Published Jan 13, 2014After closing out 2013 with her beloved self-titled record, pop megastar Beyoncé has faced much scrutiny for her stance in the feminist community. From myriad thinkpieces dissecting her lyrics to her declaration that she doesn't, in fact, identify as a feminist (at least, that's what she said to Vogue), there have been many different takes on the artist's role in the feminist community. Now, she's shared an essay she wrote on gender equality in America.
The piece is titled "Gender Equality is a Myth!" and was published in the new instalment of Maria Shriver's Shriver Report alongside work from Hillary Clinton, LeBron James and others.
Here's an excerpt from Beyoncé's essay:
We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn't a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more—commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.
Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.
We have a lot of work to do, but we can get there if we work together. Women are more than 50 percent of the population and more than 50 percent of voters. We must demand that we all receive 100 percent of the opportunities.
The full Shriver Report can be downloaded here.