begging for ownership? hell no. / take a negro to task? right on!

ok. so i got blasted with this song not too long ago during a random encounter with an urban radio station...

if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it?

the feminist in me cringed immediately. why does a sensual relationship between two consenting adults have to involve undertones of ownership, constant power struggles, and a tax break in order to be deemed acceptable?*

my enjoyment of and/or emotional connection to a man has no bearing on whether or not he finds me desirable enough to "put a ring on it".

when i want to be monogamous, i am. when i don't, i'm not. and i'm not gonna beg a commitment from anyone who obviously is not content with lil ol' me.

so. fast forward to earlier this week when someone sent a link to this video, giving me the opportunity to listen to the song beginning to end.

it still made my feminist bones ache, but i was forced to make a confession.

she had a point.

as someone who's been in the position of feeling like a man is wasting your time and your precious divine energy by failing to make a commitment beyond sexual fidelity, it does ring true.

you don't want to see me with anyone else? don't bore the hell outta me. you want to avoid a shattered ego? make a move.

while i don't think it's a good idea to go flaunting new dude in front of old dude when his numbers are barely deleted from your SIM card, there is definitely something to be said for losing your place in line.

brothas, please note: we will not wait for you forever--despite what we might say to you when we're deeply in love--and the farther we are from, say, 18 or 21, the more we mean that.

we all know the man who's been on some, "yeah...i cheated once or twice, and i don't never call when i'm gonna be out late with the fellas and i banged up her car that one time, BUT SHE AIN'T HAVE TO LEAVE ME!!" this song is for you.

[sidenote: a recent conversation with the ex noted that brothas are, slowly but surely, stepping up 'cause, "we sense y'all are gonna take our sweet honey away." to which i replied, "GOOD."]

and, to be fair, there are the usual dangers of the wrong women making this their anthem. specifically, ones who wanna use songs like this to avoid looking in the mirror and facing their own knee-high bullshit. or the ones who just want to perpetuate unnecessary forms of drama. sistagirl, that ain't cool.

so, ms. carter, if this is truly intended to be a call for the (fully grown) sistas who've done the work and put in the time to tell their mates to step up or step off, i'm with you.

...feelin' the choreography, too. word to bob fosse.

*to be clear, i am not anti-marriage. i believe that a deep, spiritually and temporally committed union supported by family, friends and loved ones is totally possible and wondrous. i am, at heart, a serial monogamist. it is the judeo-christian institution full of "submission", "helpmeets", and other disparate notions of gender inequality, authority, and further perpetuation of the nuclear family myth/pod--in situations where that family structure is inherently dismissive of community--that pisses me off.


toni said...

I choose to look at it as a metaphorical "ring"! lol

creatrix said...


ultimately i just wish we'd pay a touch more attention to what kinds of "stuff" is being perpetuated within pop culture.

thanks to these damned presidential debates, i kinda have my social critic hat on 24/7. lol.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

Nice spot u have here, hope u don’t mind the drive by, do chk me out one day

rawdawgbuffalo and if u like what u read, maybe u will come back, even Blog Roll Me

sparkle said...

how about the "it" factor? if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it? gaaaah. dehumanization makes it easier to assume ownership or sense ownership. boo hiss.

creatrix said...

thanks, torrence. the more the merrier! i've actually been thinking about doing a "luuuurrrkers...come out & plaaaay" type post.

sparkle...i actually DID start to go there (i definitely noticed), but i figured this would get 2 pgs longer than it already was. maybe in part 2. LMAO.

YeYe: Sweet Mother said...

It is being deep in the throes of pregnancy with my SECOND ILLEGITIMATE child that has caused me to coin and fine tune the following phrase...I do not have to be the legal property of any man to legitimize ANYTHING I do...as far as my babies are concerned the way I live my life is legitimacy enough for any child I bear!

That being said...yes I agree if you so in love with it step up to the plate and act like you love it quit pussyfooting around or it as the ancient Afrikan sayings goes "the cat gone eat you supper"!

ms. bliss honeycomb said...

mmmmm hmmmm

gotta let 'em know. liberated doesn't mean stupid, expendable, or low enough self esteem to put up with your crap. ha.