If you're finding the current pre-election political climate pretty exhausting, then prepare yourself for an instant power-up from the ever dependable source of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Because on Friday, Nov. 4, Beyoncé made a guest appearance at Hillary Clinton's rally in Cleveland and, as you might expect, she delivered one almighty message. As well as performing invigorating anthems like "Freedom" and "Run The World (Girls)," Bey was supported by a troupe of dancers decked out in Clinton's iconic blue pantsuit. Joined by husband Jay Z, the two influential musicians made encouraging statements in support of the presidential candidate. But it was Beyoncé's inspiring speech about Clinton that truly echoed through the rally with tremendous power.
Before roaring into the appropriately vigorous strains of "Freedom," Beyoncé addressed the audience with a stirring speech, touching upon the colossal societal and historical impact of a Clinton victory and urged people to vote, reminding the audience that there "was a time when a woman's opinion did not matter" and that "less than 100 years ago women did not have the right to vote." But it's this specific part of Bey's speech which really resonated as the most powerful, and the relevance of these words is immense:
"And now we have the opportunity to create more change. I want my daughter to grow up seeing a woman lead this country and know that her possibilities are limitless."
This statement is vital on various levels, particularly when you consider the potential impact of her words when coupled with her dynamic influence. At this stage in her career, Beyoncé isn't just a musician or an icon; she's become a figure of significance who continues to inspire women on a day-to-day basis with her outspoken nature, proud sense of strength, and recent musical output full of prevailing political poignancy.
I can think of nobody else in the U.S. who could possibly persuade women to vote with the same power as Beyoncé. This is a woman who understands the responsibility of being a figure who inspires women, and exactly why that's such an important role. Because the necessity of representation cannot be understated.
When Beyoncé spoke about the immense impact that Barack Obama's presidency had on African-African youth being able to realize the potential of their dreams (stating, "I was so inspired to know that my nephew, a young, black child, could grow up knowing his dreams could be realized by witnessing a black president in office"), she was speaking about the power of representation. And so, when she addressed the vast impact that a female president could have in inspiring young women (like her daughter) to see grand ambitions, it also pertains to representation.
Having a female president isn't just a way for women to support and celebrate another woman; it's an act which invites all women (and girls) to witness a society which has progressed to the point where it has finally included them on a major level. It's an act which tells women that they are capable, they are powerful, and just as Beyoncé wishes for her daughter, their dreams can be "limitless."
This isn't just a vote for a particular candidate. It's a vote of confidence for all women, and it's one which says that our opinions, our skills, our intelligence, and our dreams are just as essential and capable as mens are. Within pop culture, a woman like Beyoncé does this for women by challenging the status quo of the industry, by proudly living the power of her own sexual and professional agency, and by daring to speak out about political concerns through her music.
Her staggering positive influence on young women cannot be downplayed — Beyoncé clearly understands that women deserve to actualize their potential by seeing more women do so in prominent, powerful positions, and how her persona has done that for scores of her female fans. And a potential female president, such as Clinton, could do that on a gigantic scale.
After Clinton's rally, the candidate offered some final thoughts to the audience while thanking Jay Z and Beyoncé for their support, but also the positive impact that their music brings to the public. In particular, Clinton pointed out the importance of Beyoncé's work in inspiring other women, but also the immense power of supporting them. She said, "[Beyoncé is] a woman who is an inspiration to so many others ... I thank Beyoncé for standing up and showing the world that we are strongest when we look out for each other."
And this is perhaps the linchpin of what Beyoncé's overall message was at Clinton's rally. That representation and inclusivity is crucial for encouraging women of all ages to consider themselves capable of achieving their dreams and owning their space in society, but that ultimately we're also all responsible, as women, for helping each other reach those positions.
Whether that responsibility also comes down to voting for Clinton (or a third party female candidate like Jill Stein) is in the hands of the voter, but there's no denying that a female leader is exactly what the women of America deserve right now. And that decision may ultimately come down to the immense power of female voters in order to make that happen.