Annie Lennox is one of our favourite people. She’s an icon for all the right reasons. She’s talented, she’s intelligent, she’s interesting, she’s a political and social activist and she can produce one hell of a song. We also admire her honesty; she’s beyond the point of needing to conform to expectations in order for her albums to succeed. She’s built a worthy fan base and can happily shoot from the hip.
Recently, Lennox has been asked to expand on her comments about Beyonce not being the kind of feminist that Lennox would consider a worthy feminist. She referred to what Beyonce does as ‘feminist-lite’. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Lennox shares her views on how what’s considered feminist these days is becoming somewhat skewed, especially in terms of the younger generation, looking to the likes of Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. Are young women at risk of mistaking demeaning behaviour for definitions of feminism? Annie seems to think so.
“There’s a mixed message,” she says. “If you twerk, if you stick out your whatever, if you do that, you’re empowered. That’s where we’re at right now: twerking is synonymous with feminism. I do not agree. It‘s not empowerment from my perspective. It’s demeaning. There’s nothing wrong with sexuality. Sexuality is a fantastic thing, but in performance when people have a very young audience, it’s totally inappropriate.” – via The Daily Beast.
On her recent Beyonce comments, Lennox explains:
“There is a spectrum in feminism, it’s very broad. It’s very contentious and it’s really complicated. What has happened is I’ll have said something in a sentence, fairly innocuous, and of course the editors look for those little things to tease, they go though it with a fine tooth comb and pull that one thing and make a strapline on top of it,”
“They’re all about making it into some sort a battle… I’m thrilled to see the word ‘feminist’ behind Beyoncé, are you kidding me? I think it’s fantastic.”
Indeed, the spectrum that encapsulates all forms of feminism is a very broad one and women should be free to express themselves in whichever way they so choose, be it dressing provocatively on stage or making a rousing speech, a la Emma Watson, at the UN. At the same time, Annie believes that not every manner in which sexuality is exhibited can be deemed an act of feminism.
An ever contentious issue, what do you think of Annie’s comments?