Creep Like ‘Em

May 31, 2007

“Would the rules change up, or would they still apply?” Watch Ciara’s “Like a Boy” video.

What if she acted like a guy? That is, “had a thing on the side,” “made you cry,” “played you like a toy”–expected behavior for men, as we’ve seen. This brings us back to the equal-opportunity-exploitation, hardly to be desired, except, and implicit in this case, for the purposes of revenge. Ciara looks hot in this video, tattoos, muscles, baggy pants, but it’s of course it’s not about simply co-opting the male role. I think the best part of this song is the dig at stereotypes of female hysteria: “Can’t be get’n mad! What you mad? Can’t handle that!” That line validates all those times her yelling and crying got dismissed as overreaction, waterworks, feminine frenzy, etc. Hurts, doesn’t it? 

Ciara ties together this emotional nonchalance with entire personal freedom. She wants to be “out 4 in the morning/ On the corna roll’n/ Do’n my own thing,” and no, he probably wouldn’t like that either. They can have joint accounts, plus “another one he don’t know about.” 

When women get strung along, it’s not about failing to keep a man’s interest or to identify the signs that he’s a bad guy. It’s not about the difference between men and women’s emotional programming–not simply that she wants to invest in him, while he wants to sow his seed, or however that line might go. Having sex like men is an exertion of power–all kinds of power.

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