This has been Beyoncé and Jay Z since May 5th. These are genuine smiles, laughter, hand-holding, flirting and hugging done between a couple that loves each other. However, since May 5th’s “elevator incident”, the media has dragged these two through the mud, overjoyed that they finally have something to hold against them.
Despite visual evidence of a perfectly fine relationship, “news” outlets have created stories and spread rumors of a divorce like wildfire. Because God forbid a black couple is not only incredibly successful in their careers but in their marriage as well. I’m writing this because I am tired of people searching for ways to tear them down, especially as one of the few major faces of color in the entertainment industry. If that incident happened to any “other” couple, there wouldn’t be a widespread hope for their downfall. We probably wouldn’t even be discussing it anymore.
No marriage is perfect. Beyoncé and Jay Z are human beings in a normal marriage that has its flaws. If the tape of that incident was never released, this wouldn’t even be a discussion right now.
Dear media, please accept the fact that the strongest and most powerful people in entertainment right now is a black couple. Their reign together isn’t ending anytime soon.
Of course, it’s somewhat naive to think that changing a few letters in a word will immensely change a society, but that is not the objective here. The more we eliminate social, political, and economic instances of sexism, however small they may be, the better off future generations will be. Highlighting these issues at such a public level like the Always campaign is doing and seeing positive ideas pushed forward on national television is a great way to do so. Campaigns such as these are an excellent way to start a dialogue on the innumerable ways patriarchy is naturalized in our society, because one of the greatest contributors to sexism, or any form of oppression for that matter, is ignorance.
If we continue to educate people on the harmful implications of their everyday actions, ones that they were most likely oblivious to or not actively thinking about before, we are one step closer to undoing years of oppression, which is obviously no small task. But if we start now, future generations will grow up and expressions like “male nanny” won’t even be a part of their vernacular. And maybe men who choose to pursue that career path won’t feel isolated or out of place. And doing something “like a girl” will be a compliment. By taking the time to think before we speak, forced gender roles and constructions in our language will be one less thing we have to worry about.”