In a super animated video from For Harriet's founder, Kimberly Foster, she voiced her distaste for the overplayed unofficial "Ride or Die" rule, and began her discourse with her disappointment of Beyonce and Jay-Z's "Bonnie and Clyde" themed, On The Run II tour.
Though she had some valid points about the detriment of a woman foregoing her self-worth and over-laboring in a imbalanced relationship, I think she may have missed a mark in providing the proper framework for a committed heterosexual relationship or marriage.
This read will break down some of her arguments, as well as collective feminist beliefs, and interject some of these findings with my own critical thoughts about how being a ride or die partner transcends patriarchal gender roles by going both ways.
So, first things first… as a huge Beyonce fan, I'd like to debunk the anchor for her opinion. At the end of the day, you don't "Ride or Die" for someone who doesn't reciprocate. I don't understand why that always seems to be the missing part. Kimberly expressed her annoyance of the overplayed Bonnie and Clyde archetype. Bonnie and Clyde are a real life couple, who were real life criminals, and died as a result of their real ass crimes. It's an archetype that has been romanticized as part of a patriarchal conditioned system.
Outside of the sensationalized criminal wrongdoings of these two people, they committed to each other in a vow that was sacred to them. Do you think that when they were in bed making love, that they were focusing on the bank they just robbed? No. Beyonce and Jay-Z are artists who are doing the expected thing by channeling an infamous fated couple. They might as well throw in their rendition of Romeo and Juliet, Adam and Eve, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus...but I digress.
In the comment thread of this video, many people were upset that she omitted their personal battle in marriage. Kimberly then rebuttaled that she was speaking of the "performance." I think that this trivializes their private lives, in which they have clearly fought for the union, which heavily relied on Jay-Z doing right by his wife, coming to terms with his infidelity, and the pain he caused his family. Jay-Z had to awaken to his toxic masculine qualities, and redeem himself for succumbing to not only infidelity, but also the staunch truths of his past - and I'm sure that Beyonce did not make it easy, because our society certainly didn't.
You don't ride and die for someone who doesn't reciprocate. Period.
Moving on, she mentioned that it would be great to imagine a world where "women get equal care and support." So why stop there? Why stop at imagining this was so? Why not fight against the status quo, whilst upholding what many of us want - a monogamous, reciprocal, healthy and balanced relationship? Instead, she quickly streamlined her conversation into the outdated acceptance of, "women fix men, men take the credit." If you have been on a spiritual path like the one I have been on, which requires you to raise your vibration, then you likely don't subscribe to this old paradigm.
This goes for both men and women.
As a womanist, my personal truth is to enlighten men, or anyone who falls victim to the box of misogyny and patriarchy that we live in, about what it means to respect women, because ultimately it translates into respecting yourself. What is the point of embodying a whole ideology of feminism, for the purpose of schooling those who don't get it, to only disallow the desired growth to bloom? In short, I can cling tightly to my feministic convictions, but I fear that women like Kimberly cling so tightly, that they give no space for growth of the other half.
As a student of universal law and energetic exchange, if you think about it, women are built with a more innate intuition, or at least the ability to tap into it, on a greater scale than men are. But men, because of the very rigid separation of their heart centers, they are able to enforce 3D or physical stability, protection, and provisions. Now that things are shifting energetically, women are growing more of that physical ability to enforce that masculinity within us, and men are learning to embrace and utilize the feminine energy. Kimberly did mention that a paradigm of this nature would be better for men as well, and that is something we can agree on.
Another point that I found problematic was when she generalized the idea that men use women as, "a means to an end," and a "vehicle to get to their best self." Well, I have seen with my own eyes relationship dynamics where men depend on women for everything, including: housing, food, money, and emotional support. I doubt however, that the co-dependency in this type of relationship leads to being their best selves.
I'm a firm believer that you only attract the sum of yourself.
If you end up with a man who does not take accountability for himself, then you sis, are not embodying your best self. As gender roles continue to transform and people are waking up to the idea of balancing masculine and feminine energies within themselves, both men and women will find themselves shifting out of this old paradigm.
In her own words, she said one of the critical failures of feminism is that "we don't provide women with the tools to push back against the social norms." In Kimberly's critique of the "Ride or Die" trope, ironically, she is not providing the tools to help women push back against the social norms, by denying or omitting the fact that the paradigm she speaks of is transforming.
How many Black women do you know is gung-ho about training a grown little boy? The true problem is in how many of us subscribe to the aforementioned statement, being the only thing that is available, and in the process, not working on our self-introspection, self-love, and self-care, that will ultimately get us to a point of vibration where we will attract our equals.
The idea of being a "Ride or Die," transcends not only the patriarchal paradigm that we have been socialized and conditioned to live in, but it also transcends race, gender, and heteronormative relationships.
It's about respect, love, equality, and mutual reciprocation for the person you share your life with.
I have worked hard to get myself to a level of self worth, and unconditional love within my own soul, and you best believe that when I find my vibrational equal, I will "Ride and Die" for that man, because he will do the same for me.