Some female stars claim not to be role models, and that's their prerogative. But for a lesson in how powerful their words can be when channeled with the same amount of passion they dedicate towards their careers, we give you: Beyoncé.
The singer has come a long way in the feminist world since she said rather infamously in a Vogue interview that "the word feminist can be extreme", but perhaps Beyoncé has figured out that the time has come for extreme thinking.
Following the tide of praise for her eponymous album that proudly declares the singer as an ardent feminist, she has written a powerful op-ed for The Shriver Report - a series of policy reports focused on issues affecting women and their families run by Maria Shriver.
She writes: "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."
What is very interesting - and completely in keeping with the zeitgeist - is that Beyoncé embraces and encourages a feminist movement that includes - not excludes - men.
Otherwise, as HuffPost UK Lifestyle is fond of saying, you're just preaching to the converted.
She adds: "...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."
Present day feminists, we feel, should never lose sight of the legacy we leave behind.
In a feature we ran on Project Bush, a photography project protesting against the sexualisation of young girls and the peer pressure they felt to have bikini waxes at the age of 12, one feminist summed up how important the fight is for future generations.
25-year-old Nathalie Gordon said: "People in my generation have become submissive and don’t think there is an argument there. Probably the worst thing is that even if they are unhappy with something, they think 'I won’t be able to change it', which I think is a shame."
Well, in our opinion, Beyoncé's op-ed is as rousing as it gets. Let's just hope she can hear the whooping and cheers all the way from the UK.
To read it on The Shriver Report, click here.
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