Girls do not yet run the world, according to Beyoncé and Maria Shriver. Over the weekend, Shriver and the Center for American Progress released the latest edition of the “Shriver Report,” a national research paper on the status of American women launched in 2009. The third installment focuses on the women “on the brink,” a demographic largely excluded from 2013’s biggest feminist debates. “These are not women who are wondering if they can ‘have it all,’” Shriver writes in her introduction. “These are women who are already doing it all — working hard, providing, parenting, and caregiving. They’re doing it all, yet they and their families can’t prosper, and that’s weighing the U.S. economy down. Finding out why that is and what we as a nation can do about it is the mission of this report.”
Her inquiry includes research reports and essays from prominent feminist academics and pundits (Stephanie Coontz, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Sheryl Sandberg), female politicians (Kirsten Gillibrand, Hillary Clinton, Kathleen Sebelius), celebrity philanthropists (Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner, Tory Burch, LeBron James) — and Beyoncé.
In a short essay contribution — “Gender Equality Is A Myth!” — Knowles-Carter takes up some of the themes of the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie TED Talk sampled on her new album. She writes:
“Humanity requires both women and men, and we are equally important and we need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.”
Here's hoping this means Beyoncé will be on hand to enliven dreary feminist panel discussions in 2014. And there's much more worth digging into in the report, which is free until January 15.