His response to Beyonce and TLC tells you what he thinks of women
Your music playlist can help reveal his stance on feminism
Writer’s note: This post was originally published on Medium’s “We Need to Talk” on October 21, 2020.
When the bass dropped for a hip-hop song, he and I two-stepped to the floor, ready to get it in. We’d danced the night away at my brother’s wedding, so I already knew he could be my dancing partner. But less than a couple minutes after the initial song went off, TLC’s “No Scrubs” blasted. Women and girls flocked to the floor to recite the song word-for-word. I watched the scowl cross his face as he said, “I’m outta here. I hate this song.”
I looked on curiously, as he left me by my lonesome on the dance floor. Gainfully employed, sitting in the driver’s seat of a couple of Impalas (I never figured out his obsession with that car make), sharing an apartment with his cousin and an attentive father, I was perplexed by the idea that he had an issue with the song. Literally nothing about “No Scrubs” lyrics fit his lifestyle. A few weeks later and an informative phone call from a relative let me know all I needed to know about his views on women and relationships. (Hint: His theme song should’ve been T.I.’s “I Can’t Be Your Man.” Lucky for me, I was moving out of the state shortly after so I was unphased.)
Years later, I was sitting in an office next to a journalist friend of mine. This guy was married to his military wife, had his own car, just purchased a house and was a “girl dad.” Out of nowhere, he randomly busted out singing TLC’s “No Scrubs” song. A marketing agent to our right poked her head over his cubicle and asked, “Who taught you the lyrics to that song?”
He shrugged. “I like it.” I laughed as he continued his impromptu performance. I was both surprised and not surprised that he knew this song. I remember telling him weeks before that I found out on Twitter that an ex-boyfriend of mine loathed Beyonce.
His response, “Is he gay?”
My jaw dropped. “Not that I know of. We stopped dating years ago, but from his tweets, he clearly has a current girlfriend. But there are plenty of gay men who love the hell out of Beyonce, too, so that can’t be it.”
“Do his eyes work? What’s not to like about her?”
“I’m not sure what his deal is,” I responded. “He’s got a timeline full of Beyonce hate tweets. I never heard the man bash women like this when we were dating, but he does now.”
“She’s employed, hot as hell and makes good music,” he responded. “Something is wrong with him.”
And with that, he shrugged and put his headphones on.