Having recently gone through a breakup, Beyonce’s Lemonade was like reliving every feeling I had during that experience. The doubt and intuition from putting two and two together. The anger over the countless “Becky’s with the good hair,” questioning your own self-worth because of someone else’s actions. Someone else not valuing you until you are no longer available.
For Beyoncé, her resolution came with forgiveness and reconciliation.
This is where we disagree. Some men don’t deserve forgiveness. They don’t deserve your acknowledgment, love or kindness. They simply do not deserve you.
So unlike Beyoncé, forgiveness is not in my vocabulary. Here is why:
“Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.”
I write this for all the boys who have ever tried to come back after they fucked up. Asking me to forget what they did. Erase the pain they caused.
My response will always be “Call Becky with the good hair”. Don’t come looking for forgiveness for your guilt.
Part of forgiving someone is allowing yourself to let go of negative feelings. That is something I think everyone should do, but forgiveness is not always allowing that person back into your life. To ignore the ability they have to continue to do significant damage is to be blind to reality.
Lemonade is a visual album and emotional rollercoaster. Lemonade is not about blind forgiveness. No woman should walk away from watching this with the urge to take back a man who has broken her.
Lemonade is about Beyoncé healing on her own terms. It is about black womanhood. It is about feeling that anger and letting it out. It is about holding men accountable for the damage they do. It is about doing what is right for you.
That last part is important. Forgiveness. How do you determine he is even deserving of your forgiveness?
How much you can put up with? Are you are willing to let it tear at you or can you let it go? Can you do it without resentment?
How important is it to you?
For Beyoncé, that meant saving her marriage. Saving it for her child. For the investment of time she put into the relationship. For the love that had been nurtured and shared between her and her partner. Why did she do this? Because she is committed. Honoring a commitment after a betrayal isn’t always right for everyone. As the video shows, it takes a lot of strength to turn lemons into Lemonade.
It took Intuition, Anger, Apathy, Emptiness, Loss, Accountability, Reformation, Forgiveness, and Resurrection.
These are things that black women are all too familiar with. The need to be strong and persevere in the face of great adversity, oppression and emotional/physical abuse from the ones we love.
I am sick of the strong black woman narrative. I am sick of the “ride or die” narrative. I am sick of black women being drained of our life’s energy, being consumed by ones who claim to love us, only to be used for our bodies and someone’s selfish needs; left to pick up the pieces when they go. “Black women strong. She goin’ be alright”.
BLACK WOMEN SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE STRONG. YOU SHOULD BE DOING RIGHT BY US.
There is strength and comfort in knowing that we can turn lemons into lemonade, but we need the world to stop giving us lemons. I can only handle so much bitterness.
There is an odd comfort in possibly knowing that Jay Z has cheated on Beyoncé – affirmation that it doesn’t matter how beautiful, talented, successful, smart or how much they say they love you.
Some men just ain’t shit and will cheat on you with a basic Becky who ain’t shit either.
And that has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him.
I hope men walk away from Lemonade realizing they shouldn’t take the women they love for granted. Having had an inside perspective on the trials and tribulations, the emotional rollercoaster that is questioning your self-worth because of one person’s actions, I want men to walk away being held accountable for their actions. I want women to walk away knowing that they are stronger than forgiveness. That is not your only option. You are deserving of so much more than a fuckboi.
But believe me, if you aren’t worth $800 million, forgiveness isn’t even on the table.
You’re not “irreplaceable”. Love is a promise, but every promise don’t work out that way. I ain’t sorry.