If I Were a Boy



Living my life for these 28 years, I guess I understand why women and men are thinking differently. No it’s not only because they have different genitals, but it’s also because the social construction has constructed them to think in such a way throughout the history of this world. So I personally think that the real problem is only in the matter of perspectives. This world has being built on a patriarchal system that has put women as a ‘second sex’, using the terms given by Simone de Beauvoir. And the equality between women and men is hard to achieve when men themselves still think using the perspective that they are indeed more superior to women, and they are allowed to do things that women aren’t to do. Well, this problem then leads to many problems, particularly in the most micro aspect of a human’s life: woman-man’s romance relationship. Men are used to think in their own way, in which most of the time is not taking some significant considerations about women’s feeling. And I’m talking here from the women’s perspective. This men’s way of thinking most of the time leads to a friction between men and women. The friction leads to a conflict. And this conflict won’t be solved when there’s no heart-to-heart conversation, in which needs a lot of open-minded mindset, patience, and tolerance toward each other.

“If I were a boy, 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 hurts, when you lose the one you wanted, ‘cause he’s taken you for granted, and everything you had got destroyed.” –Beyonce, If I Were a Boy

The song is titled “If I Were a Boy”, performed by the one and only Beyonce. It was released on October 8th 2008 as the lead double A-side single (along with “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” taken from the queen Bey’s third studio album, “I Am... Sasha Fierce”. The pop R n’ B track with folk rock and soft rock influences was written by BC Jean and Toby Gad. The lyrics of “If I Were a Boy” are about a gender-swapping thought experiment, through which the woman analyses the ideologies of a tense relationship. As she sings about things she would do if she were a boy, the woman highlights the vulnerability of a woman and ponders how things would be different if men had women’s sense of empathy. And then she resigns herself and continues to sing about cruelties that men often inflict on women, and that they would never be confronted for it. For me personally, the song’s lyrics are so heart-wrenchingly painful. Moreover, the music video of “If I Were a Boy” has gotten me so. I love how Jake Nava, the director, portrays the frequent conflict between a man and a woman and how the man reacted when the gender role was switched. It depicts that actually, no matter whether you are the man or the woman, everyone in a relationship needs to respect three things: intimacy, honesty, and commitment; because those three things define the “us”.


"If I Were a Boy" single cover | source: en.wikipedia org

And even now, I’m still learning. I’m still trying to understand; what it feels like to be a man, how it feels, and why men think in such a way. I try to understand, because I care deeply and I love sincerely; and it’s one of the ways I love. However, do they try to understand too? “If I were a boy, 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 guys, and chase after girls, I’d kick it with who I wanted, and I’d never get confronted for it, ‘cause they’d stick up for me.” Do they think about us when they chase after girls? Do they understand that what they do will hurt us? Or do they just not care about hurting us at all? Do they think about us when they flirt with girls? Do they understand that lying and hiding some truth will hurt us? Or do they just not care about it? “If I were a boy, I would turn off my phone; tell everyone it’s broken, so they’d think that I was sleeping alone. I’d put myself first, and make the rules as I go, ‘cause I know that she’d be faithful, waiting for me to come home.”
Even until now, I’m still learning the men’s perspectives in order to be able to understand them better. Besides, I do it in order to find a way so that women’s perspective and men’s perspective could meet in the middle and find an agreement that is not going to hurt both sides. I do it as an effort to look after the love and the relationship. I do it as a form of care as well as respect towards my partner. However, do they try too? “If I were a boy, 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 hurts, when you lose the one you wanted, ‘cause he’s taken you for granted, and everything you had got destroyed.” Do they really mean it when they make a promise that everything will only get better? If they really mean it then why do they still build a false hope towards other girls? Why do they still play the game? Is the game really important that they take the risk for hurting us by playing it? Do they understand that by doing so it will hurt us by making us feel like being taken for granted?
“It’s a little too late for you to come back, say it’s just a mistake, think I’d forgive you like that. If you thought I would wait for you, you thought wrong.” One time or two times, we can call it a mistake; a wrong-doing done accidentally. However, if it has happened for many countless times, it’s not just a mistake anymore; it’s more like a habit or a character or a nature. And the thing about character is that no one can change it except them. And it needs a strong will too. And yes, the process of trying to understand is taking a lot of our energy. And yes, we could get exhausted by it. And if only our partner could give efforts with some certain amount towards the relationship, perhaps we wouldn’t feel that exhausted. And perhaps we could meet in the middle point of understanding. “But you’re just a boy, you don’t understand. How it feels to love a girl, someday you wish you were a better man. You don’t listen to her, you don’t care how it hurts, until you lose the one you wanted ‘cause you’ve taken her for granted, and everything you had got destroyed.”


"I Am... Sasha Fierce" album cover | source: en.wikipedia.org

Sad but true, in my everyday life I have found so many cases in which men are taking their women for granted. I find it in most of relationships around me. Men used to think that women should take care of herself by wearing proper clothes and not going out all alone by herself at night. However, they usually forget that men are the ones who also have to hold their carnality back. Men used to think that it is okay for men to drink beer with their guys and chasing and flirting around with other girls. However, they got mad or angry when their women do the same thing; drink beer with their girls and playing around with boys. Commitment isn’t built in one night. However, how could we have a strong foundation to build it when we still play some game with other people who aren’t our partner? How could we compile the trust when we still spread some false hopes toward other people who aren’t our partner? How could we preserve the love and the relationship when we are not willing to understand our partner’s point of view? And yes, of course, it applies for the women too. And that’s why I try to give as much understanding and tolerance as they need. However, when that effort is being taken for granted, that is when I got hurt.

“But you’re just a boy, you don’t understand. How it feels to love a girl, someday you wish you were a better man. You don’t listen to her, you don’t care how it hurts, until you lose the one you wanted ‘cause you’ve taken her for granted, and everything you had got destroyed.” –Beyonce, If I Were a Boy




If I were a boy, 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 guys, and chase after girls
I’d kick it with who I wanted, and I’d never get confronted for it, ‘cause they’d stick up for me

If I were a boy, 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 hurts, when you lose the one you wanted
‘Cause he’s taken you for granted, and everything you had got destroyed

If I were a boy, I would turn off my phone
Tell everyone it’s broken, so they’d think that I was sleeping alone
I’d put myself first, and make the rules as I go
‘Cause I know that she’d be faithful, waiting for me to come home

If I were a boy, 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 hurts, when you lose the one you wanted
‘Cause he’s taken you for granted, and everything you had got destroyed

It’s a little too late for you to come back, say it’s just a mistake, think I’d forgive you like that
If you thought I would wait for you, you thought wrong

But you’re just a boy, you don’t understand, yeah, you don’t understand, oh
How it feels to love a girl, someday you wish you were a better man
You don’t listen to her, you don’t care how it hurts, until you lose the one you wanted
‘Cause you’ve taken her for granted, and everything you had got destroyed

But you’re just a boy

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