Woman Like a Man – Damien Rice

The Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice is in my top 3 favorite artists of all time. His melancholy and painfully raw lyrics have shown me a more complex side to the human experience. He also gives me a deeper look into the male experience and the nuances that come from falling in and out of love from a man’s perspective.

I am a very fluid person when it comes to gender and my sexuality. I identify as she/her but I lean into my masculine energy with my style, my career choices, and in the way that I can carry myself. I love both my masculine and feminine sides; they make me who I am. This song opens up a duality in me and allows me to reflect on my more masculine side.

“we’re bad, what we do; stupid fool” – I find that this line really hits me in the chest. It drives home the idea that this masculine energy holds some darkness to it in the form of detachment from others and therefore oneself.

“you teach me of me, how familiar” – After being rejected by this woman, Damien is reflecting on how he has treated his lovers the same way. It is hitting him how his actions feel from the other side and he is realizing how men usually hold this form of power in relationships.

“you want to be the bastard of yourself” – The woman in this song is taking back her power and Damien is quite shaken up by it. She wants to be rich, have power, and live life on her terms. She sounds pretty awesome to me. Her autonomy and independence disturbs Damien and shifts the power dynamics of what he is used to. I identify with the woman in this song because so much of our autonomy, sense of self, and independence is stripped from us at a young age. Our patriarchal society tell us to be sweet, soft spoken, non-controversial, but when I am in my most free state of mind I just want to be the bastard of myself. I want to live without stigmas or rules holding me back. I want to be unapologetically free and wild; to explore the true power that women hold. Growing up within the Christian church was extremely repressive to my sexuality, my expression, and my creativity. It caused me to be a shell of myself and live to please others. I am so grateful to be at a place in my life where I am starting to become my natural and free self. I think that women hold so much power within them and if allowed to live more freely, can change the world for the better.

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