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Evaluation of Beyonce Knowles’ Song, if I Were a Boy

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Published: Feb 12, 2019

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Introduction, description of artifact, the gender binary and other ideas about gender, gendered bodies, gender performance, intersectionality, gender inequality, works cited:.

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if i was a boy essay

Song Meanings and Facts

Song Meanings and Facts

“If I Were a Boy” by Beyoncé

by Amanda London · Published July 18, 2020 · Updated July 18, 2020

Beyoncé’s “If I Were A Boy” has what we would consider a very simple and very easy to understand narrative. The narrator (Beyoncé) is basically imagining the things she would do if God had made her a male instead of the female that she is. In each of the verse, she talks about some of the dumb, interesting and ugly things she would do if she were a boy.

But our interest isn’t in the verses per say. It is in the chorus our interest lies. And why? Because this is where the “meat” of the song really is located. Here, she strongly criticizes men for their inability to love and treat their female partners properly. So according to her, if she had the opportunity to be a boy, she’d make it her objective to be a better partner to her female lover.

Song’s Inspiration

According to the song’s co-writer (singer-songwriter BC Jean), the song was inspired by two primary things. The first was the collapse of a romantic relationship she was in. And the second inspiration came when she and record producer Toby Gad took a trip to a pizza restaurant in New York City. FYI, Gad co-wrote this ballad with Jean.

According to Jean, while at the restaurant, she wanted to order a pizza but instantly decided against the idea because she was on a diet. It was at that particular moment that she wished she was a boy. And why? So she could eat the pizza without even thinking for a second about the consequences it would have on her weight. And along with that thought came a flood of other thoughts relating to the things she would do if she were a man. And being a “better man” than her ex lover was one of the things she felt she could do if she were a boy.

Did Beyoncé write “If I Were a Boy”?

No, she didn’t. It is interesting to note that despite this being one of her most notable songs, Beyoncé played no role in its creation. The aforementioned songwriters (Toby and Jean) are the official composers of this hit ballad.

Actually, it was Jean who recorded this song. However, when she sent it to her label, it was rejected. And the next thing she knew, Beyoncé grabbed the rights to the song and turned it into a global hit.

Release Date and Album

It’s official date of release was October the thirteenth, 2008. It was one of the nine hit singles Beyoncé’s team used in promoting her multiple Grammy winning “I Am… Sasha Fierce” album. FYI: Beyoncé’s Grammy winning song “Halo” was also one of the many hit singles from “I Am… Sasha Fierce”.

Chart Performance of “If I Were a Boy”

This ballad went on to become one of the most successful songs of 2008. For example, it reached the top of the record charts in many places, including Britain and Sweden. It was also a top 5 hit for Beyoncé in her home country (the United States). Here, it actually made it to number 3 on the one and only Hot 100.

Quick Beyoncé Facts

Beyoncé is an American powerhouse referred to by most of her fans as ‘The Queen’. Aside music, she is also into acting and fashion. Even though she featured in a lot of competitions as a child, she started her journey to fame when she led the group ‘Destiny’s Child’ in the 1990’s.  She is one of the most popular musicians across the world. Her features and talent have drawn a large number of fans to her. She has a sister by name Solange who is also popular on the music scene.

In 2008, she got married to another music powerhouse by name Jay Z who is known all over the world. The following year, she was named ‘Artist of the Decade’ by The Observer .

In 2020, she was again named ‘The Most Powerful Woman in Music’ by BBC Radio 4.

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if i was a boy essay

Song Meanings & Facts

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If I were a Boy Essay

December 2, 2017 by Study Mentor Leave a Comment

God created human beings and assigned particular roles to them. On the point of creation and human beings there are very famous lines of a great poet, dramatist, literary scholar of all times, Sir William Shakespeare who in his poem mentioned that, all world is a stage and we humans are the players who perform their part and role and go away.

These lines are very much relatable. Be it a boy or a girl, man or a women, each gender has got their specific roles to perform.  

There is this pre-conceived notion of girls about boys. Girls consider lives of boys to be simpler and less complex. They at times envy boys because they believe, for them everything is so easy and accessible.

This is not at all the fault of girls but the society in which they have brought up have projected them the case from the very beginning of their childhood. It is not at all right to think that boys have a very easy going life or if I or any other girl would be a boy then there life would be so easy and according to their wills and demands.

They, the boys, too have responsibilities to perform, expectations to rely upon and a lot more in their life. The major reason for this increment of thought in girls that if they would be a boy then everything would have been so easy is the orthodox society of our country. It has a very major impact on it.  

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Orthodox Society

If I were a Boy

There can be very common example of father figure in our families. They are to take all the major decisions, be it related to their work or of household matters. Their opinion and decision is considered to be the final and the sanctioned one. In many families the girls are not provided with proper education, they are forced to learn the things which would help them to manage their household after they get married.

They are not given that space and freedom which the male counterparts of the family enjoy. Boys are provided with all the educational facilities and if required they are even send to other places, away from their home to complete their education. The boys are always taught to take up the responsibilities, they have to manage the house and take up the best job so as to secure their livelihood.

On the contrary, the girls are never taught the same. They are trained in cooking, stitching, sewing and other house hold related tasks. There was a time in the society where women were provided with education so as to teach their children and not for their own self and knowledge.

This is the greatest irony of this society that a man who is born out of a mother’s womb and later on that mother who is a female by her attributes is considered inferior and weak.   

Thought Process  

Moving onto the thought process of a girl thinking or wishing if she was a boy is a very common phenomenon though which all girls go. They think that if they would have been born as a boy then they would have got all the freedoms, the liberty to do the things of their own interest and choice, the liberty to go on tours, to spend their time with their friends staying at their place, the sense of security and relief since being a boy nobody would misbehave with them.

The major concern of being a girl is of security and safety. Being a boy would give them freedom to travel late at night without any fear. The society accepts every flaws of a male but becomes extremely judge-mental when it becomes the case of a girl.

If a boy is seen with a group consisting of girls then it is fine for the society but if they get see a group where there is a girl with more number of boys then they are considered to be ill-mannered, not descent and several other adjectives to describe their character. These are some of the major reasons which lead a girl to at least think once in her lifetime for not being a girl but to have been a boy.  


Taking into consideration all the facts it is true that life of a boy could be determined as easy when compared with a girl. This is because of the lack of opportunities and facilities that the girls are deprived of. It is very obnoxious to live in a partial society which is more favorable to boys than girls.   

Looking onto the other prospect of the matter when we take into consideration the life of a boy then it is not at all easy as it appears to the people. They too live a difficult and burdened life. They are heavily burdened with responsibilities like of taking up a job since a boy cannot sit at home and perform the house hold works. It is against their respect and dignity.

They are burdened with the responsibility of taking care of their family because from the very beginning they are taught that they have to manage the things. It is true that they do enjoy the liberty and freedom that a girl does not but that does not make life easier. They are not allowed to project out their emotions, to vent out their feelings because they are boys they cannot do so.  It is against their manliness. These things must be very difficult and disturbing for them to manage.  

According to my views, no matter if there is a boy or a girl it would make no great difference. Every gender has their own problems and nobody has got their life easy and without any worries. Both have got their roles to play and equal challenges to face.

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What Does Beyonce Mean in the Song “If I Were a Boy” Analysis

What Does Beyonce Mean in the Song “If I Were a Boy” Analysis

OtherIn her song “If I Were a Boy,” Beyonce argues that many women are trapped in bad relationships and never take the time to question how they truly desire to be treated. To confirm this, Beyonce is attempting to look at her unhealthy relationship as if she were in her significant others shoes. She makes an effort to develop an understanding of what it is like to be the man in the relationship, and see how he can just passively mistreat a girl. Beyonce later discovers that she would treat others how she would want to be treated because she understands how it is to be hurt by someone.

She also finds that most guys do not care whether or not their significant others are suffering because of their actions. Beyonce establishes credibility for her lyrics by using the three appeals: pathos, ethos, and logos. These appeals are utilized to influence her audience, not let a man control their lives, but live there lives the way they want, and find a man that can treat them better than they have been treated in their past. Also, the use of repetition and form are used to establish her points within the song.

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Lastly, she wants her listeners to visualize how it could be if they were the other person, and question whether or not their outlook would be different. Beyonce uses pathos, the first of the three appeals in her song by using very descriptive phrases. When she states, “I’d listen to her, `cause I know how it hurts,” Beyonce is telling her audience that she understands what it is like to be hurt, and that if she were a boy, she would treat her women better because she could understand where she was coming from.

This tugs at the listener’s heart because you can see that she has been emotionally hurt from a past relationship. Also, many people can relate to what she is disclosing. It is human nature for people to get emotionally damaged in a relationship and therefore her feelings are empathized. She also uses syntax by the way she orders her words by telling a story. If the song was not in story form, it would not produce the great impact that it does.

Furthermore, Beyonce utilizes ethos or the appeals based on the writer’s authority and credibility to influence her writing. Because Beyonce is a universally known pop superstar, she posses the ability to influence many people. She establishes her credibility by showing her respect and honesty to her audience. She makes reasonable claims by singing about a topic that most relationships can relate to. This song like many others she has sung, posses the ability to make a difference in the lives of

her listeners. Beyonce also uses the third appeal, logos, based on facts and hard evidence.. As someone who went through a rough time in a relationship herself, she makes it known in her lyrics. She is using reason and common sense in her song also, “I’d kick it with who I wanted and I’d never get confronted for it,” because some men are not concerned whether they are unfaithful or not. Other than using pathos, ethos, and logos in her song, Beyonce uses rhetoric to persuade her audience.

By stating, “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 got it all wrong,” Beyonce is persuading her listeners to take control over their love lives and find someone that is reliable and worth their affection. On the other hand she is persuading us to understand how a man thinks and accept that is just how they are by saying, “But you’re just a boy, And 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.

” This could also mean that no matter how much she tried to be in his shoes he’ll never understand where she is coming from, and she’ll never understand why he will not change. Beyonce could possibly be using these words to tell her audience no matter how hard you try to rationalize the situation in your head; a man is a man, and some just can not be changed. In her video, Beyonce places herself in the man’s shoes by switching roles as she plays the position of a cop and he plays a secretary in an office. She is out all night and he begins to call looking for her, while he is at home being faithful.

She never answers her phone because she is out with another man. This goes with her lines, “If I were a boy, I would turn off my phone, Tell everyone it’s broken so they 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. ” She is using rhetoric to persuade her audience that a man does not care whether he is out all night with another girl because he knows that his significant other will be waiting at home for him.

At the end of the music video, they switch roles again and he could care less that she did not like him being out all night with another girl, “But you’re just a boy, And you don’t understand. ” Beyonce’s song “If I were a boy” is important because it gives a voice to women that I believe needed to be heard for many years. It is important to bring these types of situations to listeners so they sense they are not the only ones.

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If I Was a Boy

Kestle GauthierOption 2 When reading the lyrics to “If I Was a Boy” by Dar Williams it left me caught up in my own thoughts about my own experience with gender socialization and how society expects us to fall in either a masculine or feminine category. This is not a typical song compared to songs produced now a days. These lyrics really make you have to analyze the message the writer is trying to portray. Dar Williams does a good job getting the point across about genders stereotypes without having to say the message in written context.

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At such a young age children aren’t socialized into thinking that there is a right or wrong for each gender. The song is told through the eyes of a little girl growing up and eventually being socialized into a certain gender. The beginning of the song she was topless riding her bike, playing outside climbing trees without any care in the world, then the end of the song she was talking to her husband about her childhood and just like her he was also gender socialized.

Agents of socialization are, “Individuals or groups that influence our orientation to life-our self-concept, emotions, attitudes and behavior” (Pg, 72). The reoccurring agents in the song, “If I was a Boy”, is Peers, The Neighborhood and Media. In the beginning of the song, she started out innocent and then the gender socialization occurred when she was told she needed a “nice man to walk her home” stereotypical thing to say, the man being masculine and being able to keep her safe and walk her home, this is an example of the agent “Peers” by someone telling her that she needs a man to walk her home to keep her safe.

Next in the song she was riding around on her bike topless the neighbors were yelling at her to, “Get your shirt”. The next agent shown in the song is the media, when she goes to the store and there’s a sign that says, “Less is more” This is stereotypical for a teenage girl growing up, for any clothing store, magazine and on the tv you always see people were less and less clothing and it really influences being feminine.

One thing I noticed through out the song was that Dar Williams didn’t use the agent of family that I could tell. This may have been because she thinks family should let children have keep there innocence while they have it, and family shouldn’t be the reason there kids are socialized into a gender. The beginning of the song starts out as socialization we get when we are children, as we get older though we let certain aspects in life resocialize us, you get many examples of ocialization in the song starting out with her friend telling her she needed a boy to walking her home to keep her safe, to riding her bike around her neighborhood and being told she needed to put a shirt on, to going to a clothing store and being told less is more each one of these examples in the song shows resocializtion all the way to the ending, when looks back on a picture of herself “as a boy with grass stained shirt and dusty knees, and all i know things have  gotta change”. This was an important quote from the song because she reflects back on her younger self and you can tell she changed.

One of the concepts talked about in chapter 10 that relates to the song, “If I was a Boy” is the gender stratification, “males and females unequal access to property, power and prestige. We also explore the prejudice and discrimination directed to people because of there age” (Pg, 248). Each society has a certain way of viewing gender, this relates to the song in many ones, for example when she needed a “Man” to walk her home and keep her safe gives her the impression that men are supposed to be strong and take care of us.

Another concept talked about in chapter 10 is why there are gender differences, why can’t she ride her bike without a shirt on ? Why can’t she wear boy clothes that are comfy ? Biology is what makes us a “boy” or “girl” but nature vs. nurture is what shapes our behavioral traits. We are placed in a category and we are expected to act a certain way, and anything that is different from that we are looked down upon. This relates in the song because at the beginning she had not a care in the world, did whatever she wanted then as she got older society took a bigger impact and started to shape her into what we call a “girl”.

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Beyoncé: If I Were a Boy

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Beyoncé: If I Were a Boy (2008)

Music video for Beyonce's song If I Were a Boy. Music video for Beyonce's song If I Were a Boy. Music video for Beyonce's song If I Were a Boy.

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Beyoncé in Beyoncé: If I Were a Boy (2008)

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‘Dimbulb’ Trump Torched After Rambling Attempt To Explain Gettysburg Goes Wrong

Ed Mazza

Overnight Editor, HuffPost

if i was a boy essay

Donald Trump’s attempt to explain the Battle of Gettysburg took some strange verbal detours ― and his critics were quick to call him out over it.

“Gettysburg, what an unbelievable battle that was. The Battle of Gettysburg,” the former president said at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. “What an unbelievable ― I mean, it was so much and so interesting, and so vicious and horrible, and so beautiful in so many different ways.”

Trump continued:

“Gettysburg. Wow. I go to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to look and to watch. And the statement of Robert E. Lee ― who’s no longer in favor, did you ever notice that? No longer in favor ― ‘Never fight uphill, me boys, never fight uphill.’ They were fighting uphill. He said, ‘Wow, that was a big mistake.’ He lost his great general, and they were fighting. ‘Never fight uphill, me boys!’ But it was too late.”

The ramble was made even more surreal when someone just over Trump’s left shoulder began making odd faces midway through:

Trump goes on a weird rant about the battle of Gettysburg and then notes of Robert E Lee that "he's no longer in favor. Did you ever notice that?" pic.twitter.com/hs9GjmCh6K — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 14, 2024

Trump has been prone to verbal gaffes , stumbles and miscues , especially lately .

But even critics on X, formerly Twitter, were left perplexed by his attempt to describe one of the most famous battles in American history:

This is the part where Trump does a mash-up of the Civil War and Pirates of the Caribbean. https://t.co/H8aszJvzwF — Heather Thomas (@HeatherThomasAF) April 14, 2024
Trump: "Gettysburg! Wow!" What a dimbulb. — Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 14, 2024
So @realDonaldTrump Gettysburg was "Beautiful" and "it represented such a big portion of the success of this country." Really? Oh and "Robert E. Lee is no longer in favor"! Do you know why he is no longer in favor? Because he was a damn insurrectionist! On June 7, 1865, Robert E.… https://t.co/VUxRNPfLjR — Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) April 14, 2024
His utter stupidity has always amazed me more than his psychopathy. https://t.co/X3pU976ln6 — George Conway (@gtconway3d) April 14, 2024
Trump: Gettysburg, what an amazing, horrible, just incredible, classy, terrible thing, really beautiful. I kinda went there, but had the wrong address. Robert E Lee a war hero that wasn’t captured, loser on the hill, but we miss him, really a great guy, believe me https://t.co/CZ0ABdwk1s — Jared Moskowitz (@JaredEMoskowitz) April 14, 2024
Trump, in his bizarro history lesson, has Robert E. Lee saying to his troops "Never fight uphill, me boys," as if he was the Lucky Charms leprechaun. https://t.co/vpkYzPTUsI — James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) April 15, 2024
“I go to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to look and to watch” I wish more people would note how frequently Trump says simple sentences with simple words that are still so utterly crazy that no one in history has ever said them before https://t.co/5bqRXHuFhY — Roger Sollenberger (@SollenbergerRC) April 15, 2024
Trump just gave his own Gettysburg Address. It was incoherent. https://t.co/3G04VaIF3b — davidrlurie (@davidrlurie) April 14, 2024
The man's brain is mush. Imagine thinking this demented buffoon should become the president of the United States. https://t.co/y6FvYJdr4v — Republicans against Trump (@RpsAgainstTrump) April 14, 2024
If we asked Trump which General led Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, is there any chance he would give the right answer? — Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) April 14, 2024
Civil War historian here anyone who is a fan of the Confederate traitor and enslaver Robert E Lee should not ever be the President of the United States. https://t.co/SkcA8MoL2H — Manisha Sinha (@ProfMSinha) April 14, 2024
Guarantee this is the totality of what Trump knows about Gettysburg https://t.co/p6D2M48QWW — Greg Pinelo (@gregpinelo) April 14, 2024
“Never fight uphill, me boys.” Was Robert E Lee an Irish pirate? https://t.co/OVCxH0IuSD — Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) April 14, 2024
Trump is one of those idiots who asks Gettysburg park rangers if the monuments were there during the battle. — Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) April 14, 2024
Donald Trump always talks about history (or, well, *anything*) like a fourth-grader doing a book report on a book he didn’t read. — Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) April 14, 2024

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