Ladies, are you still running your man’s bathwater, untying his shoestrings and brushing his hair when he comes from work? Asking for a friend—well, three friends actually.
You see, today marks 17 years since Destiny’s Child released their hit single ‘Cater 2 U,’ a song in which the group proudly sang about a woman’s total devotion to her man and making sure all of his needs were met at home. While the track was well received back then—peaking at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning two Grammy nominations—a closer, more mature look at the popular song’s lyrics has led to the Internet having second thoughts about whether or not women should have sung along after all. When it was released, just like every Destiny’s Child single before it, ‘Cater 2 U’ quickly became the song of the summer, with women everywhere singing along with Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams as they pledged their undying love for their men through song. But would the love they’re describing in the song be considered pampering your man? Or is the song really about submitting to a man and putting his needs before your own? That’s what the Internet has been debating all day long.
After questioning whether problematic lyrics like “my life would be purposeless without you” were ever necessary or healthy messages for women to share, some Twitter users called for everyone to “cancel” the song forever, referring to it as a “slave song.” But the reactions from fans were mixed and they haven’t been so quick to say goodbye to the romantic DC classic.
Some Twitter users felt that the issue isn’t about whether or not you should be catering to the one you love, but rather, how deserving the person you choose to spoil is of such levels of devotion.
While others point out that, to them, the song represents a woman showing her man how proud she is of how hard he’s worked for their family and what it means to celebrate him for that.
Other users appear more concerned about how women are treating themselves, not their partners—prompting a deeper discussion about self-love.
One user posed the question: If the song were about a man spoiling a woman, would the Internet still want to let it go? Good question.
Former Destiny’s Child band member Michelle Williams even responded to the backlash, poking fun at the conversation and saying in a video response, “Oh, honey. You didn’t discern who you were catering to, when you gave your little pearls to swine. Don’t be mad at Destiny’s Child.”
Welp, there you have it, although, it should be said that the most diehard DC fans just weren’t here for the debate at all.
Looking back on the lyrics now, do you feel differently about them? Tell us how you feel on Twitter.