Joseph Klett, University of California, Santa Cruz
Is Beyoncé a feminist? And why is this a good question to pose in an undergraduate social theory course?
The answer to the second question is revealed in how students answer the first: of course Beyoncé is a feminist! Students implore: did you not see last year's MTV Video Music Awards? Beyoncé performed on stage in front of lights that spelled out the word “FEMINIST” in huge letters. Why question this self-identification by one of the most powerful and well-recognized women in popular music?
“Well,” other students might say - perhaps with some prodding by the instructor – “let’s think about this.” Beyoncé put “FEMINIST” in bright lights, but does “Queen Bey” fit the definition of feminism as presented by theorists like Dorothy Smith?
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