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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Housekeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is the holding company of an expa...

Recruitment Genius: Network Engineer

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Setup, configure, troubleshoot,...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: the SNP’s ‘fundamental problem’, says Corbyn, is that too many people support it

John Rentoul
An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai  

China has exposed the fatal flaws in our liberal economic order

Ann Pettifor
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future