“Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes,” proclaims Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in a TED talk excerpted on Beyonce’s “***Flawless,” a track on her new self-titled album. It seems that Queen B has taken Adichie’s message to heart.
In a short essay titled “Gender Equality Is a Myth!” included in the annual Shriver Report on women and gender equality, Beyonce argues that it’s time we all stop pretending that we’ve achieved gender parity and work to actually make a difference:
“We have a lot of work to do, but we can get there if we work together. Women are more than 50 percent of the population and more than 50 percent of voters. We must demand that we all receive 100 percent of the opportunities.”
At a little over 200 words, the essay probably isn’t the most eloquent piece of prose to ever challenge sexist stereotypes, but it’s notable because so few female pop stars have come out as the dreaded F-word, let alone penned a treatise about the female experienced tucked into a national report alongside pieces by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Who runs the world? Stats from the Shriver Report show it’s not girls — at least not yet.
Read Beyonce’s full essay below:
“We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more—commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.
Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. 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.
We have a lot of work to do, but we can get there if we work together. Women are more than 50 percent of the population and more than 50 percent of voters. We must demand that we all receive 100 percent of the opportunities.”