“I’ve had my ups and downs, life gave me lemons and I made lemonade.” Beyonce’s highly anticipated visual album was recently released and, as was expected, it broke the internet (http://m.mic.com/articles/141645/beyonc-s-lemonade-literally-broke-the-entire-internet#.URuHmaJiT). The shared understanding of the album amongst the Bey-hive fandom was that it addressed the singer’s husband’s (rapper Jay-Z) alleged infidelity (https://www.popsugar.com/celebrity/Did-Jay-Z-Cheat-Beyonce-Rachel-Roy-41064796). I am of the belief that Beyonce, through her visual album, addresses common issues faced by a number of black women ( http://genius.com/albums/Beyonce/Lemonade ). Having to search inside of yourself to find the strength to produce lemonade with the lemons thrown at you is a true testament of your own strength. What are these lemons that a young black woman is likely to face? Women deal with issues of rape, domestic violence, societal marginalizing, and yes infidelity. These are amongst a few of the issues that need to be properly addressed.
Culturally, women are expected to be strong, accepting, and forgiving when they are confronted by their partner’s infidelity. Moreover, in some African cultures it is considered a shameful thing to do should a woman decide to leave her husband (http://m.voanews.com/a/a-13-2006-08-21-voa29/318228.html). Are these lemons reinforced and made acceptable by our own mothers, sisters, and other female relatives? Or are the lemons of infidelity socially reinforced? Or do both our female relatives and society contribute equally to these expectations? A great number of women have individualized and internalized various social ills and these social ills have manifested themselves through their behaviours (http://somemuething.blogspot.co.za/2012/05/social-issues.html?m=1). Women are constantly competing amongst one another for men’s attention. Moreover, young women have accustomed themselves to being the ‘side chicks’ to married men (https://www.stephanspeaks.com/7-reasons-side-chick/). No one is mandated to judge another person; however, it needs to be acknowledged that certain things need to be corrected. Religiously, a marriage is ought to be pure and respected. Men are not intrinsically the problem; however, our sociocultural ideologies and discourses need to be re-examined. In most cases cultural discourses are used to promote misogyny; a manifestation of this misogyny is the rape culture which has become ever present within our society (http://www.wavaw.ca/what-is-rape-culture/ ).
Lemonade is a powerful example of how our current society divides women as a result of our society’s seemingly omnipresent patriarchal beliefs (http://www.api-gbv.org/violence/patriarchy-power.php). I believe that the album seeks to address and correct divisions amongst women. If our society’s current overarching ideologies cannot be changed right away, then let us teach the younger generation of women to know what is right for them and fight for it.