The song “Run The World (Girls)” came out in April 2011. Before, during, and still now there is a lot of debate and issues about women’s equality, especially in the workplace. It is said that Beyonce wrote this song because she wanted “to do something different: a mixture of different cultures and eras, a new sound, and a message which would give women strength.”  I take that as Beyonce hinting at the fact that woman of all ethnicities and races before our time, during our time, and possibly after our time if we don’t make changes, all face inequality.  It is a song that is uniting all women across the world. 

This also connects to the third-wave feminism. It began in the 1990s, which is when Beyonce was in her teen and young adult years. She grew up surrounded by this wave. This wave focused on individualism and diversity but the main concern was redefining a what exactly a feminist was. Growing up in this wave Beyonce was able to see the emergence of intersectionality, sex positivity, postmodern feminism and more. These types of things may have encouraged Beyonce to write this song and her other previous songs that talk about women empowerment. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”, “If I Were A Boy” and “Best Thing I Never Had” both talk about men not walking all over women in a relationship.

The third-wave feminism ended in the 2010s and the fourth was started around 2012. This wave is focused on women empowerment. It seems as if “Run The World (Girls)” was foreshadowing this new wave of feminism and what was to come, the need to empower women. This wave also focuses on intersectionality and systems of powers for marginalized groups. These fourth-wave feminists are advocating for women in these groups to have better representation in the political and business worlds. Beyone’s song is talking just about that. She notices the issues in the workplace and how men are seen as higher up and more powerful than women. Although the song is not necessarily part of the women’s rights movement, it can be seen as a song that empower women during their fight for equality.  

Continuing it is said that Beyonce shortly after dedicated the song to Sandra Magnus, the only women to travel on the STS-135, which was the 135th and final mission of the American Space Shuttle. She also was on the STS-119 Discovery. She was an example of how women can do as much as men. 

One last thing is that right before she released the song “Run The World (Girls)” it was announced that she dropped her father as a manager. The two came to a mutual agreement. Beyonce wanted to have more control over her business and follow in the footsteps of her parents who also own their own businesses. This situation again reinforces that women can rule in the business world.

In the song, she is implying that men have the power, but woman are just as capable of having the power too. If you look at the song, there are many people who “do the work.” This includes society as a whole, the laws, and men in general. Men are the ones who believe they have the power and can make all the decisions. Due to men’s actions, society as a whole has this preconceived idea that men are always the “head of everything”: the family, the bosses/CEOs, and more. Trying to breakaway from these ideas that are so ingrained into society is very difficult. That is why we need people like Beyonce, who wrote this song, Hillary Clinton, and Malala Yousafzai to show the world that woman are capable of running the world and making a difference. It is woman like this that make a change in the world. Additionally, there are men such as John Legend and Justin Baldoni who also advocate for women’s rights. This is another way to encourage other men to want to make a difference too. Finally, there are laws that have been put in place over the years to try and allow women to have more equal rights.

Moreover, there are many stats and numbers that prove the inequalities between women and men in the workplace. There is also a netflix original documentary called Feminists: What Were They Thinking? that digs into the roots of feminism.

While the song may come from some personal things in Beyonce’s life, it ultimately is to encourage women to see that they all have the power to run the world. It isn’t supposed to be a pity song to Beyonce, it is meant to include ALL women. The first example is the fact that in that she starts off the song by saying “Girls, we run this motha, yeah”. Right there she is already including a “we” in the song.

Additionally she says, “Make your check come at they neck/Disrespect us no they won’t” Not only is she including  “us” but she also is commenting on how women can make their own money and that men will not disrespect them. One last thing is that Beyonce says, “This goes out to all my girls”. She is encouraging women to all sing this song and hear what she is saying throughout.