It’s been almost two months since the release of Beyonce’s self-titled fifth studio album, and it is still in heavy rotation in my New Jersey abode. Each song connects to my ego, superego and id on another emotional plane unlike any of her previous artistic endeavors (and I’m a Beyonce fan to the death of me).
The beautiful way in which she offers insight into her psyche is what every critic and fan alike have been craving for the last 15 years: a private viewing into her humanity. For me, the fact that she comes across as so unapologetically brazen, and daring to curse as easily as I do in my everyday life makes me smile. My homegirl in my head is finally not concerning herself with being America’s Darling, and instead worried about simply being herself, and I am here for it. That’s not to say that she wasn’t always “herself,” but rather displaying a clean, watered version that was appealing to the masses and not traumatizing to her “role model” image.
Songs like “Blow,” “Partition” and “Rocket” make me want to upgrade my bedroom technique so I can “Rocket ’til waterfalls (or Rock it ’til water falls. Play on words children, play on words).”
But as with all things, with praise comes significant scrutiny.
Beyonce’s “sexual liberation” on this album drew criticisms of her being “too sexy,” “trying too hard to keep up with the times” and utterly “classless.” Lifetime fans found themselves disturbed with the new direction in which their Shero was traveling while others (like me) saw this coming. I mean she’s been hinting at her sexuality forever. Lest we forget songs like “Naughty Girl,” “Speechless” and “That’s How You Like It” on her first solo production, “Kitty Kat” on B’Day, “Ego” on I Am…Sasha Fierce and “Dance For You” on 4, it was only a matter of time before the flashlight was directed on Bey Bey’s box.
And then there are others who pardon her so-called “raunchiness” because she’s a wife and mother now, and such sexual antics are excusable for a woman who’s giving up her goodies to one man for the rest of her life. “It’s okay for her to be this way because she has a husband,” said one of my friends upon our conversation after her opening performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards co-starring husband Jay Z. “I mean she’s getting sexy for her man, I see know problems with it,” said another. And as I sit back noting the frequency in which my friends so freely expressed their positioning on the subject, I began to feel a sickening feeling come upon me. These women, these beautiful, articulate, highly educated, driven, successful, independent women in 2014, still only deem their sexuality morally and socially acceptable so long as it’s dedicated to the man that “put a ring on it.” And if that is the commonplace perspective, then are we really free or have we just readjusted the scope? Are women really as sexually liberated as they think or are we still living the prudence of our foremothers?
Being the open book that I am, I’m not ashamed to say I have always gone against the social zeitgeist that dictates what I should and should not do with my vagina. Last I recall, I came in this world with it, and I will leave this world with it, so whatever I choose to do with my God given piece of heaven is my business and to my choosing. I CHOOSE not to sleep with the entire world because, just like everybody doesn’t deserve to walk through the pearly gates, likewise do they not deserve to slip between my thighs. Yet lots of my friends apparently do not see it the same. Maybe a little taste of the taboo of female sexuality has diminished, fact is a lot of women are still stuck in the 1950s. Sex is only for the reproduction of offspring. Sex is only for your husband. You’re a whore/loose/hoe/skank/skeezy/smut/thot if you enjoy sex with whomever you’d like, however you’d like, whenever you’d like. But unlike our grandmothers’ era, in 2014, you can like sex in any of its forms so long as it’s with your spouse, and your spouse only. I mean, reproduction with your husband should at least be fun now, right?
What do you think? Are women really free to be whatever their sexy selves choose or are we still stuck in a patriarchal rut?
Now pardon me as I turn “Flawless.”
And for your viewing pleasure, here’s the fifth part of Beyonce’s documentary regarding her latest body of work reiterating my point:
Be Extraordinary- Alyssa Peacock