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Beyoncé's epic girl power anthem kinda sorta ignores the obvious.

Cards on the table, I'm a Beyoncé fan, but I'm not part of the "Beyhive." Also, "Run the World (Girls)" is one of my favorite workout jams, so I listen to it at least three times a week and maybe even five times if I'm feeling especially fit. Given all that, it's hard to deny that vlogger Amber (known as NineteenPercent) makes some pretty darn good points about why my favorite girl power workout anthem doesn't take a few things into consideration.

Beyoncé's epic girl power anthem kinda sorta ignores the obvious.

Let's look at "Run the World (Girls)" lyrics:

"Who run the world? Girls!"


"A better question would be: Name the only American minority group that actually constitutes the majority of the population? Girls! 50.7% of the U.S. population is female. But sociologists consider women a minority group because of their position relative to men, the dominant group. There are things called women's issues, which apparently are a 'special interest.' A problem that affects half of the population of your country is not a 'special interest,' OK? It's a big interest." — NineteenPercent

"Make your check, come at they neck."

"Indeed. Go to work and make your check, but be aware that your check is gonna be significantly smaller than your male counterpart's because at all ages and at all education levels, American women are paid only 78% of what a man is paid for doing the same work. And that is a huge improvement from 1980, when it was only 60%." — NineteenPercent

"Disrespect us? No, they won't!"

"Yes, they will, and they do, often. I'd like to defer to a very famous doctor on this subject: Dr. Dre. He says, and I quote: '[Bleep] ain't [bleep] but [bleep] and tricks.' There you have it. Listen, Mrs. Carter, you should know this firsthand. When your husband isn't busy with his money, cash, or [bleep], you've still got 99 problems, and a [bleep] ain't one. Of the most popular rap songs in recent memory, I am hard-pressed to think of one that doesn't have any reference to women as some derogatory name. Not to mention, like, workplace sexual harassment or catcalling and all other manner of disrespectful things." — NineteenPercent

"None of these b*****s can fade me."

"Don't call me a [bleep]. It doesn't make me feel empowered. We have this thing in our society, whereby it's somehow OK to do and say sexist things because somehow they're not sexist anymore since women have so much power." — NineteenPercent

Check out the full video below, and stick around for 4:30, when NineteenPercent explains exactly why she isn't not behind the idea of girl power in the commercial sense and what needs to be done to make real change.

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Side note, Amber included the following note in the description box that I think is worth sharing:

"This video is not about Beyonce. It's not even really about this song. My point is NOT that she shouldn't have made this song because of X, Y, and Z. My point IS: Oh, Look! X, Y, and Z exist and this song is a great tie-in to a discussion of feminism, a veritable Feminism 101." — NineteenPercent

So let's set the record straight: This isn't an anti-Beyoncé video. (Seriously Beyhive, don't come for me!) This isn't meant to suggest that Beyonce shouldn't have made the song or that the song is bad. Instead, this is about the sad fact that this song's lyrics aren't a reality for most women because of sexism. That in itself is worth talking about, regardless of how we feel about the song that inspired the conversation. It's important to remember that we can be fans of something and talk about it in a meaningful and critical way.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

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Photo courtesy of John Scully

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"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

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"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less