Run the World, Girls?

By: Griffus

The text tells us that; ideological forms, seem to present a picture of the world from a certain perspective. This perspective can cause conflict, and is usually associated with “inequality, exploitation, and oppression.” This made me instantly think of the recently released and very popular song by Beyoncé “Run the World, Girls.”  The lyrics imply that the world is run by girls. When you look at the world from a political standpoint, this doesn’t appear to be true at all.  Yes, women are making advances in politics in the US, but that is not true with several parts of the world especially the middle-east. There are just not that many women world leaders compared to men. 

               Girls and women do run the world when it comes to consumer purchasing.  That is why so many companies market to women.  The majority of the fashion industry (a multi-billion dollar industry) is dominated by women’s fashions.  Maybe that is what Beyoncé is trying to portray, the power of purchase.  I doubt it.  Maybe she is referring to running the world with the power of simply being a woman or, running the world controlling men with seduction or sex.  Women have ruled in one way or another with sex before, but never on a global scale. 

               Beyoncé is not the first to use her fast dance music and catchy lyrics to try to inspire the progression of women in the world.  The Spice Girls ruled the charts in 1990s with their “Girl Power” theme in all of their catchy (yet annoying) lyrics.  Since girls make up the majority of consumerism in the US, it makes sense to market to the largest demographic for the most profit.  Is it sincere or really actually helping further the women’s movement? Or is it just still just an ideology?  I am sure Beyoncé may believe in what she is singing, but it seems that “Run the World, Girls” might be an example that could support the “Culture Industry Thesis.”  If this theme of women running the world is so marketable, is it a far stretch to say it is mostly propaganda from the industry?  The record companies and producers know that these songs will be a hit and that girls will purchase the song.  They ultimately decide which songs make it onto an album. 

               Beyoncé’s song was so quickly popular it was covered in an episode of “Glee” on Fox.  It was used to inspire the girls of the school to vote for the female candidate.  It showed every girl in the school uniting and amped up with excitement of singing “we run this mother…”  Once again, it is just an idea.  Girls only ran that school on a television set.  Not saying that women could not run the world.  They very well may be able to if they could organize somehow.  Eventually, in the US they will achieve political equality and the position of President.  The “glass ceiling” doesn’t seem to be diminishing as quickly in corporate America unfortunately.  This too may change as the power shifts from one generation of executives to the next. 

               In reflection I must admit even though I am a man, I for a minute bought into the idea that girls run the world while watching the “Glee” version of the song.  I do think they run the consumer world.  Girls do shop more than guys do; this is why the mall has so many women’s clothing stores or larger women’s departments.  This song has not really changed any of my beliefs or feelings, but has brought something else to my attention.  I never thought about it being propagated by the industry simply for profits until reading the text.              

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