If I Were a Boy

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Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy” is an interesting exercise in role reversal (as is her video–click on the link). It’s clearly a love song with a feminist twist. The singer is warning her lover that he may not get away with acting “like a boy” if he takes it too far. She implies that if a man had a clue about what it’s like to be a woman–and how to love a woman–then he’d be a better man.

Is this man-bashing? I don’t think so. If anything, it’s a cautionary tale. “Listen to her…Don’t take her for granted…or all that you have will be destroyed.” If the song touches a nerve–or a heart–it could be because it’s a common female lament. Maybe with Beyonce singing this, men will pay attention to the lyrics (and not just to how Beyonce looks in a police officer’s uniform).

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Ellen Keim

Ellen is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with three cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

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