Beyoncé Knowles-Carter divides opinion at the Monkeys, but she gets full marks for using her position and profile to contribute a meaningful, simple and eloquent stance on gender equality in the just published Shriver Report.
The report, called A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink, published in partnership with the Center for American Progress, is an investigation into the millions of women who are doing it all and barely scraping by, struggling to provide and parent in a nation that hasn’t kept pace with the modern realities of their lives. It combines research, analysis and ideas from America’s top academic institutions and think tanks, essays by leading thinkers, stories of real women struggling with our modern economy, and a comprehensive poll.
Beyoncé’s contribution is important because it would be so much easier, given her prominence and success in an industry that thrives on the American Dream, positivity, and bling, to buy in to the notion of ‘leaning in’ – that equality is there for the women willing to work with the system.
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.