Last week, bell hooks weighed in on 'Lemonade' and offered her critique of – according to black women in every corner of the earth - Beyonce's greatest gift to us. Those of us who engage with popular culture and familiar with black feminist discourse will know that hooks is no member of the Beyhive. In the past she has been scathing of Beyonce and just as Bey is not infallible and above criticism, neither is hooks. So with that, we need to continue deconstructing why hooks has yet again shown that she is out of touch with the needs of black millennial women.
When reading hooks' work, her words seem to project the notion that there is only one way to do 'feminism'. Although fair in places, hooks' essay had strong overtones of respectability policing, Black femmephobia (a point beyond her words specifically about Beyonce) and policing of the black female body and how it survives, resists and is reclaimed by different black women. This is something evident in hooks' other writing also. The pioneering black feminist often saves her harshest criticisms for her fellow black women, whilst simultaneously praising white feminists like Emma Watson, whose feminist 'efforts' can be described as glib and mediocre at best, with ideas that do not acknowledge intersectional feminism, but instead centres white women.
hooks is a socialist and is especially concerned with Beyoncè's wealth, but we are yet to hear her thoughts on the revelation of Watson's name in the Panama Papers and tax evasion scandal. hooks has long written off Beyonce as nothing more than a pretty functional “princess of capitalism”.