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Beyonce Feminist Essay Questions

What is "Beyonce feminism"? The question has been the subject of many a tweet, blog and chat down the pub.

But it's also the basis of a sociology dissertation, written by a student from the University of Warwick.

For the past year, 20-year-old Molly Inglis has been analysing 10,000 words' worth of Beyonce lyrics and now she's submitted a 66-page essay to her tutors.

"She promotes very sex-positive messages," Molly tells Newsbeat.

The most interesting thing Molly found out from her study, was how Beyonce views women and sex, and how the last few years have seen the singer embrace feminism in her own way.

As a result, the student decided to focus on the artist's last two albums for her thesis: Beyonce (2013) and Lemonade (2016).

"[Beyonce is] encouraging women to be sexual to take control of things in the bedroom and also to have sex for themselves, for their own pleasure," she says.

Fans have long associated Queen Bey with empowering women and girls: from her days in Destiny's Child to her song Flawless, which quotes the writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

And while the song Formation, from Lemonade, was widely interpreted as a protest about the treatment of the black community at the hands of the police, and the Black Lives Matter movement, Molly says the singer was also speaking directly to women:

"I really liked the lyric; 'Now ladies let's get in formation'," Molly says.

"I believe it had a double meaning to it.

"It's asking women to coordinate together, but also to get information - to get this knowledge about what's going on, and to protest against it."

If she was actually to read it, that would just make my life

Many fans believe the song Hold Up from the same album was about Beyonce and her husband Jay Z.

The jury's still out, according to Molly, who says she thinks "it could just be her narrating a character".

But after analysing her last two albums, the student says Beyonce does sing a lot about the pros and cons of marriage.

Molly's supervisor was a bit surprised at her dissertation topic, but the student says it just proves how relevant sociology is to everyday life.

And it's no surprise that she rejects the criticism of the multi-Grammy award winner.

"The criticism Beyonce gets for embracing feminism comes because she's a black artist," says Molly.

"White artists who do the same thing don't get criticised in the same way.

"I think her embracing feminism is a really good thing, because it moves feminism from academic texts to more accessible ways of understanding it."

Molly says she's tempted to get in touch and tell the singer that she was the subject of her dissertation.

"If she was actually to read it, that would just make my life."

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You What?StudentsBeyoncéMusic

If Beyoncé's video album left any question as to her feminist credentials, the pop star's contribution to The Shriver Report has us bowing down all over again.

Led by journalist and former first lady of California Maria Shriver, The Shriver Report is a media initiative which documents the influence cultural trends have on American women. The 2014 special report, "A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From The Brink", examines the financial insecurity among American women and the impact it has on the U.S. economy.

"We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet," Beyoncé wrote in the excerpt. She goes on to address men and their roles in promoting gender equality:

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.

While we are all happy to see more and more celebrities supporting women's empowerment, Beyoncé pointed out that we still have a long way to go before the "social, political, and economic equality of the sexes" imagined in "***Flawless" becomes a reality. "Women are more than 50 percent of the population and more than 50 percent of voters," Beyoncé writes. "We must demand that we all receive 100 percent of the opportunities."

From "Independent Women" to "Run The World (Girls)," financial security has always been a hallmark of Beyoncé's brand of feminism. We could not be happier to see Queen Bey take her message to the public stage.

Our thoughts on pay inequality?

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