According to the world’s best selling anthology, in one of the first human relationship narratives a chasm was created. The story has been told a million and one times: God orders a couple not to eat of a tree, the tree looks tempting, a talking serpent convinces the woman that the tree is worth it, she eats from it, gives fruit to her husband, he eats, God expresses his wrath and, because of this, women have periods and the agriculture industry was born.

This is the first in a long line of a tales about the woman bringing down the man. I don’t need to state the ramifications of these stories; we see them played out everyday. But let’s just assume that this is all true. That women should be kept at a stiff-arm’s distance from the major decisions in a man’s life.

That would mean that a woman’s role should be little more than sexual. Objectified. Tooled out. Child-bearers only. Talked to, but kept out of big affairs. If I was crazy, I might think we live in a society that mirrors this script. Maybe I am crazy.

In our lives, we see scenes played out in front of us that celebrate the continuance of double standards between genders. Men are allowed to play, women are supposed to pray. Societal order is premised on privilege and blame. Throughout centuries, mass literature (the Bible included) has women taking a lot of L’s to assert the male dominance.

It’s 2010 and not a damn thing has changed. Men seem to get a certain thrill from voicing their grievances about the opposite sex. The same with women. Male superiority has history on its side. In a patriarchal framework, even the women are implicated.  “Bitch,” “ho,” “trick”—general terms that males use to denigrate women—come from the mouths of women just as much in some quarters.

Cee-lo’s hit, “F— You,” has titillated many with its bluntness and excoriation of golddiggers. While I have a tendency to appreciate anything Cee-lo puts out, I found it odd that so many men (and a surprising amount of women) championed it so hard. Then I heard it.

It’s about a guy telling a golddigger sayonara. Ah . . . the golddigger. Surely they deserve whatever condemnation they get. Wait . . . what?

What one person sees as a golddigger, another sees as a woman who is subverting the system of patriarchy—similar to a Black person’s efforts to subvert White supremacy. Men routinely approach women with motives, and employ gifted gab, monetary resources, and time, to achieve their goals. There are women who recognize this and do two things to adjust: refuse to play the game, or play the game to “win.”

Kat Stacks, Karrine Steffans, and even Kimora Lee Simmons, are vilified as opportunistic instead of seen as three ladies using objectification in their favor. They played the game—the first two got burned—and used their experiences to grab some spoils of their own. This doesn’t make women blameless; it makes them reactionaries.

Oppression breeds reactionaries. For a society that’s already established (think first world country), it’s easy to develop revisionist history. Instead of recognizing the events leading up to a point, we focus on the point and criticize. I have no problem with anybody being critical of Superhead or Stacks or Nikki Minaj (who brilliantly exploits hypermasculinity for gain) as long as they are also critical of the system that birthed them.

Men prey on the naiveté of women. Women, as a result, outsmart them.

You say golddigger. I say cause and effect. Tomato. To-mah-toe.

Either way, the game is flawed. The fact of the double standard may lack logical value, but its perceptual value looms large—and as long as people want to justify their position, it’ll always be in the market. Just don’t ask me to buy it.

Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • I also wondered why Kimora Lee Simmons was put in the same sentence as Superhead and Stacks.

    Kimora had her own and was making money in Paris by the age of 13 and modeling for Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld etc., which was way before she ever met Russell Simmons. She was Creative Director for Baby Phat (later CEO of Phat Fashions) and, if it wasn’t for her, I doubt that line would have blown up as it did because she is, indeed, a savvy businesswoman.

    Nothing even remotely similar can be said for Karrine or Kat.

    And IMO this song is not about “doing everything to make [a woman] happy” or a guy “doing everything he can for a woman”. I say it’s about an ugly dude trying to buy and continuously finance the ‘props’ he gets for himself (and from his boys) for having a pretty woman. Big bank always beats little bank and he knew the deal upfront, so oh boo hoo:

    “Now I know, that I had to borrow, beg and steal and lie and cheat; trying to keep ya, trying to please ya, ’cause being in love with your ass ain’t cheap.”

    To all those insisting Cee-lo is not trying to put “gold diggers” on blast:

    “I pity the fool that falls in love with you (oh sh!t she’s a gold digger). Well (just thought you should know n!66a).”

  • binks

    I agree with the the few comments who stated that this was over thought. Why is it so hard for other women to swallow when a guy blast another woman but when we women do it to men most of the time time nobody makes a peep. Yes, double standards are whack all around but just like they have not so nice dudes their are equally not so nice women, so give me a break. Gold Diggers do exist, if you say they don’t or try to find an excuse for their behavior you are lying point blank just like men lie and say they didn’t know she was after them for their money, it is splitting hairs at this point. Yes, this article brought up so great points but I’ am not turning a blind eye for the sake of sisterhood and say no these women are doing this due to the fact of x, y and z. I believe just like certain guys should be put on blast so do some women…shrugs…

  • Clnmike

    Yup, definitely chose the wrong song to express her point of view, I had to go back and listen to it again to make sure we were talking about the same song. The one I was listening to was about a man who did all the right things and was played for it so he is mad as hell. Just like all the lady anthems about women being played by unscrupulous men. The difference here is that the author doesn’t seem to like when the shoe is on the other foot.

  • isn’t it fabulous,oh yes lord thats glorious, see now yo looka here yeh its true, read bagavad gita , don’t get me wrong cuz i ain’t the one c-lo is the greatest, be a regular person first and formost nevermind ethnicity ‘ laraza,yoruba,you name it ,ah yes isn’t life grand, masque, vasquez etc. ain’t no denying ‘ much love and respect no doubt,

  • Lauren

    OMG!! Please don’t EVEN try to defend the ‘honor’ of those two extremely nasty skanks ‘superhead’ and walking Fruedian nightmare Kat Flapjacks yes there are double standards but some women DESERVE the label of b**ch and ho by how they act. Not by what a ‘angry black man’ refers to them as Stacks is a despicable little pig and she gets zero respect or sympathy from me.