In an effort to resist all things unholy and patriarchal, an interesting trend of super-sexualized women has emerged in popular music. Are female pop artists’ autonomous and conscious self-sexualizations a resistance to nuclear family values? If a woman asserts her sexuality by removing suggestions of fertility and reproduction, has she liberated herself from the cage of pre-destined motherhood?
I think so.
Beyoncé’s new album marks the self-determined sexualization of a woman in all her glowing post-motherhood glory. Beyoncé has screwed patriarch expectations by letting us know: “I am a mother, I am dynamite, and I will never be nuclear (family).”
She defies the mushy, condescending nicknames of ‘yummy mummy’ and ‘MILF’ and ‘cougar’, to establish that she always has been and always will be a powerful and ambitious woman, regardless of what “phase” she is passing through. Her essence is not an ephemeral flicker, but an un-moving state: that is the fixed root of her womanhood.
What we see in Partition ’isn't some made-for-male-pleasure piece of pop culture bullshit; what we see is Beyoncé fantasizing. This isn’t about the male-onlooker. This isn’t about Jay Z watching his wife. This is about Beyoncé imagining herself, watching herself, playing herself, enjoying the self-sexualization of herself, for herself.
n an age when pornography still functions as a male-dominated hyper-industry loved by fifteen-year-old boys with sticky keyboards, Beyoncé is her own pornography, and it’s a damn classy sight. In a porn industry where female viewers struggle to find content actually worth jerking off to, Beyoncé has introduced a sphere where women are allowed to find themselves sexy. Partition demonstrates that the classic signifiers of over-sexualized femininity are perhaps not damaging, but rather, very fun and sexy. It says, in low and sultry tones: “I like to imagine myself in a g-string; I like to visualize myself sliding down a pole; I like this a lot and thinking about it makes me lose my concentration over breakfast.” This isn’t about you, this isn’t about him, and this is about her and she.
As Beyoncé sits at a table in a swanky dining room, emulating the upper-middle-class dream of wealth and opulence and conservatism, a late-night movie plays in her head — a film she writes, directs, and stars in. It’s the naughty and gorgeous art of her desires. Beyoncé, the new post-motherhood icon, is the executive producer of her own sexual fantasies. She is the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-performing goddess of her own dim-lit film.
Isn’t this how it’s supposed to be? Rolling down the partition to the all-star show of feminine sexual fantasies?