'Power' and The Curse of the Ride-or-Die Chick
Power (the latest drama series from STARZ network) is my new summertime addiction. Omari Hardwick stars as "Ghost," a drug kingpin who wants to be an legitimate businessman. He is carrying on an illicit (but extremely hot) affair with Angie, his former flame and current DEA agent, played by Lela Loren.
Neither Ghost nor Angie knows what the other does in real life, and the results of that knowledge would be disastrous for the both of them.
But really, my favorite character on the show is Ghost’s wife, Tasha, played by Naturi Naughton.
Image Credit: (c)Dave Bedrosian/Future-Image/ZUMAPress.com
I mean, I feel for Tasha. Say what you want about her– she is manipulative, sneaky, seems to be only about the money and the prestige, doesn’t understand Ghost nor does she really want to … all of those assessments would be fair.Tasha is, however, the epitome of the "ride-or-die chick," and we know this is not going to end well for her.
In one of the scenes of episode one, Ghost noticed he had a blood stain on his white undershirt. He put the shirt in his safe, but when he thought the police might be on to him, he called Tasha and told her that he left something in the oven and he didn’t want it to burn, so he wanted her to get it for him. Tasha went to the safe, got the shirt, and put it in the incinerator. He was in danger, and he called on her to protect him.
For those of you that don’t know, the “Ride-or-Die Chick" is an urban term meaning a woman who exhibits extreme loyalty to her man. She can be the wife, like Tasha, or she is often the girlfriend or the mistress. Whenever her man needs her, though, she is by his side. She is the one who will put her life and/or well-being at risk to protect his life. This sometimes even includes committing crimes, going to prison, and/or dying for him. Many men profess that they want this type of woman and many women claim to be that woman.
As a young woman, I thought the “ride-or-die” was what I needed to be. For many years, and in many relationships, I was that girl. I didn’t really deal with guys who were in "the game," so while there was no flushing drugs or hiding guns, there was giving money and paying bills. There was cooking meals, doing homework, driving them in and out of town, loaning my car, letting them live in my place, etc.
I remember I had an ex that I went back and forth with for seven years. He was living with his son’s mother, yet when he called me and asked me for $50 so he could pay a bill, I ran to the bank and deposited it. I remember telling the teller proudly “I need to deposit some money in my boyfriend’s account." It didn't matter that I had to beg my parents a day or two later for train fare. or that I knew he would never do the same for me. I wouldn’t even ask him to because I knew what the response would be.
Image Credit (c) Bruce Cotler/Globe Photos/ZUMAPress.com
See, the issue with being a "ride-or-die chick" is that there is no safety net or guarantee of loyalty in return. It’s a position of no power. You can give all you have to this man and in the end he could walk away from you and leave you with nothing. The ex I described above tore my heart in two when he told me that not only did he not love me, but that he kept up with me because he felt obligated to. Now, I look back on the situation wondering why I gave so much, requiring nothing in return?
It took a long time for me to realize that I should require more from the men I date and have relationships with. That same loyalty they require from me, I need to require as well. The same love and devotion, I require that as well. I now know that I am worthy of that, and all that I give I should be getting back as well.
Tasha is screwed because while she may have the title, the material things, the name, she doesn’t have the loyalty. She may not be completely loyal either, but we have seen the lengths she would go to protect him. We have not seen him reciprocate it. That’s why Ghost can make a fool of her and lay up in another woman’s bed, and now that she knows that he is not being loyal to her, she has a tough decision to make–continue to ride for him, or start riding for herself.
Katrina Mitchell is a filmmaker and blogger based in the Bay Area, California. You can check out her musings about film, TV, culture, and life at The Dramatical Life. You can follow her @dramaticallife on Twitter.