Let me begin this post by stating this is much more than a critique of music. It is, like much of my work, and exploration of a different perspective.
Let us begin.
Women have been repossessing their stuff from men for a long time now.
“The clothes on his back, I buy them. The car he drives, I pay the note every month.” — Shirley Brown, 1974
“You may have had him once but I got him all the time.” — MoKenStef, 1995
“Every time we go somewhere
I gotta reach down in my purse
To pay your way and your homeboys way
And sometimes your cousin’s way!” — Erykah Badu, 1997
“To the left, to the left
Everything you own in the box to the left
In the closet that’s my stuff, yes
If I bought it, please don’t touch.” — Beyoncé Knowles, 2006
“Those clothes, those cars, those rings That MacBook, that sh-t belongs to me.” Brandy and Monica, 2012
With Brandy and Monica’s new song “It All Belongs to Me” blaring on my airwaves, I couldn’t help but think about this long lineage of women singing about a love lost and the process of repossession that occurs at the end of the break up.
While this type of “women’s liberation” (I use that phrase very loosely) has been going on for a while, it irked me that after all this time, we were still singing about reclaiming stuff from men who we can assume brought nothing to the table anyway.
And to boot, Brandy and Monica’s video featured them reclaiming items from one man; is it safe to say that this is the same man they were arguing over 12 years ago in “The Boy is Mine”? (I know it’s not Mekhi Phifer, but you understand the continual video concept.)
So what does this say to women (as I was one of the teenage girls rolling my neck, singing along to that 1998 cut) that 12 years later, you are still vying for the same man, and you’ve “upped the ante” by using your wealth to give him a life that he’s not willing to provide for himself?
It’s simple. We have no idea who we are, why we were put here, and what God’s intent for our lives are.
See, God made it very clear that there’s an order to everything when He introduced us to Adam and Eve.
When Eve came on the scene, she came to a place that was already prepared for her.
She wasn’t toiling in the garden, grinding it out, trying to make things happen. She wasn’t “holding it down for her man” while he “gets on his feet.”
Eve was aware that she was there to help Adam, use the skills God gave her to make Eden an even better place for them, and live without the pressures of doing the hard work Adam was called to do.
She came into a place that was whole, complete, and fully ready to receive her. Adam did his part. He provided a “home”, food to eat, and gave her the space to do what God called her to do, too.
This, my friends, is God’s divine order. This is an expression of God’s love and His absolute best for his daughters.
I’m sure Eve added her own “touches” and additions to the garden, much like we do in our own relationships. We work. We pursue our goals. We live our lives. We aren’t, however, to get out of God’s will and become a sole provider to men. Not then, not now, not ever.
It’s not how we were built. It’s not God’s best for us. And if we used this model as an example of what to look for when choosing our mate, we’d never have to worry about becoming a repossessor of any sort.
This isn’t to say that women shouldn’t buy things for their significant others; let’s not miss the point. This is about knowing God’s ideal purpose for us through the biggest and most sensitive part of ourselves: our heart. We know we never give a gift without giving a sliver of souls with it. God wants to protect our “investments” by ensuring the gardens we pour back into are prepared by men who understand the importance of preparing for us first.
When we know God and understand His character, we realize that He created us to enter into our own versions of Eden prepared by a man who has a sense of purpose, works towards that purpose, and understands his role as a provider. Knowing these nuances about the One who created you makes it easier to know your role, play it well, and let Him do the “dirty work.” If Eve’s first introduction to their life together was Eden, why should our introductions be any less?
How do you view women who pour too much into men who haven’t properly prepared for them? Is it socially acceptable or a destructive trend to follow?