Beyoncé recently graced the cover of TIME magazine for their annual list of ‘100 Most Influential People.’ While many were happy to see the iconic pop star receive such an accolade, not everyone agreed. Bill O’Reilly is one such person. The Fox News presenter took to his “O’Reilly Factor” show to voice his opinions claiming,
“This woman knows that young girls getting pregnant in the African-American community now is about 70 percent out-of-wedlock. She knows and doesn’t seem to care.”
That’s right, this man is claiming that Beyoncé is to blame for teenage pregnancy. Just let that sink in for a minute…. I’m all for everyone having their own opinions and know people who don’t support Beyoncé like I do. That’s fine because if they have a problem with her, they can back it up with context and facts. I don’t for a second have a problem with that, what I have a problem with is this disregard for fact and context. Bill has taken offence to Beyoncé’s new music, in particular ‘Partition’ and ‘Drunk In Love’ claiming that they advocate promiscuity and sex before marriage. He has taken these songs solely on face value disregarding context and blaming them for teenage pregnancy.
There are a million and one things wrong with O’Reilly’s claims. First of all teenagers aren’t that stupid despite what people might think, second if they are having unprotected sex it’s due to a lack of education not song lyrics. But that’s a whole other article. I’m concerned with his views on Beyoncé. Sure ‘Partition’ is completely hyper-sexualised as is the video but it’s not advocating promiscuity – quite the opposite in fact. Beyoncé is a 31-year old mother of one. She is married to husband, Jay Z and they have been for 6 years now. Her new music expresses just how in love they still are. When she’s dancing provocatively in the ‘Partition’ video she’s doing it in front of her husband. When she’s singing about being ‘Drunk In Love’ she singing it to her husband.
Beyoncé gets a lot of criticism especially when it comes to the idea of feminism, which Bill O’Reilly also mentions. There is an opinion that Beyoncé isn’t a feminist and while I haven’t done any serious research on the topic yet, I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as feminist or not feminist anymore. Feminism is continually growing and changing and it’s far from the men hating, bra burning idea that most people have of it.
For me, being a feminist means being comfortable in yourself, in your sexuality and in what it means to you to be a woman. Beyoncé does that. Her reputation evokes positivity. She shows women that they can still express who they are no matter what their circumstances. The reason she is on the cover of TIME magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ is because of that.
She’s not called Queen Bey for nothing. It’s because she is an extremely talented artist who works harder than anyone to get what she wants and still has time to raise a family. That to me is the reason Beyoncé deserves to be on that list. She influences me everyday to be fearless, ambitious and proud of who I am and not a 60-year old out of touch man can tell me otherwise!
You can have a look at Bill’s comments on Beyoncé in the video below: