What kind of world do we live in where a rock star using 'bitch' in her song lyrics elicits immediate outrage and scorn by men and women alike? Oh I know. We reside in a patriarchal, plantational world. A world where despite a (black) woman's achievements, she cannot say or sing what she wants. Any strength, power, or anger not disseminated by a male is frowned upon in this establishment. Something funny happened on the way to artistic freedom and equality for female artists: patriarchy. The funny thing about patriarchy is that it rears its ugly unshaven head and beer laden morning breath over to your side of the bed, hoping to 'get a little' before you get up to get dressed for work. Meanwhile patriarchy stays at home all day, reaping the rewards of the hard work the next 12 hours your day will bring. Patriarchy thinks it has the right to tell you that after working damn hard (twice as hard as he), for 20 years, that you bitches are not allowed to say 'bitch.' Patriarchy dictates that your husband can say the word bitch in every one of his songs for upwards of 20+ years. Yet, the moment you deign to darken the 'bitch' doorstep, you will be brought to task.
How dare you grown woman, of 30+ years with the achievements of a woman 10 times your senior, think that you are successful enough to cuss? You are not allowed to have an opinion or outburst in the world of patriarchy. You must subscribe to all the pretty little properties of a pretty little lady. The moment you articulate the need to express yourself you will be put in your place. Meanwhile, your male counterparts can and will say what the hell they want, at every turn, about you and every other woman they deem disposable. (Which coincidentally, is every woman not named Hillary Clinton). Taking back the 'b' word and spewing it at your discretion contains so much power. I mean, all you have to do is ask every rapper that spouts the n-word in a song, one hundred times within three minutes and 30 seconds.
"I'm not just his little wife," no you are not B., you are not just his little wife. You are a woman that has worked twice as hard as any male while you own triple the talent, to get where you are. Who would be silly enough reduce you to wifedom? Patriarchy. Fed up B? I understand. You have been forced into a box that is not conducive to having your own thoughts. You are not allowed to let your hair weave down and express any angst that you may have with society, your peers or your underlings. You live in a prototypical, patriarchal world where a woman can be pretty, but not petty. You should be docile. Your only indoctrination is to be that which is taught to you by men.
Work hard woman. Break your back woman. Shut up, while doing so woman. Tie that corset tight woman. Display that sexy, no matter how much it hurts. Once those strings unbind your abdomen from its patriarchal prison, don't dare be happy. Sing woman. Sing with the soul, hopelessness and destitution of your ancestors. Do not sing with the anger and outrage for their endless, thankless fruitless toiling that you have slowly come to realize still exists. We/They, want you submissive.
Beyonce is not mad at her fans. Beyonce is mad at her peers and detractors that assume Beyonce is a Stepford Wife, devoid of any emotion or feeling not fed to her by the powers that be. The Internet's reactions to "Bow Down" are exactly why she wrote those lyrics in that manner. She has been painted into a pop corner that very few icons escape from drug free (see: Whitney, Michael, Kurt, etc.). That's right world, give her more fuel to for her 'bitch' fire.
"Bow Down" is not just about a need to renounce her throne of female perfectionism via male standards. "Bow Down" displays a need to let her female counterparts know that they will not be unseating her from her diva throne anytime soon. I do not like every single Beyonce composition that she releases. What I do like is every Beyonce composition that she releases that is unforgivably black, unforgivably woman. "Bow Down" contains both of these qualities, times ten. So yes, Beyonce, say the word 'bitch' a million more times. I am going to listen.
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