University lecture teaches Beyoncé is a feminist hero for singing about sex acts while dancing partially naked
Photo via International Business Times
A lecturer at Binghamton University taught students that Beyoncé is a feminist hero for dancing partially naked and giving graphic descriptions of sex acts in a music video because it calls on the viewer to respect women.
Kevin Allred told students that the song “Partition,” which includes lyrics such as “Oh he so horny, yeah he wanted to fuck,” and “He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown,” inspires people to take action against negative stereotypes of black women.
“I think she’s trying to say, ‘You’re the ones watching, you’re the ones seeing me in this way. By putting her own body on display, she’s doing a performance rather than objectifying herself.”
“It does make a feminist statement … because it does reenact the stereotype, but it does it for a purpose, to point out that we’re all kind of to blame for that stereotype and we all have a responsibility to change the stereotype and do something better about it,” Allred said in an interview with Campus Reform on Friday.
Sophomore and Vice President of Academics Fiona Tarzy told Campus Reform that she invited Allred because she thought his lecture would advance feminism on campus.
“Beyoncé is really relatable and she makes feminism really cool, honestly,” she said in an interview on Friday. “People are afraid to idolize feminists because it makes them seem butch.”
During the lecture, titled "'I woke up like 'dis': The Feminist Politics of Black Female Subjectivity,” Allred told a student that concerns the video might reinforce negative stereotypes are incorrect.
“I think she’s trying to say, ‘You’re the ones watching, you’re the ones seeing me in this way. By putting her own body on display, she’s doing a performance rather than objectifying herself,” he told the student, according to an article in Pipe Dream, the college’s newspaper.
Allred said that he believes the singer is “turning a new audience on what feminism is.”
“Feminism has negative stereotypes, so I think the fact that she’s using it in her music will help turn people away from that negative light.”
Allred has taught classes on Beyoncé at Rutgers University in the past, and will teach another this summer. He told Campus Reform in an email that this discussion of “Partition” was on the syllabus.
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