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Beyonce’s “If I were a boy”: A fifth grader’s perspective

September 29, 2012

One of my favorite parts about working with kids is how insightful they can be about their worlds. As part of my contract, I run an early morning program on Fridays where kids get dropped off an hour before school. Yesterday, a fifth grader and I had a long conversation about Beyonce’s “If I were a boy” because according to her, “It’s her favorite song, but it shows how bad things are for women since she wants to be a boy.” I was inspired to review Beyonce’s video and provide some commentary. (Yes, I know I’m behind with the times since it came out in 2008! Yesterday, I went to an 80s dance night, so I’m really living in the past…)

This video raises many interesting questions about relationship dynamics and how men and women experience relationships differently. Is Beyonce trying to say that men don’t understand what it’s like to be women and experience jealousy and rage at being betrayed?

Maybe the real question is how do men and women think differently about relationships? Do women take their commitments more seriously and consider the male perspective more than men consider the female perspective? I honestly don’t know because I don’t think it’s ever fair to generalize about all men, women, or relationships. However, I love the way Beyonce brought these conversations into the music industry so I respect her for that!

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