Last week we had a wonderful show in the Cambridge Drive Concert series with Terry Holder. At some point during the day, I was talking with Jerry, Terry's husband and guitar player. He wondered out loud why it was that guys in the audience assume that every female performer "is available to them" and told stories about guys who tried to pick Terry up. One fun story involved a guy who had purchased 3 CD's from her merchandise table and then learned that Jerry was her husband. He returned the three CD's and walked away without even asking for his money back.
I was thinking about the discussion this morning as I was walking to work and listening to some music. I love "If I Were a Boy" by Beyonce and, despite the controversy over the rights to the song, I think she just kills that song. Every time I hear it, I believe her. I feel the pain at being taken for granted by some guy and her yearning for "a better man," and I figured it out. A great performance involves putting it all out there.
As a culture, we're just immature about emotions. When a performer opens his or her soul and puts their emotions out there, it feels intimate. Indeed, it is intimate... but that doesn't mean we really have an intimate relationship with the performer. All those guys to whom Jerry was referring were just unable to experience emotional intimacy of any kind without assuming it came with sex. They really need to be "better men" who can experience powerful emotions without making assumptions.
So, here's my question... how do we raise a crop of better men who really do understand the emotions of other people? Who are emotionally mature, caring, and giving, and who understand where the lines are?
Here's a live performance of "If I Were a Boy..."