Annie Lennox Calls Beyoncé’s Feminism “Tokenistic”

In an interview with Pride Source magazine, Annie Lennox said that Beyoncé’s feminism is “tokenistic” and not genuine, going on to say the following about the recent rash of celebrities who are declaring themselves feminists:

“I’d like to sit down (with her). I think I’d like to sit down with quite a few artists and talk to them. I’d like to listen to them; I’d like to hear what they truly think.

I see a lot of it as them taking the word hostage and using it to promote themselves, but I don’t think they necessarily represent wholeheartedly the depths of feminism — no, I don’t. I think for many it’s very convenient and it looks great and it looks radical, but I have some issues with it. I have issues with it. Of course I do. I think it’s a cheap shot.”

This reads to me a lot like Mommy Feminist wanting to have a sit-down with widdle ignorant baby faux-feminist, no? What is “the depths of feminism”? Why is Annie Lennox’s feminism deeper than Beyoncé’s?

Lennox also criticized Beyoncé for the aggressive sexuality in her lyrics with the standard “what about the children?” nonsense (every musician has young fans) and the standard “sex sells” nonsense, as if the only reason a woman artist would ever talk about sex in a frank way would be to sell records, not because it’s a normal part of her life, not because she could be taking a principled stand by publicly embracing her sexuality. It also completely blows past any recognition that prior to her latest self-titled album Beyoncé, Bey had rarely overtly sexualized herself in her lyrics — she had alluded to sex, had recognized her own sexual attractiveness, but hadn’t gone so far as to talk about premature ejaculation in a limousine. Lennox’s argument also fails to contextualize that sexuality within Beyoncé’s monogamous relationship, look at what that context means, and especially what it means within the reality that Beyoncé is a black woman in America. Calling Beyoncé’s feminism “tokenistic” is also troubling, given the history of the word “token” in American racial discourse.

But, you know, Lennox’s own feminism is so deep. OK.

[The Grio]

[Image via PrideSource]

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