Alice Jones: Why is Beyoncé afraid to embrace the f-word?

IMHO...

Share
Related Topics

She's a multimillion-selling diva and one of the most successful female artists of the last decade, with 16 Grammys to her name. She was one of the best Glastonbury headliners in years.

She sings about independent women, survivors and single ladies, deflating men's egos and railing against their boyish immaturity along the way.

Beyoncé is many things but she is not a feminist. Asked in an interview with Harper's Bazaar if she considered herself a feminist, the straight-talking singer came over all mealy-mouthed. "I don't really feel that it's necessary to define it. It's just something that's kind of natural for me, and I feel like... you know... it's, like, what I live for", she said. "I need to find a catchy new word for feminism, right? Like Bootylicious." Grammatical implications aside (would that make her a Bootylician? Would we have to subscribe to Bootyliciousism?), why is Beyoncé Knowles, fierceness personified, so afraid of one little word?

If she really does live for equality and empowerment, as she says, if she really believes that girls run the world, as she sings, then she's a feminist. What a missed opportunity to embrace the word. I think she should make up for it with a new anthem involving the f-word, horn section and sass. If anyone can make feminism sing for the 21st century, Beyoncé can.

***

Reboots are a fiddly business. For every muscular Casino Royale there's a lame Daredevil. For every boxfresh Star Trek, there's a lumbering Incredible Hulk. They are also big business, with any number of take-twos of well-loved films and franchises on the boil in Hollywood, from a new Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield, to the return of Ghostbusters. The best are usually the so-called origins stories – like Christopher Nolan's brooding Batman Begins or Matthew Vaughn's slick X-Men First Class – which take their heroes back to their humble beginnings, revealing the building blocks that made them the towering figures that they are today. Presumably someone in a Beverly Hills mansion is already plotting who might play an even more boyish boy wizard in Harry Potter: The Primary School Years.

Now, as usual, British television is shuffling after America's lead and rebooting Inspector Morse. The prequel will return to the cantankerous cop's early days in the force, with 31-year-old Shaun Evans taking on the poisoned chalice of the part John Thaw played for 13 years. Will we discover what made Morse so irritable? See him buying his first vintage Jag? Find out, finally, what his parents were thinking when they christened him Endeavour?

Now that television has started on the reboot tack, the prospects are, for this murder-mystery addict at least, mouth-watering. Next up, a look at a rookie Tom Barnaby before he became the magus of Midsomer; wild nights with the young Jane Tennison; perhaps even Kojak with a full head of hair.

***

His prose style, as evidenced by his diaries, borders on the pedestrian. His speaking voice is often blunt, if not downright blue. Now Alastair Campbell has revealed his creative side in a poem written to raise money for Bovington Middle School in Dorset and Help for Heroes. "When the Mind Cracks" is inspired by the former Labour spin doctor's nervous breakdown in 1986. It begins: "I never knew why they called it cracking up/ Until the crack up/ Until I closed my eyes/ To chase away the fear/ And saw a plate glass/ Where a moment ago I saw the world". It goes on to talk about the cacophony of sounds in his head, Kris Kristofferson and religion – in the self-deprecating line "I don't do God".

It's not at all bad, but the reaction on Twitter and his own blog has been predictably snide, of the "don't give up the day job" type. This seems particularly mean-spirited: he was asked to do just that in the name of charity. I'm quite heartened he did give up the day job, however briefly, to say something honest, without spin.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Read Next
'Our media are suffering a new experience: not fear of being called anti-Semitic'  

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk
David Cameron (pictured) can't steal back my party's vote that easily, says Nigel Farage  

Cameron’s benefits pledge is designed to lure back Ukip voters. He’ll have to try harder

Nigel Farage
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel