(Response to a friend/coworker's blog about Beyonce's "If I Were a Boy")
The trick here is that her lyrics may be taken as a broad stereotype, addressing the likes of what is believed to be the nature of man–conniving, carefree, and unknowing towards a women’s perspective. OR the lyrics could be addressing a very personal, intimate relationship between a man and woman, but generalized in the the attempt to make it LESS personal. This way more folks can relate. Sometimes writers will come out and say, “Peter is a low-down, dirty, non-committing bastard who turns his phone off at night” while being sure to throw in some rhymes, but like you stated…this is pop culture. Appeal to the masses. Generalize. Broaden. Almost every straight woman has had her heart broken by a man, so why not speak to that? True, many women may not have been deceived or cheated on, but I can almost guarantee she feels “taken…for granted” in some sense of the word.
Now, my favorite part. Don’t confuse Beyonce the artist with Beyonce the person, hence the name of her album “I am…Sasha Fierce”. Beyonce didn’t even write this song; she just recorded it and now performs it. She probably doesn’t even WANT to leave the house without makeup, her oversized LV bag, and designer sunglasses!! Ok, I’m speculating now, but seriously. Of COURSE she’s going to be a sexy cop and have men hope to see her in her panties…how ELSE is she going to get that other half of the population to watch that stinkin video????? lol
And since I can, I will take the argument of all the misogynist artists out there with airplay: This song isn’t referring to ALL men, just the men who suck (We’re not saying ALL women are b*tches and hoes, just the ones who are). And like the women who feel berated by afore mentioned music, I encourage all the men who feel slighted by this Beyonce track to get a men’s group together and talk about how it makes you feel. And BE SURE to talk to the young men coming up behind you. Tell them that although Beyonce stereotypes men in this song, this is no reason to fall into the trap of being a “bad man”. And let them know that the writer of the song may have some personal issues that she needs to deal with. AND tell them that music labels are all about the dollar, so we can’t expect much from them.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe and support you when you deliberate “Why can’t she take the lyrics of the song a step further, beyond cliched stereotypes of gender roles in America? She has the voice. She has the audience. What more is necessary?” Much like how a friend of mine feels about Michael Jordan…not making any sort of public statements that give back to the community after we have helped make him the billionairre that he is. This is the business of entertainment, people. In America! While we would hope entertainers would give an eff, often times they don’t.
I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying….it is what it is.