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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: the paraphernalia of a practised burglar – screwdrivers, gloves, children

Guy Keleny
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits  

So who, really, is David Cameron, our re-elected ‘one nation’ Prime Minister?

Andrew Grice
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?