17.11.08

Under a Woman's Skin

I bought The Writing’s on the Wall, I went to see Destiny’s Child at Wembley in 2001 and I marvelled at Beyoncé’s talent and ability. But, as her fame and ubiquity grew, I went off her because I got a little sick of hearing her name. It was only recently when I watched the video to If I Were a Boy that I was reminded of just how talented she is.
She puts across a simple message in a striking way: If I were a boy, I would be a better man than you.
It struck a chord because I’ve been at the wrong end of that kind of relationship. Anyone who has dated a superflirt will know what I mean. 
People have called me a flirt. Some say I‘m a little flirt, others say I’m an outrageous flirt. Some say I flirt insidiously, others say I flirt indiscriminately. One has even said that I flirt with girls as much as I flirt with guys. But, no matter how much of a flirt people think I am, I’m nothing compared to the superflirt. 
Every woman reading this will know a man like this. He is the one that girls flock to at a party. He is the one that is charming and funny and disarming. He may not be the best looking guy at a party but he’ll be talking to the best looking girl while you look over, quietly gritting your teeth because he’s meant to be with YOU. 
He will dance with a woman, compliment another on her hair or her eyes, tease another about how short her dress is, all the while tripping others up with his dimples or crooked smile or whatever secret weapon he was bestowed with. These men see nothing wrong with their behaviour. They think it’s harmless fun and label their women as insecure if they complain. 
And that’s why Beyonce’s video works so well. It asks the simple question: how would you feel if I behaved the way you do? The video might make a few superflirts question their ways but I don’t think they can help themselves; I actually do think it is in their nature and I’m not exactly a great believer in The Changing of Ways.
To the women who are in this kind of relationship, I guess I’d say I feel sorry for you because I’m no longer stuck with a superflirt. 
But I’m also a little jealous of you.

10 comments:

  1. >>but I’m also a little jealous of you.

    why?

    >>To the women who are in this kind of relationship, I guess I’d say I feel sorry for you because I’m no longer stuck with a superflirt.

    To the woman who is in this relationship: Sofi says Good Luck!

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  2. > Sofi
    Because the superflirts make you experience highs you can't experience with normal guys. The flipside, of course, being that the lows are the lowest.

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  3. I was also thinking of blogging about this song. The video is very powerful, and your observations and description of the video are excellent.

    But don't you think the video also has this hidden message/question. If us girls were in the same shoes as the guys, if the society had given us the upper hand we would be behaving like them too?

    And I agree, No matter how mainstream Beyonce gets, she is still an excellent singer and performer.

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  4. Transpose this to a female superflirt and you'll find the highs are pretty much the same and the lows are lower and more often....

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  5. I think I have a radar for men like this. A voice goes off in my head saying: "Avoid! Avoid!"

    Look forward to seeing you soon.

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  6. >Because the superflirts make you experience highs you can't experience with normal guys. The flipside, of course, being that the lows are the lowest.

    This describes it best!

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  7. > Zany
    You're right, that is one of the messages. In my opinion though, women wouldn't behave like men even if we were given the same freedoms. I think nature more than nurture makes men behave the way they do (i.e. as the darker sex).

    > Josh
    It's weird but I've always thought that female superflirts worked for men on a physical level but weren't really capable of hurting them on an emotional level.

    > Ariane
    The question is, do you avoid, avoid?

    > Anon
    Glad you agree :)

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  8. I agree with Kia...

    Being with a Superflirt is like riding a rollercoaster... the thrills are unbelievable but the lows are crippling & there is always this belief or hope that one day you will be able to tame the Superflirt...

    The Superflirt makes you feel special simply because he has chosen you...

    ... But the Superflirt is always just an illusion & sometimes there are hidden depths & sometimes not...but mostly opting out makes you remember what defines you & not HIM!

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  9. I agree with everything written here and in the comments, but I have (predictable) issues of over the blatant gender bias too.

    There are many women who can make men feel just as good and bad by possibly inappropriate behaviour as any male Superflirt - they just happen to be called "friendly" while their men "insecure".

    As for Beyonce, yes it's a clever song, but one that leaves many men screaming "but I don't act that way".

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  10. > Anjli
    You describe it beautifully. I think the "taming" aspect is quite important because women (and, yes, Shak, men too) are blinded by the romanticism of it.

    > Shak
    Have you heard Shawn Stockman's (from Boyz II Men) reply? It could have been great but unfortunately, it's just a bit sad.

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