be your own “Beyoncé,” girl…

Things are starting to stir as we approach that special time in the Americas when candidates start coming forward and declaring their intentions to begin the race for the next presidential election. (In fact, Hilary Clinton officially launched her campaign publicly today.) I came across a video a few days ago that sparked my interest in all this election-talk. I follow the very millennial-friendly news outlet, Mic.com, on Facebook and read a lot of their stuff. This particular video caught my eye, though, because it had an interesting title:

Here’s What “Beyonce Voters” Really Want From Government

Now, I effing LOVE Beyonce. I like her music and I like what she stands for (for the most part). She is an incredibly talented woman and she seems, from my average-citizen point of view, to be a pretty cool person that really wants women to feel empowered. I dig that, dude.

So of course, I watched the video because, aside from Beyonce obviously having something to do with it, I wanted to know what this new term, “Beyonce voter,” meant; I also wanted to know what these women supposedly wanted from the American government. Here, watch it yourself:

So, what can we learn from this video/article? Disappointingly, it uses only one source for its poll information (Google Consumer Surveys). However, there’s still a few things we can take away from it.

1. Single, independent women are making bigger and bigger waves in America. And people are finally starting to notice.

It’s a well-known (and very publicized) fact that these days, women are waiting longer to get married and have children. It’s also obvious that some women – more than ever – are making conscious decisions to not get married at all. Now, more than ever, women who decide they’re not interested in marriage or children are becoming empowered. It’s more socially acceptable to do it by yourself, Girl, and I love that fact.

We can do it by ourselves, and people get it now. That’s a badge of honor I’m proud to wear.

2. The government is not a suitable stand-in for a husband. Ever. And single women aren’t asking for it to be.

It baffles me that the conservative groups in America (and I’m sure there may be some with similar feelings on the liberal side, too, to be fair) believe that single women are voting in hopes that the newly elected officials will offer us handouts that we don’t deserve or didn’t earn in some way…

In the video above, there are a few clips of Ann Coulter where she makes some pretty shitty and unfair accusations of the “Beyonce voter”…

“Please pay for my childcare, my contraception, my housing, my food…”

“It’s women who are looking at the government to be their husbands.”

Sorry, Ann, but I really don’t think that’s what’s going on here. Being a current single woman, I can assure you that I’m not looking for anyone to pay my rent. If I had kids, I wouldn’t expect anyone to help pay for their care (except for maybe their baby-daddy, but that’s a whole other argument that doesn’t fit here). And I certainly don’t expect anyone to put food in my mouth if I can put a roof over my own head. Now, as far as contraception is concerned: the Affordable Care Act, I believe, should provide contraception as a part of its coverage because sexual health is just as important as any other “branch” of health.

In saying all these things, I can assure you, Ann (and anyone who agrees with you), I am SO not looking to the government to be my fill-in husband. The truth is, I don’t need a husband to provide for myself. Are there women who are less fortunate and truly do need some assistance? Yes. Are those women a good representation of all consciously-single women in America? Hell no.

3. The whole idea behind the “Beyonce voter” definition is totally inconsistent with the message that Beyonce pushes for.

What’s hilarious to me is that the folks that coined the phrase, “Beyonce voter,” have given it a definition that goes totally against the message that Beyonce, herself, preaches. “Queen Bey” advocates for women to own their independence. To stand up for themselves. To demand equality where they see fit. Essentially, Beyonce preaches a message to women that says, “Do your thing, Girl. Whatever that thing is.” She’s not encouraging us to find husbands or comparable stand-ins when they’re not available or if we don’t want them. Her music isn’t telling us to demand anything from government. If anything, she’s encouraging women to do it on our own.

The whole idea that a “Beyonce voter” is just looking for handouts from anyone – or the government – is so ridiculous, I just want to laugh. In the video, Georgia State Representative, Stacey Abrams, said some powerful things that really hit home:

“What [the “Beyonce voter has] been reversed to be is a representation of women as a powerful force in voting – particularly young women, who are the fastest growing demographic.”

“I think the one challenge is that that’s a voting block that has not fully exercised their power, so they’re not fully ‘Beyonce-ized’ yet… Beyonce is, in herself, I mean, she’s a powerful woman who reflects not only what she wants but understands that she’s responsible for securing the things that she needs in her life. Getting ‘Beyonce voters’ to understand and own their power, I think, is the future of this country.” –Stacey Abrams, GA State Representative (emphasis mine)

 

Apparently, this term isn’t that new… It’s been around for nearly a year and it came from – hold your breath, because it’s [not] surprising – a correspondent on Fox News. Of course, the term “Beyonce voter” was meant to be derogatory, but like Abrams, I think single, strong, independent women everywhere should be embracing it. Because the funny part, Reader? Is that the term fits us in a lot of ways, but not in the way it was intended to.

I’m all about my body, my temple, my internal incubator: my choice. I claim to be a total Feminist with a capital “F.” I probably agree with a lot that Beyonce might be advocating for.

Now, I’m not trying to advocate for Beyoncé and say she’s doing all of it “right.” But what I am saying is I think there are a whole lot of “right” ways to do it. And yours might be different from mine or that Girl over there, but none of us are “wrong.” We’re just doing it differently. And that’s the beauty of it all.

So do life your own “right” way. Do it however you want and fight for the things that matter to you. But don’t feel like you have to rely on or do it “right” for someone else. Embrace being a “Beyonce voter.” Embrace your independence.

Be your own Beyonce, Girl.

*This post was shared on WordPress’s The Daily Post: From the Collection of Artists.

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