Annie Lennox Talks About Women’s Rights, Manages To Take A Pass-Aggro Dig At Beyoncé Again
Annie Lennox wrote a post today enumerating the various ways in which women, globally, are at a disadvantage to men, why we need feminism, and why International Women’s Day — coming up this Sunday, March 8 — is worth celebrating.
And her facts are true, and they’re important. But then, check this out:
“Just a couple of months ago across British news stands, the f-word took pride of place in the bold headlines of four glossy magazine covers. A minor victory perhaps, but a definite indication of a change in attitudes.
While I feel encouraged by this rising interest in the usage of the word feminism, I also realise that talk is cheap. It can be divisive and polarising, diverting us from the real issues at hand.”
Obviously, we all know what she’s talking about — it’s a talking-about-it-without-talking-about-it way of addressing the Lennox v. Beyonce Scandal of 2014, when she called Beyoncé’s feminism “tokenistic” and “feminist lite,” and then followed it up with an even cruder misstep by reducing the feminism of Beyoncé and other young celebrities, saying, “Twerking is not feminism. That’s what I’m referring to.”
So, uh, why do we keep asking Annie Lennox to be The Voice of Feminism? What she’s doing, in her Guardian piece, is just trying to re-establish Annie Lennox’s Version of Feminism as the only valid feminism. Annie Lennox’s version of feminism focuses on trying to find solutions to crucial, concrete problems that women around the world face, and that’s laudable. But it also undercuts anyone who approaches feminism differently than she does, and is more than a little culturally deaf, especially to Black women in America (Proof? She attacked the feminism of the most prominent Black female celebrity of the moment, and then used twerking, a way of dancing that came out of Black culture, as a way to take a dig at young feminists).
Annie Lennox wants to dictate what the “real issues” are. I want to be reminded of the very real problems that women around the world face, the very real issues that they face that I don’t, as a cis, white, middle class queer American woman in a hetero relationship. I want to be challenged to think about those problems and how I can use my resources to help solve them. But I don’t want to invalidate women in America who, in their personal, individual lives – which are as important as anyone else’s — struggle with their gender or their sexuality and how they’re supposed to present those things. I care about their anxieties as women, too. It doesn’t appear that Annie Lennox does, and a feminism that’s exclusive of large swaths of women is not a feminism I can really get behind.
[Image via Getty]
Send me a line at [email protected].