Monday, December 29, 2008

Female Versions

[beyonce on the set of her new vid, "Diva"]

A series of unfortunate events recently led me to have a listen or three to Beyonce's latest single, Diva. With my computer out of commission and the new opportunity to listen to local radio I've heard the song roughly one million times over the past week and a half. The lyrics are pretty trite, but, as with most of BK's songs, the hip-hop inspired, laidback boasting of the beat makes the song very singable. But could someone please explain to me why she has to be the "female vesion of a hustler?"

I get that she's been trying to pick up where Foxy Brown left off as the Bonnie to Jay-Z's Clyde since 2002, so calling herself some "version" of a hustler is cute and, I guess, fitting. But what's wrong with a plain old hustler? She's hard working, successful, with stacks upon stacks of cash that will probably someday outweigh those of her husband, so she really isn't the version of anything. It really annoys me because it's assuming that being professionally successful is a masculine thing, so therefore when a woman does it, she has to be some cutesy, non-important version. Beyonce, and whatever man wrote this song, please get over yourselves.

It's like when people call something a "black version." Girlfriends was the black version of Sex and the City. Brown Sugar was the "hip-hop" version of When Harry Met Sally. It's completely normal to make comparisons, that's how we process new concepts. But to say that anyone, or anything, is a version of something else is admitting that the original concept is exclusive to that group. Smart, sexy, successful women are exclusively white, while money-makers with a hustler's spirit are exclusively male. I got two freshly manicured middle fingers to hold up to anyone that thinks like this.

And while we're on the subject, let me air out another pet peeve: improper grammar usage. Female is an adjective, meaning it describes a noun. For example, a female dog.
1fe·male           Listen to the pronunciation of 1female Pronunciation: \ˈfē-ˌmāl\
14th century
1 a (1): of, relating to, or being the sex that bears young or produces eggs
[what Merriam Webster has to say about it]

There is no such thing as a "female," if you wish to talk about a woman, just call her a woman. Tell that to all of your brothers, boyfriends, cousins, and friends that insist on butchering the King's English. Just a thought.


Michael said...

LOL. While I was reading I initially thought, "Now you know you can't take Beyonce of all people seriously." But as I keep reading I couldn't help but agree with you. Great post, Whit!

CJ said...

Snap Snap and What Mikey said:)

But I do have one request . . .please add a signature Whitney "It BURNS me"

LOL. love ya!

Britt said...

Yup. Unlike Mrs. Carter I am a hustler, no female needed. However, that was my jam for about 2 seconds.

TaRosa Jacobs said...

I totally agree. THANK YOU!!!