Posted at 7:00 AM Apr 23, 2010
By Andrea Grimes
Fact: Ciara is a pop star.
Fact: Ciara can dance like what.
Fact: Ciara does so much dancing like what, she has to wear knee pads.
Fact: Ciara's new single, "Ride" and accompanying video are not especially doing much in the way of empowering female sexuality, despite what Tracy over at Broadsheet says. "Ride" is a song about humping and thumping being awesome because men like it. Classic female validation through male approval. Yawwwwwwnnnnnn.
Per an unusually boat-missing Broadsheet post, wherein Tracy posits that Ciara is "refreshingly different." Hmm:
Yes, she may don a barely there bathing suit and ride a mechanical bull in the "Ride" video, but -- but! -- she's also aggressively sexual in a way we don't often see with pop music's princesses. She humps and smacks the floor; she thrusts her crotch at the camera like a dude and then smoothly transitions into feminine hip-rocking. This isn't the strictly passive prostration you usually see -- I mean, her dance-humping is so forceful she's wearing knee pads. Add her baseball cap, sneakers and cocky lyrics ("they love the way I ride it," "baby say my name"), and I'm sold.
And for your edification, the video in question:
There's plenty empowering about asserting female sexuality, but not if you're only doing it because "they love the way [you] ride it." Women's sexuality has been deeply misrepresented and misunderstood for a long time, particularly in pop culture, because we've been lead to believe that ladies must be happy as long as they're satisfying their men--regardless of whether or not they get any actual pleasure themselves. And yes, there's certainly something pleasurable about making someone else feel good, but it shouldn't be the entirety of where your own pleasure comes from.
Ciara's crotch-thrusting "like a dude" is no more encouraging. I can't get on board with a feminist writer asserting that female sexual empowerment comes through acting like a man. In this case, in fact, it seems more like Ciara is asserting male sexuality rather than saying something interesting about what gets her off as a woman. I mean, I can hump pretty much anything except a dick all night long and, with no penis of my own, get nothing for my troubles but a serious case of rugburn.
All in all, this video is "refreshingly different"? I don't see it. I see the same old thing with knee pads on.