Beyonce pens open feminist essay: ‘We need to stop buying into the myth of gender equality’

The singer wrote an entire essay on the subject of gender equality on behalf of the Shriver Report’s recent findings

Jenn Selby
Monday 13 January 2014 12:46 GMT
The singer randomly unveiled BEYONCÉ, her fifth studio LP, this morning
The singer randomly unveiled BEYONCÉ, her fifth studio LP, this morning (Beyonce)

Her feminist credentials have been questioned of late, what with her ‘Bow down, b**tches’ lyrics and Mrs Carter world tour.

Not to mention her refusal to call herself a feminist during an interview with British Vogue for the May 2013 edition ("That word can be very extreme," she told them).

But Beyoncé, it seems, is determined to claw back some of her "Independent Women" audience.

In fact, she’s penned an entire essay on the subject of gender equality on behalf of the Shriver Report’s recent findings that 42 million women in the USA are either living in poverty or are on the brink of living in poverty.

"We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality," the singer writes in her piece, titled ‘Gender Equality Is A Myth!’.

"It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes.

"But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more - commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.

"Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.

Beyoncé's feminist credentials have been questioned of late (Getty)

"We have a lot of work to do, but we can get there if we work together. Women are more than 50 percent of the population and more than 50 percent of voters. We must demand that we all receive 100 percent of the opportunities."

Beyoncé’s article was one in a series written by famous females. Others who lent their words to openly support equal pay in light of the Shriver Report findings included Hilary Clinton, Eva Longoria and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Perhaps more surprising were the A-list males drafted in to show their support. This included an essay by NBA star LeBron James called 'America’s Working Single Mothers: An Appreciation'.

"I am honored [sic] to participate in a project that is trying to help single mothers who are struggling to make a living and raise their kids, because that perfectly describes my mother when I was growing up. You think LeBron James is a champion? Gloria James is a champion too. She’s my champion," he wrote.

The essays, including Beyoncé’s, can be downloaded in full from the Shriver Report website until 15 January.

Beyoncé’s self-titled new album broke iTunes records to become the fastest-selling release in the history of the online music store.

It sold 828,773 copies in just three days after the singer released it unannounced in December 2013, smashing the previous first-week sales record set by Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience, which sold 580,000 in March 2013.

But the album has stirred an equal amount of controversy, too. Not least for the use of a six-second clip from the 1986 Challenger disaster on track "XO", which NASA officials blasted as "inappropriate in the extreme".

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