If you’re an unmarried woman who happens to like things like health care, access to contraceptive care, and equal pay for equal work, congratulations! You just might be a Beyonce Voter! In case you missed last week’s segment on Fox News’ Outnumbered, co-host Jesse Waters had this to say:
I call them 'the Beyonce Voters'—the single ladies. Obama won single ladies by 76% last time, and they made up about a quarter of the electorate. They depend on government because they're not depending on their husbands. They need things like contraception, health care, and they love to talk about equal pay.
All the single ladies! Let’s throw our hands up—with sheer frustration. And then when you need to laugh about the absurdity of it all, head over to the Beyonce Voters Tumblr, where 20-year-old Sarah Coughlon created the best possible response. The Harvard student/hilarious feminist/Beyonce superfan sat down with us to discuss taking the internet by storm, one #flawless lyric at a time.
MTV Style: So how did Beyonce Voters come about?
Sarah Coughlon: I’m a big Beyonce fan. I just love her. I love what she’s doing, and I have the “surfboart” clip as my text tone. I’m also the exact demographic that Fox News was talking about when they implied that “single ladies” were these horrible, unmarried, liberal young women who listen to Beyonce and want equal pay for equal work.
Several of my friends had passed around the Jessica Valenti piece for The Guardian talking about why those remarks were so stupid, and I thought, “Yeah, this is really dumb but also, this is super funny! Why has no one created the Beyonce Voters Tumblr yet?” So I did.
I should also mention that when the last album came out, my roommate excitedly ran into my room and said, “I think we just found Hillary’s campaign song!” and played the clip from “Flawless” where Bey sings, “Bow down, b*****!” So ultimately, I think my roommate gets credit for the idea of Beyonce as an agent of progressive change.
And if Beyonce Voters had a mission statement, what do you think it would be?
I think it has to be a Beyonce lyric, right? So, “To the left, to the left!”
I think it’s so interesting that Beyonce was the artist that Fox News chose to represent our demographic, especially considering that she’s frequently the subject of think pieces and critical commentary on her role as a feminist icon.
I feel bad that I’ve accidentally revived some of these debates. I feel like there’s a few too many Beyonce think pieces out there in the world. And yet, my roommates will tell you, I’ve been the author of a few too many late-night Beyonce think pieces myself! There’s a lot to be added to the critical commentary of Beyonce as feminist icon.
And now that you’ve taken over the internet with your Tumblr, what do you think might happen next?
I have no idea. Bro tanks? A "Beyonce Voters" bro tank for myself and my roommates would be cool, but beyond that, I have no idea. I had no idea it would ever get this big.
Has there been any backlash or criticism of your work?
Not really. I lurked around the comments sections of some feminist blogs and there’s a little bit of in-fighting surrounding issues like, “Is it intersectional enough?” or “Should we really be saying that girls run the world, and not women?” So there’s been a little bit of that. But mostly, I feel very grateful that everyone seems to get the joke. I mean, everyone loves Beyonce, right? Beyoncé’s great. Beyonce’s a feminist. Beyonce’s a really talented artist. Beyonce raises the keys in “Love on Top” like 15 times. What’s not to love?