Beyonce featured the following segment of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s feminist speech on her song “Fearless”:
“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
”“Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, economic equality of the sexes.”
She had the following statement in “Partition”:
"Est-ce que tu aimes le sexe? Le sexe. Je veux dire, l’activité physique. Le coït. Tu aimes ça? Tu ne t’interesses pas au sexe? Les hommes pensent que les féministes détestent le sexe, mais c’est une activité très stimulante et naturelle que les femmes adorent."
Which translates to:
"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."
Bey’s version of feminism doesn’t sit well with everyone. It doesn’t have to. She doesn’t owe it to any of us to be what we want her to be. However, I think she is making strides and saying important things. And I am always here for nuanced, sex-positive womanism/feminism.