I really, really can't stand whiney-arsed pop songs. The worst offender by quite some margin is "Because Of You" by Kelly 'Not Related To Jeremy' Clarkson - a song that's more whiney, self-centred and angst-ridden than your average teenager's LiveJournal. Not pleasant.
And so Beyoncé has joined the party with "If I Were A Boy". Now, I am a boy. If I'd written a song that basically said, "all girls sleep around, take you for granted, hang out with their mates all the time and don't give a shit about your feelings until you dump them", I'd get every feminist in the Northern Hemisphere wanting to put my bollocks in a vice. I'd also have written a really crappy pop song.
Kudos, then, to Beyoncé and songwriting partners Britney Carlson and Toby Gad. They avoided falling into that trap. Unfortunately, they fell into the trap of writing exactly the same song about blokes instead. Oops.
Let's take a closer look...
If I were a boyThe male gender apologise for that fact that you're too vain to just do this. It's clearly our fault.
Even just for a day
I'd roll out of bed in the morning
And throw on what I wanted and go
Drink beer with the guysWe also apologise for being better friends to other guys than girls are to other girls. That must be our fault too. Oh, and to suggest that all blokes chase after girls is insulting. You tart.
And chase after girls
I'd kick it with who I wanted
And I'd never get confronted for it
Cause they stick up for me
If I were a boyModest, aren't we Ms Knowles?
I think I could understand
How it feels to love a girl
I swear I'd be a better man
I'd listen to her
Cause I know how it hurtsThat's a bit over-dramatic, isn't it? Would you like a lie down?
When you lose the one you wanted
Cause he's taking you for granted
And everything you had got destroyed
If I were a boyYes, 'cause that makes perfect sense. The only way I know that someone is sleeping on their own is because their mobile phone appears not to be working. You bloody mentalist.
I would turn off my phone
Tell everyone it's broken
So they'd think that I was sleeping alone
I'd put myself firstSo all girls are faithful and all boys are self-centred arseholes? Sorry, what planet did you say you were from again? Don't blame the rest of us 'cos you've only dated serial twats.
And make the rules as I go
Cause I know that she'd be faithful,
Waiting for me to come home, to come home.
There's more, but it's just the same stuff again. If these lyrics were aimed at just one particular boy then it wouldn't be so bad, but it's a cheap pop lyricists trick to tar everyone with the same brush. Girls will buy the single because it makes them feel "empowered", because they "empathise with the singer", because they "all know boys like that", and because "they're all totally full of shit". The world is not full of blokes who can't go two days without shagging something. You need to get out more.
But you're just a girl.