Feminist Criticism Of Lemonade

1609 Words7 Pages
When bell hooks critiqued Beyoncé late last year, she ignited a firestorm that exposed both the longstanding generational divides amongst feminists and the liberal embracement of capitalism. Her essay, which disparaged the visual commodification of black sexuality in Lemonade, alienated the millennials who extolled Beyoncé for her influential role in the media. Some writers acknowledged the intellectual and feminist contributions of bell hooks in their defenses of Beyoncé, while others rejected her criticisms as outdated. Yet central to this debate were the new conceptions of social justice and activism that underpinned the vocabulary of a younger generation; Janet Mock, for example, accredited the attacks on Beyoncé to femmephobia and anti-sex respectability politics. This defense of Beyoncé certainly holds merit, but it fails to identify the more salient aspects of bell hooks’ criticism: the role of capital. However, these economic concerns—which existed long before Lemonade—mirrored the ideologies of Marxist feminists in the 1960s and 1970s. This contemporary debate therefore serves as an excellent touchstone for those wishing to understand the historical fractures of modern feminism. Radical feminists of the modern women’s movement, for example, frequently dismissed mainstream activists for their complicity in an oppressive system of labor that exploited working women of color. These ruptures stemmed from the race and class consciousness of radical activists with

More about Feminist Criticism Of Lemonade

Open Document