The Quest for booty and power
Quest Day is a time for students to present ideas and information that they feel passionate about. Julia Nuzzo, a junior broadcasting and creative writing major, popped her booty and smiled as bright as Beyoncé Knowles’ eyes when she made her presentation in Campus Center 211 about female empowerment. Nuzzo spoke for about 15 minutes about Beyoncé as an icon of female power, as well as Margaret Sanger, a revolutionary feminist.
Nuzzo used Margaret Sanger as an example of one of the first women to stand for female empowerment. Sanger made a feminist speech in 1925 where she pushed for the first ever Planned Parenthood act. Nuzzo asserted that without Sanger, the institution of birth control would not have become a reality and would not have spurred on the feminist movement.
According to Nuzzo, Beyoncé uses her sexual experiences as a way to empower herself. Without birth control, Beyoncé would not have been able to be the empowered and successful entity that she is, as she would have had to stay home with her many children. Additionally, she would have had children at a much earlier age, thus likely preventing her singing career from taking off. Beyoncé stands for satisfaction rather than promiscuity, which is an ideal that Sanger stood for firmly. In an age where flappers represented casual sex, Sanger refused to allow the institution of birth control represent promiscuous behavior, but rather a way to allow women to have control over their bodies and make choices about an issue that would greatly affect the outcomes of their lives.
Nuzzo also provided her explanation to why Beyoncé can wear very revealing clothing while maintaining her integrity. She says that Beyoncé made black women love their bodies enough to show it off and love their booties enough to feel “bootylicious,” a term coined by Beyoncé herself.
After the speech, Nuzzo smiled proudly and answered questions about her presentation. When asked why she chose Beyoncé when there are other female artists, replied that she feels Beyoncé writes lyrics to help women feel beautiful and powerful simultaneously, more so than other female artists. The audience seemed smitten and everyone left with smiles and a little pep in their step.
“The project was for my Comm Message Criticism class. I analyzed Margaret Sanger’s speech and also analyzed a song by Beyoncé. I realized they both stood for female empowerment. When my professor asked me to do the presentation, it was after my paper about Margaret Sanger and before my paper on Beyoncé,” Nuzzo said.
While Nuzzo’s teacher had asked her to make a presentation on either Sanger or Beyoncé, Nuzzo realized that the two women stood for similar causes, just in different time periods. Nuzzo cleverly combined the two papers into one presentation.
“I was nervous at the beginning of my presentation, but positive audience feedback made me enjoy it,” Nuzzo said.
While everyone may have had something Nuzzo said stuck in their mind, she did have a core idea that she wished for listeners to take away from her speech.
“Women’s power has really grown since the 1920s. But there is room for growth in power. We have to look at powerful women in the media because they have more voice than a common person. We should embody the message Beyoncé sends about female empowerment,” Nuzzo said.
Nuzzo’s presentation provided research of female employment between Sanger’s speech in 1925 to the present. Nuzzo used Beyoncé’s song lyrics to prove her points, as well as bring smiles across the faces of all those in the audience. Additionally, Nuzzo brought attention to a political figure that many women might have forgotten about: Margaret Sanger. Nuzzo’s quest presentation was lighthearted but full of important, legitimate information. The word “Bootylicious” might just have a new meaning for many Oswego Questers this spring.