A continuation of the “Is Beyonce a feminist” conversation:
Let me take you back to 1999, when the radio was flooded with songs where women were berating men. TLC’s “No Scrubs” and Destiny’s Child’s “Bills Bills Bills” has dudes mighty salty. No one had really called us out on our crap before.
Honestly, I didn’t have a problem with the songs. I knew I wasn’t a scrub – I was straight ballin’ off my part-time video-game store salary. But what bothered me then and now was that many women got the messages of those songs all screwed up.
Yes, it’s been said that Beyonce and company were trying to empower women with those songs, but since the majority of women I knew back in ’99 took “pull your own weight” as “buy me my weight in diamonds,” I feel the message was muddled. And I think Beyonce and friends did it intentionally.
From Destiny Child’s “Bills Bills Bills”:
Can you pay my bills
Can you pay my telephone bills
Do you pay my automo’bills
If you did maybe we can chill
OK, I’ll give her the first two lines. If a dude runs up bills, he should pay for them. I have a beef with the third line, though. I guess you can take “automo’bills” as “replace the gas you used in my car” OR you can take it as “pay my car note.”
Line four seals the deal – “if you did maybe we can chill.” That sounds to me like “we can go on a date IF you pay for all this stuff” not “you’re not living up to your responsibilities.”
From Destiny’s Child’s “Stimulate Me” (from the Life soundtrack):You say you want my sweet body
But first you gotta pamper me
Say you gotta phat crib in the hills
don’t mean a thing to me
Unless I got a key
If you split half goes to me
Hmmm. Bey and the crew could be saying “I don’t care that you have expensive stuff, it doesn’t matter as long as we’re together.” OR she could be saying “Your money doesn’t matter unless I get a piece of it. And if you leave I get half for free!”
From my review of I Am…Sasha Fierce‘s “Diva”:
This is a stick up, stick up
I need them bags uh that money
A stick up stick up
You see them ask where that money
All my ladies get it up
Well, then. Bey could be saying, in the most ghetto way possible, that she’s an independent woman who has achieved her own financial success. Or, according to line four, she could be urging ladies that when they see “them” (i.e., men) to go for them bags uh that money.
That’s three songs, in the span of nearly 10 years that COULD be telling women to demand more from their relationships and to find their own happiness OR she could be brainwashing a generation of young women to suck money out of their men.
You don’t think she’d intentionally be vague so she could change her story at a whim, do you?
Nah, she’d never do that. Just ask the girls who discovered they were kicked out of Destiny’s Child while watching BET.