Monday, November 23, 2009

The Next Best Thing... (kind of)

So, once again, I have forgotten to bring my NWSA material. Thus, I figured I should write on the next best thing: Lady Gaga.

Ok, ok, I know that she is not the next best thing… but, considering her rising popularity and openness about being a supporter of the LGBT community, I was interested to find out what her stance is on feminism.

Now, I never thought that Lady Gaga would be a shining example of deep insight on issues of gender equality, but a girl can hope. In fact, Gaga has frequently discussed female empowerment, stating that she is "sexually empowering women" through her music. Yet, in the interview below, it is apparent that Gaga is yet another victim of a distorted view of feminism.

The truly sad part about this interview is that there seems to be a glimpse of hope when she touches on the topic of gendered double standards:

"You see, if I was a guy, and I was sitting her with a cigarette in my hand, grabbing my crotch and talking about how I make music 'cause I love fast cars and fucking girls, you'd call me a rock star. But when I do it in my music and in my videos, because I'm a female, because I make pop music, you're judgmental, and you say that it is distracting. I'm just a rock star."

But with the next question - Are you a feminist? Voids all hope, as she states,
"I'm not a feminist - I, I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture, and beer, and bars and muscle cars..."

Furthermore, in a separate interview she was quoted saying, ''There's a stigma around feminism that's a little bit man-hating. And I don't promote hatred, ever."

Clearly there is a cognitive dissidence between her views and how she labels herself; she seems to feed into the misconceptions regarding feminism. After all, there is no feminist rule book that states that in order to own the feminist label, one must hate men, beer, bars, and muscle cars. Additionally, feminism is predicated on the belief in stopping all forms hatred and inequalities. Feminism is about ending various forms of oppression (including homophobic forms of repression) and promoting political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. One term that is easy to equate feminism to is humanitarianism, which by definition is "a person promoting human welfare and social reform." Ultimately, that is what feminism is all about, just with a greater emphasis on how gender affects a person’s ability to attain the broad goal of "human welfare."

So, even if Lady Gaga has a skewed view of feminism, I know what it TRULY means to be a feminist, and I OWN the label. Unfortunately, it is people like Gaga that perpetuate myths about feminism and reinforce stigmas. Hopefully, others question and critique her statements, and promote the correct definition of what it means to be a feminist.

No comments:

Post a Comment