Jezebel has reported that students at Rutgers University will be able to take a course on Beyonce.
Now, before you start to judge, Kevin Allred [the professor] says the course will focus more on race, gender and the hypersexualization of women in our society, as examined through the lens of Beyonce and her career. Allred is a doctoral student and teacher in the Dept. of Women’s & Gender studies.
I would definitely be interested in learning more about the impact that Beyonce has on our society. She is an important fixture in the feminist movement. Many women feel that Beyonce’s increased sexualization over the past few years has not strengthened us as women, but rather weakened us and only further perpetuates the idea that woman are objects to be lusted over, rather than people. Beyonce is one of the FEW pop artists of our generation that flirts with the line of sexual and sensual without being distasteful. I don’t see anything wrong with a woman embracing her sexuality as long as she keeps it tasteful. We all have a different gauge for what we define as tasteful, and herein lies the problem. There are many women who feel that Beyonce is a powerful icon who channels her power and makes you feel good to be a woman with many of her empowering song lyrics such as “Run the World (Girls)”. If a woman chooses to be classy and show less skin does that make her any less empowered than a woman who decides to bare it all, and embrace her sexuality? What role does race play in the hypersexualization of women in this culture? Black women are often portrayed as sexual beings, arguably more than other races of women. There are outfits that Beyonce can wear, lyrics she can say, and things she can do that will get scrutinized far more than other artists of her caliber. There are so many different facets to what Beyonce has now come to represent in our country. I am fascinated by the impact of her fame.
Just trying to fathom Beyonce’s influence is mind-blowing. I cannot think of another pop-artist of this generation who has had as much longevity, influence, impact, and is as well-liked as Beyonce. Beyonce’s influence in black culture is unimaginable. I cannot think of another person of any other race that has as much impact within their race as Beyonce.
I think this class would open our eyes to the influence of musicians, particularly Beyonce, and how she has impacted our culture, society, and the perception of women. I would love, more than anything, the opportunity to audit this course. I don’t know if it’s possible since I’m not enrolled in Rutgers but I will certainly look into it.
But what do you think? Would you take a class on Beyonce?