The Whys & Wherefores

There is this song by Toni Braxton “Why won’t you love me”. First of all Toni is one woman who can totally gerrit. That woman puts the FAB in fabulous! Let’s see; promoting her album while pregnant simply because her recording company would not put it off. She has a cancer scare which thankfully turns out to be benign, but in a twist of fate she is diagnosed with lupus. Add to that raising an autistic son whom she talks about in an emotional spurt, only like a mother can.  You have a woman who at the age of 45 is sexy as hell (no homo) with a sultry voice and who is above all, a survivor of divorce.  It doesn’t get any more woman than that people. Na-ah! 

The song is very soulful and sweet and painful. You know the kind? Those emotional songs that can make you fall in love with some random unkempt stranger seated next to you in a matatu? There are songs that make the most impervious of men to go down on one knee and declare their undying love to a woman.  Add some poignant lyrics to Toni’s vocals and you get such a song; a song so powerful that it would make the abecedarians at Tusker Project Fame to hide in their play pen. Good job though EABL, but Ruth? I don’t know…. Really, I don’t. I never got to watch most of season 5 so I won’t pull an ‘Alpha Rwirangira’ on you guys.  Then again, it’s a bit too late for that now, innit?

Moving on swiftly….

Toni.  Asking why? And don’t we all, at one point. “Why won’t you love me the way I need to be loved”, she asks. So why won’t he? Is it because of the way you wear your hair, the way you talk, walk, dress? What is wrong with you? What can you do to be perfect for him?

As much as I love Toni, and as much as I love this song and a good number of her other songs, I do not like the lyrics to this particular song. A woman who asks what she can do to be perfect for a man is a woman who doesn’t think she is worth much to begin with. It all begins and, sadly, ends there.

They say it always starts with the WHY before the how, what, who, when or where can follow.

For example, I know the reason why I go clickety-clack on my keyboard, not as much as I would love to perhaps, but every once in a while. It’s because of such lyrics, such representation of women as ineffectual beings. What’s with all that I’ll-be-anything-you-want crap anyway?  It’s deeply unsettling.

Why won’t you love me? Why do you love me? Why is the sky blue? Why is the alphabet in that order? Do some questions have answers? Just like Toni might not get a satisfactory answer to her question, some people can never answer why they love the person they claim to love. Sometimes, you cannot put your finger on that je ne sais quoi that makes your woman or your man tick. Sometimes, you can only appreciate that when cupid strikes, some nerdy girl with braces, a flat chest and the smallest behind or some loud obnoxious midget of a man could get you sprung.

Or maybe sometimes we (I) should just sit back and enjoy a beautiful soulful song without getting agitated about the lyrics, neh? Ok. I am stepping away from the keyboard and putting my earphones back on.


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