Beyoncé Rocks the Cover of Ms.


“When women like Beyoncé proudly proclaim feminism, they tend to invite more debates than affirmation.”

That’s one of the provocative statements that kicks off Janell Hobson’s cover essay on popular culture icon Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, our fierce feminist cover woman for Spring 2013.

The new issue of Ms. magazine, now on its way to subscribers, is also available as a digital download for iPhones, iPads and Androids.

Hobson, an associate professor of women’s studies at the University of Albany, State University of New York, sparks a discussion among other pop culture critics about female empowerment, combining feminism and “traditional” roles, and the “politics of respectability” for black women. At the end of the piece, it’s up to the reader to decide: Why do we even question her feminism at all?

The new issue of Ms. isn’t all Beyoncé, of course. We also cover:

— 10 things to know about health insurance reform

–Why fracking is a feminist issue

–An excerpt from Eve Ensler’s new memoir

–A report on how the rampant problem of military sexual assault may have reached a tipping point as women enter combat roles.

And much more!

Carry Ms. with you wherever you’re going this spring, whether on your phone, tablet or in the traditional print format. As Bey would sing, “Who run the world? Girls!”




  1. I am so looking forward to reading this issue!

  2. Although I am a fan of Beyonce and her music, I would still like to point out that she works in an industry where her looks and sexual appeal are still her bread and butter. She can say all she wants about being a feminist, but I’m sure there are many artists out there that keep their professional name (maiden) and continue to tour and write their own songs. She recently stated she took her husband’s last name because she is a wife now, and she feels that role is important to her. Also, her song “Run the World, Girls” is still a little misleading, since women make up almost 60% of the US population but are still considered a minority simply because of sociological tradition. As Ms. points out almost everyday, women are still barred from certain areas of society, are still attacked and caged in frightening frequency, and are still not making the kind of income men make. Women don’t run the world. But they should. We can’t think that somehow we’ve accomplished that goal, because we’re FAR from it. Ultimately, I like that Beyonce’s image is of strength, power, femininity and business genius, but her image and her real beliefs can be very different. If they’re the same, that’s great, but we won’t really know until her limelight time is over and she lives in the real world with the rest of us.

    • i think J-zee should have taken his new wife’s last name to express the desire to be so tied to her that he’ll change something so important as his name, a part of his public / legal identity.

    • Actually, girls do run the world. We dominate childcare and elderly care both at home and professionally, service industries that range from labor to food worker to sex worker etc. Of course, these jobs tend to be looked down on, especially compared to male-dominated fields, which also tend to pay higher. We run the world, but we do not rule it.

    • Can you say the same thing about Lena Dunham? She displays sex and gets naked on her show. But I guess that’s okay, but Beyonce EEGAD! I don’t know your ethnicity, but I hear a lot of white feminists bash Beyonce. White feminists are really something you know.

  3. Really Monica he should have changed his name. That would never happen.

  4. Beyonce is a force to be reckoned with, a successful woman, calling her own shots… but, at the mercy of an industry that objectifies women. If Beyonce covered it up a little bit, other young women following in her footsteps wouldn’t feel obligated to bare it all. Beyonce isin an incredible position to affect change. Until she steps up to do that, I don’t think she warrants the cover of Ms. Magazine.

  5. She doesn’t look like a feminist, she doesn’t sing like a feminist. But she is always talking about women, how they help her and how she loves them. She has a women band at the stage. I mean, she is not a feminist, but she defend us pretty well, and she has an special consideration with our work. It doesn’t happen much

  6. i can’t stand people saying beyonce isn’t a feminist because she doesn’t cover up and uses sex appeal to earn her money. if we run around trying to figure out what men think all the time so we can react accordingly, we’re wasting our lives. that, to me, is not what feminism is about. and by that same logic, sex workers and strippers can’t be feminists. who else can’t be a feminist according to you ladies? write me a list so i can remember to conform.

  7. Stacie Hebert says:

    Those who oppose Beyonce’s defining herself as a feminist seem to single her out for being socialized within our sexist culture, as we all are, but forget that she’s made it a point to speak out for women and girls’ rights to equality as a popular figure in that culture.

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