Continuing in my revelations of my (not so closet) fandom of female R&B-ish songstresses… Here is another beautiful (+ funky) picture of a woman repenting away from false femininity into true femininity:
Gwen! Man, I can never get enough of this song.
What I love about this is: Some people could read my last post and think that I’m saying to be a woman means to always be vulnerable in the sense of being “weak”. But that’s not what I’m saying.
For example, there is a false kind of femininity in which a woman uses her softness to manipulate and control men. On the surface, she looks like a sweet, weak woman who needs the help of a big strong man to come and rescue her; but underneath, the truth is that she’s just found a reliable way to get others to treat her as weak, and do what she wants.
That is the kind of false femininity that Gwen is apologizing for in this song. She says this somewhere in the middle: “So baby / Times get a little crazy / I’ve been getting a little lazy / Waiting on you to come save me”.
The video posted above is even more telling: In it, Gwen is dressed up as… Rapunzel! There she is, trapped in her tower, the classic damsel in distress, needing a man to “come save me”. So what does she do? She gets her girls to come help her and… chops that hair right off!
Gwen, you’re so smart! Seriously, I love this. She’s saying, basically, “I’m sorry for acting all weak and helpless, trying to force you to play the rescuer. I’m cutting that hair straight off and telling you I’m not going to play that role anymore. I’m apologizing and taking responsibility.”
And she does this in a way that is still, at its core, feminine. She is inviting him into relationship with her, while acknowledging her need for him. That’s beautiful.