I ended my relationship with him because his music of preference degraded, devalued, and denounced women. How did we get to this place? When did I become his enemy? Surely, he did not think of me as a friend!
“Oh, the lyrics are not about you,” he would say.
Ughhhhhh, my frustration rose with every point he missed. Of course the lyrics are not about me specifically, but its collective implication is placed squarely upon my shoulders. The weight is heavy. The conversation is lacking. Maybe if I were not a professional woman, I would not notice? Maybe if my life did not require me to be in situations where I am the only one, I would not be bothered? How have we gravitated from R-E-S-P-E-C-T to O-P-P? Perplexed and tired, I ended the relationship.
If you are wondering, yes we are still friends—the one, he says, “that got away “. What an interesting choice of words when considering the bondage his ideology would have placed me under. Walking away, I was left wondering if he would ever know A Woman’s Worth. I can only hope so, but I still don’t know.
Unless empathetic, people only seem to understand “a thing” if it has a direct impact on them. Have we become so desensitized that we only have empathy when catastrophes occur? Don’t we know that by the time we see the physical manifestations of inequity, inequalities have already run rampant? Many seem to think that if they do not have a dog in the fight, then the fight is simply theater. “Get over it”, they say. “It’s not that serious”, they insist while attempting to bully via shame. “You are too sensitive”, they sing. Their perspective, however, does not change your reality nor how such attitudes affect your life.
“Oh, the lyrics are not about you” become about me when I show up to defend someone in court and have to check a dude who calls me honey. They become about me when I am in a meeting and the males are addressed by their respective titles and I am by my first name only. They become about me when the salary being offered to me is less or when I am overlooked for a promotion, not because of my work product, but because of this rule that a man—and many times a white male—is simply worth more. How could he not be worth more, right? People like to do business with people like them and most big business deals are done between men—white, wealthy men. Now, you know like I do that most people are not white and wealthy and male. Yet, the oppression amongst those of us who are not continues to pit ally against ally.
Although at times slow to make mainstream rotation, songs empowering women are being written and played. Their vehicle is not limited to the radio, but more readily seen in life. So, what songs do you turn up…or turn off? Are the lyrics being sung about you? The big picture, most miss.