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Monday, November 28, 2016

Irreplaceable: A Scientific Look into a Classic Song.

I am going to attempt to analyze the hidden meanings of Beyoncé's song "Irreplaceable." 
On the surface it may seem pretty to the point. Classic break up/ independent woman type of song that gets caught in your head like 99 Red Balloons. Although some of the lyrics may be pretty basic and probably carefully written in a board room, there is a depth to what Beyoncé is saying. 
A majority of the lyrics in this song have some roots in evolutionary biology and anthropology. This may seem like a silly and obtuse stretch, but there are several factors that warrant this type of research. 
I will attempt to break down the lyrics and describe what the could mean in an evolutionary and scientific context. 
To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
^^ Beyoncé is basically signaling to the male that she is simply done with him in a romantic sense. She is hinting to the fact that the male is not a good provider and certainly not worthy of trading her fertile eggs for resources or fostering a stable family unit. 
Everything you own in the box to the left
In the closet that's my stuff, yes
If I bought it please don't touch,
^ Beyoncé is signaling to the male to take his things and resources and find shelter somewhere else. 
The male at this point may feel threatened and may even try to win her over by groveling and appeasing her wishes. If the male sees Beyoncé as as viable mate, he might engage in behaviors that would I against his usual character or judgment. Beyoncé is signaling the male to not touch her property and also shows her financial independence by pointing out what she has acquired by herself without male intervention. She is basically telling the male that his resources are not useful and she will be much better off as a financially independent and sound woman ( until the next courtship comes along). 
And keep talking that mess, that's fine
But could you walk and talk at the same time?
And it's my mine name that is on that tag
So remove your bags let me call you a cab
^ These lyrics are an extension from before. She is reiterating that she doesn't want her property to be tampered with. She is also hinting that the male is visibly angry or perturbed from her decision to end the romantic courtship. The male with visual and verbal cues, signifies that he doesn't agree and will act in a threatened and immature manner. Some of his behavior could have been influenced from prior relationships where the female was defensive, combative and hard to reason with. Unless the male does some significant self work, he will repeat the same behaviors and attract the same relationships. This also goes for Beyoncé's judgment as we will see later on in the song. 
Standing in the front yard telling me
How I'm such a fool, talking about
How I'll never ever find a man like you
You got me twisted
^ At this point, both have reached a level of irrationality and unconsciousness. Beyoncé and the male are coming from a place of perturbed reaction that is being stimulated at the amygdala and hippocampus. Both Beyonce and the male have overactive Lymbic Systems caused by an imbalance of chemicals and dietary unconsciousness. Their pre-frontal cortex's takes a back seat and their decisions are driven by adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol. They resort to using ad hominem fallacy and their emotional circuits are on high alert due to the amount of threat and emotional stress. 
A significant amount of this congruent behavior could be correlated with The General Factor of Personality  ( GFP ) that pairs personality traits with mating strategies.
"According to this view, which I have discussed in a number of posts, there is a broad factor of health and vitality known as the K-factor, that is associated with not only the fast/slow spectrum of reproductive strategies, but with a general factor of personality (GFP) that combines all the major traits in a socially desirable way.[1] Hence, individuals with a slow strategy should generally be high in a combination of traits such as extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience, while those with a fast strategy should exhibit low levels of these traits, along with high levels of antisocial traits including the Dark Triad of psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism. There is research to suggest that Dark Triad traits facilitate short-term mating and sexual promiscuity (Jonason, Li, Webster, & Schmitt, 2009; Jonason, Valentine, Li, & Harbeson, 2011). However, whether high levels of a GFP facilitate long-term mating has not been studied. "
From the information above, we can attempt to correlate the male and Beyonce's behaviors with the GFP K-Factor Strategy that would lean more towards "Fast". The Dark Triad traits signify that both partners have developed a habit of short term mating through the acts of promiscuity and infidelity. 
You must not know 'bout me
You must not know 'bout me
I could have another you in a minute
Matter fact he'll be here in a minute, baby
^ Beyoncé is signaling that she has a significant amount of sexual fitness/ reproductive fitness where she is able to attract from a big mating pool of males. Her confidence is expressed from past relationships and her awareness of her own sexual potency through her body. She may think she is "hot" and other males may think that too, but her unchecked ego mask of confidence may lead her down a path of disappointment down the line if she doesn't figure out why she acts the way she acts. 

"Individuals in each region most readily attracted to, or excited by, mates of the type there favoured, in contrast to possible mates of the opposite type, will, in fact, be the better represented in future generations, and both the discrimination and the preference will thereby be enhanced. It appears certainly possible that an evolution of sexual preference due to this cause would establish an effective isolation between two differentiated parts of a species, even when geographical and other factors were least favourable to such separation." Ronald Fisher, 1930
You must not know 'bout me
You must not know 'bout me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don't you ever for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable
^ Beyonce is signifying again that the male is not a sexual possibility in the future nor a viable match for children. She is using shaming and guilt mechanisms to demean the male because her rationality has become compromised. Beyoncé is using this type of gaslighting to express her alpha female mating strategy that tends to objectify low quality males. Her reproductive strategy may fall closer to the R reproduction which is closer to rabbits and mice( focus on more sex and offspring and less with relationship/ active involvement in raising smaller amounts of off offspring) . She may be more hyper sexualized while having more partners than someone that would fit more on a K reproduction strategy ( eg; wolves and elephants). 
 Scott A. McGreal does a great job in describing the mating strategy most pertinent in individuals such as Beyonce'.
"Other species, e.g. wolves, have relatively shorter life spans, tend to reproduce more frequently, give birth to multiple infants at the same time, and provide parental care over a relatively shorter period of time; hence they are considered fast strategists. One thing I find puzzling about this is the claim that slow strategies are supposed to be associated with monogamy, while fast strategies are associated with promiscuity and short-term mating. Short-term mating is relatively common in mammals, including elephants, where males provides no parental care at all."
Based upon this analysis, it doesn't totally prove the motivation for Beyonce's actions. These mating strategy studies may offer more of a biological glimpse into the vast complexities of sexual desire and reproduction practices. 
So go ahead and get gone
And call up that chick and see if she's home
Oops, I bet ya thought that I didn't know
What did you think I was putting you out for?
^ Beyoncé is expressing her awareness that the male being broken up with has other sexual interests. The male might have been unfaithful in their relationship and that is why she feels she must end the courtship. Beyoncé expressed the same thing before however saying that she has a litany of men waiting for her to objectify. This is a case where like attracts like. Their sexual attraction and reproductive strategy has ties with how they were raised, environment and the relationship with their parents. 
Because you was untrue
Rolling her around in the car that I bought you
Baby you dropped them keys
Hurry up before your taxi leaves
^ This goes to prove that the male was unfaithful. She feels threatened and is expressing that the male is unworthy of her attention, eggs or protection. 
So since I'm not your everything
How about I'll be nothing, nothing at all to you
Baby I won't shed a tear for you, I won't lose a wink of sleep
'Cause the truth of the matter is replacing you is so easy
^ Now, Beyoncé is being direct about her intentions and that simply replacing the man won't be a problem. She is finding a quick fix to avoiding the hurt that she has felt from the emotional anguish caused by the male. In order to escape, she resorts to flaunting her sexual potency and engaging in promiscuous behaviors as to not feel the full extent of heartbreak(escapism). If she continues this type of behavior, she will not allow herself to grow into a mature adult able to grow and sustain a long term relationship or get into a situation where she could acceptably raise offspring and sustain a family unit.  
We can go deeper into this by taking a look at the ratio of women to men in accordance with the  sexual availability of both sexes in a certain geographic area.  
David P Schmitt Ph.D. describes this cultural sex ratio factor quite nicely.

"Of course, it is worth noting that when men are the scarcer sex, they do not insist that women engage in long-term mating in order to have sex. Unless one wanted to argue men are suppressing their own sociosexuality in high sex ratio cultures, the population-varying sex differences actually reveal a fundamental difference in men’s and women’s preferred mating strategies. When women are scarce and have the greater dyadic power, a culture of long-term mating ensues. Do sex differences in all aspects of sociosexuality completely disappear? Likely not. Not in desires and attitudes, and likely not among those who are single, as noted above."
FYI: I deleted a bunch of lyrics because they were repeats of what was said before. 
You could pack all your things, we're finished
(You must not know 'bout me)
'Cause you made your bed, now lay in it
(You must not know 'bout me)
I can have another you by tomorrow
Don't you ever for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable
^ She finishes the song by degrading the unfaithful male and signaling that his seed must go elsewhere and she will find a more suitable mate for the future. Due to the unawareness of the mating strategy, the male will build up walls to cover his hurt and strengthen his defense mechanism against rejection.
This seems like a classic break up song, but there are plenty of hidden messages dealing with the evolution biology of humanity in nature.
McGreal, Scott. 
Schmitt P. David.

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