dignity.

Having said that, when I heard this song and watched the video, I didn't get an empowered feeling. Although I'm not sure how serious Beyoncé is in her message, I think this video takes the women issue a step too far. This is not about equal rights anymore, it's about being superior to men. Maybe some women think we deserve to be superior after so much oppression, but do we really want to lower ourselves to that level? Do we want to cause the same hurt that we received? God created men and women to live in harmony with each other, not to fight each other and to be in constant competition. 

‎"And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." (Q 30: 21)

Why can't we let men be stronger physically? Their natural role is to protect us. Is being a feminist equal to telling men "sod off, we don't need you"? That's not the kind of feminism I support. I believe men need women and women need men. Men can protect us from physical harm, provide for us, love us, and support us and we can make men softer and we can nurture them with our love and caring. A woman who openly states that she needs a man in her life is seen as desperate and not living up to the independent woman ideal. But we all want that. We all want a partner to share our joy and sorrow with. We all feel hurt by hostility between men and women, because we feel in our core that we need each other.

Also, the message of this song seems to be "look, women can be like men too! So we deserve to be treated with respect, because we can do the same things that men do!" Why can't we be proud of ourselves as we are? Kind, tender, soft, caring. Why do we need to be like men? Why do we need to run an army to feel like we are worthy of respect? We bring new life in the world, something men are not capable of doing. Why does that aspect have to be muffled away? You're a mother? So what? You need a career to be worth something! That's the message of our modern culture. Male characteristics are being valued, like competitiveness and aggressiveness, while female characteristics like tenderness and cooperation are seen as weak and lacking. This video reinforces this idea.    

So, my points are:

  • Men and women are equal in worth and both deserve respect and dignity
  • Women should be able to develop themselves, to go out working or to stay at home without being ridiculed
  • Men and women both need each other
  • The role of men as protector and provider should not be trivialised, pushed away or be looked down upon in the name of feminism
  • We should not try to seek revenge by making ourselves look superior to men, but we should hold on to what is fair and right and that is equality in worth and law
  • Women do not have to do the same things as men or act in the same way as men to be valued, respected and appreciated. We are women, we are different and we are fabulous just as we are, in all our softness and strength ;-) 


Marie said...

Great Post Safiyah! The best on the subject I read so far.
Men and women are different and complete each other. Respect goes in both ways. And we should not feel unworthy because as women we decide to stay at home and educate our children. God has given us the privilege to give life and so we should honour it. As if women want to work they should be able to, as some will do wonders outside.
Men need women and women need men. This is Life. We have been made to help each other and not to fight all the time. Men have strengths women don't have and women have strengths men don't have. That does not make one superior.

Definitely one of my top best of the week! As too often people have told me to choose one side - I can't. I am for both men & women to live and grow together with values in harmony and respect.
Take care Safiyah and continue to share your thoughts. They are precious gifts!

Safiyah said...

Thank you for your kind words, Marie :)

CATGIRL !! said...

i so agree wid u Safiya..btw u dun even need to mention or amend beyonce. she dus not belong to our faith. n i totallllly agree wdid u thay we need men... 2posts back i did claim in full viw dat i need a man...but y shud i be labelled despo abt it? m not talking about frivolous bf/gf behaviour..i just need a man who can honour me..
thanks so much for sharing

Anonymous said...

assalamu alaeiykum
great post sister.

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