Beyonce confirms my read of “Run the World (Girls)” is right
In a recent interview, summarized here at Bust, Beyonce was asked if girls really did run the world. She had a fairly long response, but the kicker is:
Sometimes there are certain things that we have to work harder for, that we have to work double the amount for. Sometimes we don’t get the credit. But we’re getting there. (emphasis mine).
In this post, I argued that girls run the world, but patriarchy keeps that quietly bracketed in two main ways: (1) patriarchy runs on the backs of women, not giving them credit for the very, very necessary and foundational work they do do (e.g., a marxist feminist analysis about the role of unpaid domestic labor in the (re)production of the laborer, and thus, eventually, of surplus value); and (2) areas in which women are actually accomplished leaders (e.g., the entertainment industry) are systematically devalued and trivialized.
The fact that Beyonce herself reads the song in the same way I do shows some evidence that (a) she’s a lot smarter than the mainstream media–and even feminist blogosphere–gives her credit, because (b) she’s consciously using that dual-layered performative practice where the figurative, critical layer of meaning undermines the literal/superficial, hegemonic layer of meaning.