Forgive me, Beyoncé, for I have sinned. It’s been three long months since my last confession, when I used your “Why Don’t You Love Me?” as my post-break-up anthem.
’Twas a slow night at Ego’s on South Congress, I’d had three too many gin and tonics, and the karaoke cowboy had stolen my Kelly Clarkson number. I was feeling ambitious, but my substitute song came out ugly and pitchy, my dance moves not nearly tight enough.
I now humble myself at your feet and admit that I’ll never have the vocal range to do your “Countdown” justice. I thus accept four hail Blue Ivys and promise to listen to the Destiny’s Child Christmas album.
Oh, righteous Yoncé, I also ask that you shed your infinite understanding and forgiveness on the critics, naysayers, and think-piece writers. The stealthy drop of your visual album last Thursday sent them scrambling, and they haven’t known what to make of it since. You’ve used your platform as penultimate diva to spread a message of sex-positive feminism, and now Wikipedia scholars dare question your wisdom.
Seems there are two camps of the lost. One, the people who believe that Thursday was the day you became a feminist, as if you woke up and anointed yourself with the blood of bell hooks. The truth is, oh holy goddess, you’ve been doing it with the subtlety of a pachyderm for years – “Independent Woman,” “Single Ladies,” “Survivor.”
Then you gave them “Run the World (Girls)” and their mortal minds couldn’t handle it. It took a sample of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk in “***Flawless” for people to understand, and now they seem to be struggling with cred. Most high Bey, please bless them with a deeper understanding of intersectionality and inclusion.
The second camp has a problem with your boundless sex appeal. They say that songs like “Blow” (“Can you lick my Skittles?/That’s the sweetest in the middle/Pink that’s the flavor/Solve the riddle”) can’t live in the same space with sisterhood anthem “***Flawless.” They say you can’t be a feminist and offer to cook Jay Z dinner naked.
You addressed the concerns of the second camp, too. Perhaps it shouldn’t have been in French. On “Partition,” you sampled what’s almost a direct translation from a scene in The Big Lebowski:
“Est-ce que tu aimes le sexe? Le sexe. Je veux dire, l’activité physique. Le coït. Tu aimes ça? Tu ne t’intéresses pas au sexe? Les hommes pensent que les féministes détestent le sexe, mais c’est une activité très stimulante et naturelle que les femmes adorent.”
Lucky for me, mother priestess, I speak French, so I’ve translated this holy text:
“Do you like sex? Sex. That is to say the physical activity. Coitus. Do you like it? You aren’t interested in sex? Men think feminists hate sex, but it is a very stimulating and natural activity that women love.”
Think of the thousands of words and Internet space that could’ve been saved if the non-believers had busted out their high school French book or even bothered to Google translate it. This was so much easier to decipher than the Dead Sea scrolls. Beyoncé, please open their minds and let them know that feminism didn’t stop at Betty Friedan.
Queen of the Most High, oh slayer of the patriarchy, thank you for maybe the biggest mic drop of 2013, ending the year by reminding us that we’re mere vessels in Bey’s world. I’d like to ask forgiveness for these critics’ sins, and pray that one day they might not be threatened by a powerful, sexual, black woman.
God only knows if that will ever happen.