Is Beyoncé Bad For Women?


The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of


B. Carter released a new track this week that set the twitterverse a tizzy. The song “Bow Down” was somewhat of a departure from the noble female empowerment image that has been a staple of her career in recent years. Her frequent and liberal use of the word “bitch” offended some. Also many felt the aggressive nature of the track and the message of basically “All Hail Queen Beyoncé”. Now everyone from Keyshia Cole (who admittedly has her own ax to grind with B) to Rush Limbaugh has an opinion.

But can we validate the premise of the argument of her detractors for a second? Beyoncé has become a pop phenomenon. And she has many many hits throughout her storied career dating back to Destiny Child’s ‘Bills, Bills, Bills” ( a song by four teenage girls mocking a man for trying to date them without being able to support them financially), to “Crazy in Love” to “Irreplaceable”. There’s probably too many to name. The argument that “Bow Down” is a deviation from her pro woman agenda is “technically” valid. If you want to assert that the content of her songs was the driving force of her image.

“Bow Down” is offensive to some because it implies that she is somehow above other women. It’s not a particularly positive message from that perspective. And of course if I saw things from that perspective I wouldn’t be wasting my time writing this because you have all heard that argument since Monday. The honest truth is this: Beyoncé is as much of an icon as her husband. Jay-Z’s lyrical content full of unrepentant criminal violence, unchecked egotism, blatant materialism, misogyny and debauchery do absolutely nothing to damage his status as an icon. So why should Beyoncé stating her true beliefs that she is above and beyond others in her field damage her image at all?

[ALSO READ: WOW! Rush Limbaugh Puts Beyoncé Down Over “Bow Down”]

When you are an icon the content of your work matters less and less. Want proof? How many of you have actually watched an Elizabeth Taylor movie or listened to a Cher album? But they’re icons right. When was the last time you sat down to watch an episode of The Simpsons? (Sometime in the late 90’s right) Still the show is iconic. Beyoncé is such a great singer, dancer and entertainer that we instantly forgive her failures. No one talks about her god awful acting in that Austin Powers movie. Clips of her or any of her Destiny’s Child’s sisters tripping and falling on stage are viewed once or twice (or sometimes for hours in a continuous loop), laughed at and instantly dismissed. Being an Icon doesn’t mean being infallible. It does mean being loved and accepted by an extremely passionate fan base “Flaws and All” (see what I did there).

Honestly, I don’t find anything particularly feminist about the content of her music in the first place. It’s mostly standard chick R&B stuff, relationship crap and some dance music thrown in for good measure. Her iconic status has always been about her ability to do what she does well. Not just well…. extremely well. The only people who have a legitimate gripe in this “Bow Down” situation are people like me who don’t like the quality of the song. If you think the execution of the track is weak, technical stuff like the beat, the lyrics, the tone etc etc. that’s different than saying “She shouldn’t say things like that”. Most R&B singers, indeed most women aren’t feminists. And in that regard Beyoncé is no different. Her telling “bitches” to bow down isn’t as hypocritical to me as the false humility her image consultants tried to sell us. So just to be clear on this icon yes, feminist no.


E. Knight lives in Philadelphia. Check out his blog Read more of his AHH Blogs HERE

  • Negro Peligro

    So let me get it straight when rappers say it that are dudes. Oh never mind you people are taking yourselves way too serious. This ain’t even Chik-Fil-A influence status. She’s being making a song like this at one time or another for a long time.

  • Her body of work speaks for itself. This was just a fun lil’ diss song for her haters. In fact, I’d argue that she’s more qualified to do this song BECAUSE she still gets hated on in spite of all the female empowerment songs. In other words, “I tried to show you love and you pissed on me so f**ck it, BOW DOWN BITCHES.”

  • Mike Swiff

    IM NO B. FAN but at the end of the damn day she can say what she wants-BEYONCE IS GROWN! She’s married with a child. Fcuk what anyone has to say, if you dont like her songs/song/this song (and I can pick over twenty I dont like) don’t listen; but I think its unfair E. KNIGHT to say Beyonce is BAD FOR WOMEN. Women have their own minds man they dont need Beyonce to tell them what to do or vice versa. Beyonce is a hell of a megga star and has done a lot of good for a lot of people…The only thing Beyonce owes her fans is a damn show and entertainment. Keyshia weak ass Cole is a hatin bitch that wants Beyonce and Destiny’s Child’s fame; You (crackhead Keyshia Colesss) hated on superbowl; nobody gave a fcuk, now again her comes yo CRACKHEAD ass with more hate. K. Cole either shit in the pot or get tha fcuk off. your singles suck, your albums suck, your reality show sucked and yo your videos are dog shit!…get it Keish? you are washed up, over, done, use to be, never was…I wonder why Keyshia Cole didnt come after Mary J Blige years ago when Mary dissed her ass at Keish’s show, and Keyshia’s crack baby ass ran out crying. Ay Bitch K Cole; pick a battle wirth a Bitch your own speed, leave classy females alone! (this is for the hate I get about hating everything) now back to the fcukin hate! smirk

  • hoeyuno

    Bey a good influence on females in my opinion. I thought she was a little arrogant when she stood up for kanye when he took the Mic from that little white girl but whateva…. she coulda at least bought her dad the big boat he wanted!!! Geeeez

  • Q.

    A) Stop expecting anything of substance from pop idols. They’re only worth analysis in how they’re being used to manipulate the masses.

    B) Amerikkka itself is bad for women…..basically bad for anyone who’s not a rich, white male.

    C) Rush Limpball….can eat a GOP elephant d!ck, with a side of donkey scrotum. Fukk’im.

    • PliggaNease

      this guy gets it…………………..

  • Severe Thebeneficent

    lol man please I say FK every last one of you media vultures! yall got some nerve tryin to check somebody on criminal violence, unchecked egotism, blatant materialism, misogyny and debauchery!! So its all good when the young rapper does it, you say hip hop is for the youth, 98% of top 40 radio is littered with Bullshit and you the industry is changing magazines & websites promote it 365 days a year and you makes excuses, but when beyonce says bitch in her 1 song or calls out haters this one time, your offended? GTFOH!! Lets be honest here, beyonce is competing with BEYONCE at this point in her career! Women shes “competing” with arent making ballads or traditional R&B anymore. They all do these tired ass hater songs and speak on relationships from the mentality of a women in $1000 shoes and designer bags with $5 morals. Closest thing to beyonce in the pop world is rhianna (I guess) and look what kinda shit she talks about…look at what “fans” gravitate and cater too? 100% bullshit! When beyonce makes “love on top” you hear crickets…but let her say bitch and everybody and they mama got an opinion…no Im not into taking sides over celebrities, thats shallow internet stuff, but I am totally for calling out the media…who perpetuate ALOT of garbage and NOBODY ever calls them out about it….dont agree get mad who cares…my opinion…

  • Kristian King

    I think the article writer is selling Bey a little short take a bit of perspecitive on this now, you don’t think women who grew up on Beyonce aren’t in a better place than those who grew up listening to say a Brittany Spears?

    The people talking about it in the media really have ulterior motives anyway KC has her own personal beefs plus probably a sprinkle of jealousy as well.

    Then we have Rush who has two reasons for saying what he is saying for one with the exposure Bey and Jay have with Obama trust me when I say right wing conservatives from here on will take shots at her any chance they get, she sung at the ball during his first election many many pictures of them together then she sung at the second inaugural she has a huge target. My issue though is Rush is really trying to suggest that the point of the song is that Beyonce has accepted that she should bow down to her man like wilma flinstone and that isn’t the point of the song as evident to anyone who actually bothers to listen to it.

  • Forget Beyonce making it hard for women. It’s her sorry husband misleading the public to support gay marriage ! I don’t care how much money he has. When you wrong—YOU-ARE-WRONG !! Same-sex marriage interferes with relations between men and women, which is basically straight up stealing. And this is not an opinion, it is fact !

    • Jdabee

      Your straight up(no pun intended) redundant my friend suck a dick… have mine

  • Men assume all women worship Beyonce b/c of her song content, while a woman like Mary J. Blige speaks volumes to women in the hood w/out the oversexed grinding & what not. NONE of these mainstream artists/icons are without failures though b/c if you empower Black folks you get Black-listed (Muhammad Ali, 2Pac, Paul Robeson). Beyonce has participated in other degrading songs, such as “Soldier”, where Destiny’s Child basically says a man has to be criminal-minded or on some street sh*t to rock w/ ’em. Or as the homie President Davis of Oakland put in his poem “u can’t have a backpack to rock her @sscrack”. Long blonde weaves, skin-lightening, Beyonce was hardly empowering to Black women from the jump, unless u assume we all want to win a pageant; she made way for the Nicki Minajs to come thru w/ the Blonde weaves, etc. Catering to American media is hardly empowering for women, and though she is a talented beautiful woman, pretensions have been evident for some time now. It’s too bad ppl just now noticing b/c of this track.

    • Slaughtr

      Couldn’t say it better.

  • $18916246

    Yall stop hating so hard….Beyonce just doing her thing and is fed-up with all the peer to peer hate and media perpetuated hate. Now she does this track and the haters are shocked. Beyonce is a business woman married to the most powerful person in her life limiting her spaced to be pimped in this industry. In her lane, her only real competition is stable mate Rihanna the rest of the chicks are playing a very traditional roles as pretty girl performers who do more to look attractive to the public than excel at their crafts as performers (singers, actors, rappers). The media and other chicks in the game that lack her work ethic want Be, to step aside like they really ready to fill her shoes. Hey I say, take it the way you want to. Instead of trying to aspire to her level of career and performance excellence we as people attempt to drag people like Beyonce down? Misery is rampant and demands company and control….F*ck the haters deal with Beyonce’s consistent success…or be blinded by her shine.

  • PliggaNease

    rihanna is waaaay worse imo