Who’s holding the umbrella?

Listening to Rihanna’s newest single “Umbrella” I can’t help but ask why her man isn’t holding the umbrella.

Now that it’s raining more than ever
Know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella

When I voiced this question to my roommate, she told me that there is a song with a similar theme in the 1948 film “Easter Parade”.

I’m just a fella
A fella with an umbrella
Looking for a girl who saved her love for a rainy day.

Notice the gender swap.

Now, obviously both women and men are capable of holding umbrellas. But philosophically, for which sex is umbrella-holder a more appropriate role? If Adam and Eve were walking in the garden in the quiet of the evening, would Adam have held the umbrella or Eve?

This might seem like a silly question but I’m curious: Women, would you rather hold the umbrella or have it held over you? Men, would you rather hold the umbrella or have it held over you?

8 Replies to “Who’s holding the umbrella?”

    1. My husband carries the umbrella, else he’d not fit under it. (He’s 6′ 1″, and I’m 5′ 2″.)

  1. It’s worth nothing that the songwriters are actually all men. That aside, I think the point of using the image of an umbrella is metaphorical, to show that when its raining (when times are difficult), her man can stand under her umbrella (he can find comfort and shelter in her). In this metaphorical sense, both sexes appropriately “hold umbrellas” for the other. Taken literally, of course, we’d hope Rihanna would have the umbrella held for her by a nice young man.

  2. When the Judy Garland video finishes, YouTube suggests those in a similar vein, one of which is Gene Kelly’s Singing in the Rain. It is easy to see why Kelly’s performance has endured as a favorite for decades – his character’s joy shines through the pouring rain that has dampened his fellow pedestrians’ spirits in their futile efforts to remain dry.

    Why do we hate getting rained on? Unlike the Wicked Witch of the West, getting wet won’t cause us to melt away. [I find it hilarious that the local pool clears out when it’s raining….people! You’re SWIMMING! You’re WET ANYWAY!!] Rain cleanses the air, washes away grime, provides plants with the water they need to grow.
    But rain is often inconvenient….it snarls traffic, cancels sporting events, and wilts our appearance when we’d rather look our best.

    I think that we believe that we should never experience discomfort, and so we go to great lengths to avoid it. We don’t want to get rained on, and scowl at the TV when the weather chart shows a rainy cloud. We don’t want to perspire in the heat, and crank up the AC in our homes and cars. A flight of stairs is too much work so we take the elevator just to go up one level. We flee to the doctor at the first sign of illness in hopes of a medication that will quickly cure us.

    Getting wet, sweating, walking upstairs or being sick isn’t great fun but it won’t kill us, either. Well, probably not.

    I think that the next time there’s a hard summer rain, I’ll go out and get thoroughly soaked. Just for the heck of it.

      1. My opportunity to get rained on came sooner than I’d planned…it was sunny this afternoon when I went out jogging, and halfway through my route it started pouring! I wasn’t thoroughly soaked, but I did get pretty wet.

        I forbore from any attempt at imitating Gene Kelly. I didn’t want passersby to think I’d lost my mind, and besides I don’t know all the words to Singing in the Rain. 😉

  3. I really liked your wonderful blog! The info you provide is mind-blowing ! I think im gonna stick around and read about 4 more of your posts. Talk to you later

Comments are closed.