In 1978, Chaka Khan debuted her first solo album ‘Chaka’, it included her major hit as solo artiste ‘I’m every woman’. It was later introduced to a much younger audience by Whitney Houston in 1992.
The lyrics simply states that “every woman” is a man’s dream. She can do anything, feed him, have great sex with him, soothe his fears and protect him from danger. She affirms all of these without bragging because she’s confident in her magic.
According to Chaka and Whitney, the “every woman” is a cook, courtesan, nurse, shaman and mother. This was nothing new. These women did not invent this ideal. They are only passing down an age old ideal of the perfect woman, only this time, one is free to dance to it.
Men still want these things and women still strive to be all of them, most times at once. But the specification is changing and expanding.
Today’s Every woman must have a job. She must be religious but still know how get down and hard in clubs and nasty in the sack.
Once, I heard a man express shock that a woman would use the same mouth she prays with to perform fellatio, but today that is exactly what is required; an instrument of prayer and pleasure.
So, I concede, I am Every Woman – todays every woman.
I am a working girl. A professional. A slay queen. A runs girl. A church girl. A home girl. A good Muslim girl. A good Christian girl. A good cook. A terrible cook. Great in bed. Terrible in bed.
As a teenager I read one of my mother’s books on how to become the perfect woman. I read it twice. It was very consuming and exhausting trying to master how to be all of what, according to the author, was required to be perfect. That was when I decided to best work the parts of my feminine identity that truly represents me.
The death of Aretha Franklin brings to mind another woman who was every woman. Unapologetically so. She was a diva of legend. Throwing shade at rivals and singing the church down; giving her man something he can feel. She was all these women on her own terms – when she wanted to be.
Twitter debates are rife with feminism, like most social media debates, sometimes ill-informed. I see women picking camps, for many women, these camps are chosen based on what pleases or upset the men in their immediate society. Limiting even further their knowledge of feminism.
The woman I find most interesting among these camps, would brag about her “make up on fleek” just on her way to worship and then a few hours after, she clogs the internet with pictures of the major cooking she did for her man.
If the man shuns the slay queen, she joins him in the public shaming of another woman, as if saying to him, “Look at me I’m not like her. I am virtuous”.
The most tasking edict for a perfect woman is in Proverbs 31; The Virtuous Woman. The man sits at the gate and reels out the most exhausting record of multitasking and burnout that a woman has to meet to qualify as virtuous.
If the modern man wants an ‘every woman’, then, he has to reconcile himself to very nature of the modern woman. She not only is a freak in the bedroom, the internet has lifted the covers and she now speaks proudly of her freakishness (and his short comings too).
She is not only a saint in church or mosque, she is one in the home as well. She may not give fellatio with same mouth that prays to her God (perhaps, she might). Whether a slay queen or a prayer warrior, she may not fulfill your fantasies of a threesome because she’s got some of hers which you will never meet.
Yet, if you insist that you want the ‘every woman’, you will get the “every woman” of the 21st century. Prepare for everything. It will fulfill your every wish.
I say again. I’m every woman. I’m a working girl. A professional. A slay queen. A runs girl. A church girl. A home girl. A good Muslim girl. A good Christian girl. A good cook. A terrible cook. Great in bed. Terrible in bed.
Let every woman reading this add more to the list.
I AM EVERY WOMAN.