Posts tagged Music
Posts tagged Music
Holy Batman, PROBLEMS. I don’t know if you recall this girl, Jenna Rose, from her earlier single My Jeans which might be worse than Friday (yeah I went there), but this is not the point. The point is that she has this lovely new video called OMG. Let’s preface this by the fact that SHE’S TWELVE. TWELVE. 12. TWELVE. And if you drop the autotune, probably not a bad singer. This song musically definitely a better effort than My Jeans, but this is not the issue.
The issue would be the sexualization of a TWELVE YEAR OLD. TWELVE. NO I WILL NOT DROP THE CAPS CAUSE THIS IS RIDICULOUS. TWELVE. Really, where are her parents? “Oh, our daughter will be head of the Preteen Boom Boom Squad wearing Victoria’s Secret lingerie while asking men to look at her and how good she looks? EXCELLENT, WHERE DO I HER SIGN UP?!”
And, obvious though it may be, it has to be said that this is not Jenna’s fault, she’s (if you didn’t catch it earlier) twelve and isn’t going to know any better. Which is why it should be our job to keep this kind of stuff from happening in the commercial music world and aiming it to a younger audience. Jenna and her friends are still kids, they can’t own their sexuality yet, they shouldn’t have one. So let’s leave the discussions of “boom booms” to an older crowd (unless you’re referring to percussive instruments, but I’m pretty sure you’re not).
I have spoken about Lady Gaga and ‘Born This Way’ before, specifically about the racism that’s in this song and also ranted about how the very phrase ‘born this way’ is inherently cissexist as well as briefly talking about her need for attention.
Before I go any further I need to stress one thing: I do not hate Lady Gaga, and I do not want to force you to stop listening to her music or stop liking her. I think she is a incredibly talented musician in her own right (why she chooses to largely ignore the talent she exhibits when it’s just her and a piano and instead focus on sometimes bland (‘Just Dance’, anyone?) music that is so often distorted and auto-tuned so her voice and talent is almost beyond recognition I have no idea) and I also think that she is sincere in her want for everybody to be equal. I just think that she goes about some things in incredibly fucked up and oppressive ways and she needs to be called out on that, and that her fans need to be aware that some of the things she says are fucked and she needs to stop saying and doing oppressive and fucked things.
You can read my notes and initial reaction here.
First up: That fucking pink triangle.
[Image is of a black rectangle. In the middle of the rectangle there is a triangle with a point pointing straight downwards. Inside the triangle there is the silhouette of a unicorn. The edges of the triangle are a bright pink.]
Okay, upside down pink triangles were worn by gay men in Nazi concentration camps, much in the same way Jews were forced to wear a star of David. Like many things used to oppress LGBTQ people, the upsidedown triangle has since been reclaimed, with different colours used to represent different sections of the LGBTQ community. This is a very obvious, subtle-as-a-brick-to-the-face decleration of Gaga’s intentions for this to be the new Gay (men’s) Anthem Of This Generation!
What’s wrong with that, after all, she could hardly put all the symbols/colours on there to include everybody, right? Actually, if she wanted to include everybody in the LGBTQ community, a rainbow or rainbow triangle would be the universally recognised way of doing that. Instead she picked a symbol that directly relates to only one, very small facet of her claimed intended audience; the gay man. Put your surprised faces on. I’m not going to wax lyrical over Gaga’s [trigger warning for cissexism, transmysogney and transbigotry on all of these links] repeated and gross acts of transbigotry here, nor her narrowminded stance on the gay community (which girlboymusic sums up brilliantly), but am merely going to point out that Gaga, from the get go, is only talking to a very small section of people.
The use of the triangle at all is, however, highly privileged, problematic and rooted specifically in bibigotry as well as homobigotry in general.
Gaga says she’s bisexual. In her industry, this actually affords her a slight amount of privilege- not over straight people, but certainly over the other letters. This is because just like Katy Perry, Gaga has the promise of kissing girls and liking it, whilst also remaining safely penis accessible. Bibigotry that in the real world is damaging, erasing and prevalent in both LGQ and hetero culture, suddenly becomes very marketable. So whilst some Straight Lady Loving™ like Perry and Rhianna pull off has a certain appeal, Gaga’s promise of maybe kissing a girl for real and yet being Not Really Gay™ affords her privilege over her LGQ brothers, sisters and other siblings. (Even though this is in and of itself erasing and damaging to bisexual people and is very much bibigotry. It just happens to work in her favour in this instance, much in the way that Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Ke$ha all use misogyny in different ways).
It is this privilege that allows Gaga to have the pink triangle (and to a lesser extent that unicorn, another [informal] link to the gay male community) in her video at all; if she were a lesbian or a gay man (nobody else exists, guys) she would be accused of ‘flaunting’ her sexuality and rubbing it in straight people’s faces and of Having An Agenda. As is, because she’s bisexual and therefore Not Really Gay™ she’s allowed to do it because she’s just being a Good Person™ and Supporting The Real Gays™ (that is, gay men).
This is appropriation. She is taking a symbol with a specific meaning and a specific history and she’s stripping it of it’s history and it’s meaning for her own use. She is able to do this because she is privileged, and in doing this she is simultaneously erasing everyone who isn’t a gay man, and committing violence of a type against gay men by taking their symbol and using it to sell her own brand of bottled Supporting The Real Gays™ back to them.
a follow up post expanding on bibigotry here.
Part two: Not On My Mitosis here.
an ask where I expand on her transbigotry here.
an ask dealing with the word ‘orient’ and why it is racist here.
an ask dealing with Gaga’s songs as art and criticism of that art here.