I’ve been watching the various and sundry discussion of Beyonce’s feminism, and I have two things
a) it’s entirely possible that she, herself, is a feminist, given that she describes herself in that way; and
b) her art or life may not embody the various possible ideals of feminism, but
(b) does not, by itself, prove or disprove (a); nor does the desire among the rest of us to evaluate (b) through a feminist lens disprove (a); nor do questions raised by the rest of us about (b) mean we are women-hater hater pants; nor does the assertion of (a) mean that all of us have to accept (b) as essentially feminist work simply because of (a), either.
For the record, I’ve always thought she was wonderful, even way back in Destiny’s Child, and I am elated that she has taken up the label of feminism despite the extreme scrutiny it places her under. I cheered for her to her response to an idiot who slapped her on the fanny during a performance (she had security make him leave; there’s no reason why she should put up with that.) I’m less in love with other parts of her recent efforts, particularly the gratuitous dropping in of Ike Turner. I don’t know what Jay-Z and Beyonce think it means, but I, too, am allowed to think about what means as somebody who watching them make art. If they don’t want us to think about it….well, J.D. Salinger had an answer to that.