Lady Happy and the Ladies of TLC

It is refreshing and inspiring to read about a woman who knows her value and knows she does not need a man to be fulfilled. I absolutely loved reading “The Convent of Pleasure” and it reminded me of something else with a similar empowering message: TLC’s song “No Scrubs”.

The misogynistic topics of conversation from the men in the play are exactly what the women of TLC protest against through their song. The opening line of the song, “A scrub is a guy that thinks he’s fly and is also known as a buster, Always talkin’ about what he wants and just sits on his broke ass,” describes the men in “The Convent of Pleasure”. Men in the play such as Takepl are quite literally scrubs in modern definition. Takepl is on a quest in the play to marry Lady Happy, a female whose wealthy father has recently passed and who is left with riches. He does not attempt to court her out of affection or adoration. Rather, he views her as an object with accessories available to benefit. His objectification of her is visible when he asks if he “shall get the Lady Happy.” It is obvious that Takepl is out to take advantage of the Lady when he states, “Faith, Dick, if I had her wealth I should be Happy.” This scrub wants to obtain her and her money.

Lady Happy sees the value of being independent and not reliant on a man. She sees marriage as stepping into a trap where she gives up her identity and others in the play make comments about this norm as well. Dick comments that, “Because if she Marry your Worship she must change her Name; for the Wife takes the Name of her Husband, and quits her own.” This norm to lose a women’s identity once she commits to a man is too common. It is evident in seventieth century society by studying this play, and it remains common in modern times. The women of TLC defy this attitude through lyrics that show they won’t let any man objectify them or use them. Lady Happy chooses to surround herself with those that will not restrain her, which is what the females of TLC advocate doing in their song “No Scrubs”.

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