Scottish singer-songwriter, political activist and philanthropist Annie Lennox made a bold statement following Beyonce’s epic 16-minute 2014 MTV VMA performance in a new interview with LGBT website PrideSource.
“I would call that ‘feminist lite,” Lennox said. “L-I-T-E. I’m sorry. It’s tokenistic to me. I mean, I think she’s a phenomenal artist — I just love her performances — but 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.” The legendary singer also called out other female artists saying, “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 think it’s a cheap shot. I think what they do with it is cheap and … yeah. What can I tell you? Sex always sells. And there’s nothing wrong with sex selling, but it depends on your audience. If they’re 7-year-old kids, I have issues with it.”
However, Beyonce did explain her viewpoint on gender equality in an essay called A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From the Brink; penning the piece for The Shriver Report (Maria Shriver’s nonprofit) this past January– stating “Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another,” she added. “We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.”
Beyonce’s song Flawless includes a sampling from Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who delivered a powerful speech on the topic of feminism. Adichie ended her speech with her definition of Feminist: “A person who believes in the social, political, economic equality of the sexes.”