More than switching up roles

March 21, 2007 at 8:26 am (dance, language, learning to listen, media analysis, popular culture, relationship work, responsibility)


Check it out, new Ciarra! And really, when was the last time I saw a commercially distributed music video featuring 11 women perfoming in drag, to a song based in questioning the validity of so-called “normal” gender roles? I like Ciaras music and I especially like this new video “Like A Boy”. The beat is right, shes an incredible dancer, and it’s refreshing considering what kind of discussions about gender you are sure to find in tv, newpapers, glossy magazines and other big-media.

The most repeated chorus line of the song is: “What, you mad? Can’t handle that?

Maybe this question “normally” would be interpreted as:

You are not man enough (= not masculine enough) to handle this…?”

But in the context of the song, more likely (as I imagine) the phrase could mean:

What, you are angry because you don’t want to hear that I’m angry and fed up (with your behavior, with these tired old gender roles), but instead you emotionally withdraw by claiming to not be able to handle this…?

Or it’s possible that Ciara is asking even more specifically:

What, you can’t handle (owning and expressing your anger, being accountable to me, communicating openly and honesty, facing your own bullshit, doing your own emotional work, etc etc)…?”

Any other interpretations?

Check out the lyrics here.

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