Beyoncé Says She's a Feminist, but Wants You to Call Her Something Else

April 5th 2016

Taylor Bell

Beyoncé made it perfectly clear in her "Flawless" video that she's a feminist. But, in a new interview with the ELLE, the pop-star says there's a better word to describe her.


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Queen Bey started off by setting the record straight about her use of the term "feminist," arguing that most people who have a problem with the label just don't know what it means.

Here's what Beyoncé told ELLE when asked about her feelings on the "F-word."

"I put the definition of feminist in my song ["Flawless"] and on my tour, not for propaganda or to proclaim to the world that I'm a feminist, but to give clarity to the true meaning. I'm not really sure people know or understand what a feminist is, but it's very simple. It's someone who believes in equal rights for men and women. I don't understand the negative connotation of the word, or why it should exclude the opposite sex. If you are a man who believes your daughter should have the same opportunities and rights as your son, then you're a feminist."

However, despite her frequent embrace of the word "feminist," Beyoncé says she does sometimes worry about the misperceptions that might come along with the label, particularly the idea that she prioritizes women's issues over all others. Ultimately, she said she'd prefer to be considered a humanist.

"Working to make those inequalities go away is being a feminist, but more importantly, it makes me a humanist. I don't like or embrace any label. I don't want calling myself a feminist to make it feel like that's my one priority, over racism or sexism or anything else. I'm just exhausted by labels and tired of being boxed in. If you believe in equal rights, the same way society allows a man to express his darkness, to express his pain, to express his sexuality, to express his opinion—I feel that women have the same rights."

Even though she doesn't love the label, Beyoncé's point about feminism is solid.

The data supports Beyoncé's assertion that most people are feminists, even if they don't realize it. While 82 percent of people believe that men and women are equals, only 22 percent will willing to identify themselves as feminists, a HuffPost/YouGov poll found.

The pop-star called out this disparity in the ELLE interview:

"We need men and women to understand the double standards that still exist in this world, and we need to have a real conversation so we can begin to make changes. Ask anyone, man or woman, 'Do you want your daughter to have 75 cents when she deserves $1?' What do you think the answer would be? When we talk about equal rights, there are issues that face women disproportionately."

This issue of ELLE magazine featuring Beyoncé hits newsstands in select cities April 6 but will be available nationwide April 19.