10 THINGS YONCÉ FLIPPED THE SCRIPT ON WITH LEMONADE
Because holy f*ck we can all go home now.
- •The angry woman.The traditional trope of the angry woman typically portrays her as a destroyer. A castrator. A terrorizer of men. Beyoncé says no. The angry woman can still be sexy. The angry woman can still be whole. The angry woman can be right. The angry woman can be sane. "Who the f*ck do you think I is? / You ain't married to no average bitch boy / You can watch my fat ass twist boy / As I bounce to the next dick boy / And keep your money, I got my own / Get a bigger smile on my face, being alone."
- •The crazy woman.A spin-off of the angry woman, the crazy woman is exiled, cast out, reviled for her emotion and intuition. Beyoncé says no. The woman crazed with jealousy reveals truth in her madness. "So what are you gonna say at my funeral, now that you've killed me? ... Rest in peace, my true love, who I took for granted. Most bomb p*ssy who, because of me, sleep evaded. Her god listening. Her heaven will be a love without betrayal. Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks."
- •The doormat.Yoncé ripped up the trope of the woman as doormat and danced on the last shreds of its existence in a holy fire of retribution. She refuses to go beneath, to go unseen. The woman (ab)used will be lit by cleansing fire, she will be a scorch upon the heart of anyone who steps on her. "When you hurt me, you hurt yourself ... /When you diss me, you diss yourself ... / When you love me, you love yourself / Love God herself."
- •The other woman."If it's what you truly want, I can wear her skin over mine. Her hair over mine. Her hands as gloves. Her teeth as confetti. Her scalp, a cap. Her sternum, my bedazzled cane. We can pose for a photograph, all three of us. Immortalized. You and your perfect girl."; a circle of women bend backwards in unison, their arms raised, linked by one unbroken sleeve. There is no such thing as the other woman, Yoncé breathes into our hearts. You f*ck one of us, you f*ck us all.
- •Infidelity.Before LEMONADE, we (generally speaking) had two options for dealing with infidelity: 1) Be a doormat; 2) be the crazy/angry/unforgiving psychobitch (thanks to my friend Summer for this theory). Yoncé opened the third door: The freedom to feel all she feels and do everything she needed to do on the path to forgiveness...
- •Shame....and to do it all without shame. This is a woman on fire with her own power, on fire with the sweetness and tragedy of love, of giving oneself fully, of heartbreak and redemption. This is a woman who can own it all. The betrayal and the devastation. And spin it into realness and humanit and liberation.
- •Sex."Sometimes when he'd have her nipple in his mouth, she'd whisper, 'Oh, my God.' That, too, is a form of worship." Yoncé throws down sex as a portal for spiritual connection. This is not forbidden. This is not crass. This is not defilement. This sex is holy. Yes it is. Yes it is.
- •Blood.As my friend Summer said, YONCÉ WENT MENSTRUAL. She throws down spoken word about her menses (the poetry of Warsan Shire ⚡️), multiple times, throughout the work. She demands respect. Not just of her own blood, but of the blood of the mother, of his mother, of all our mothers. This sh*t is not sanitized. Betrayal is nothing if it is not in our blood.
- •History.We see the breathed and lived and felt history of oppression, of personal and political enslavement, of disempowerment. We hear Yoncé. We hear Malcolm X. "The past and the future merge to meet us here. What luck. What a f*cking curse." Except no. Except Yoncé refuses to live with a curse. "There is a curse that will be broken." As a white woman, I feel my scope of commentary here is/should be limited, and yet. Yoncé teaches us to make lemonade. This is how history is made.
- •The empowered woman.The empowered woman is not a woman without a heart. She is not bulletproof. She is blasted by fire and ruined by heartbreak, she will bust your sh*t up and she will rake you over the coals of her hurt. And still, through every brutal second, she will love you. She will love. She will be love. "My grandma said, 'Nothing real can be threatened.' True love brought salvation back into me." She will be, with all her blood and her wildness and her sex and her brilliance and her boundless heart, free.