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Girls Will Be Boys: Lady Gaga

June 17, 2011

Did anyone read Caitlin Moran’s piece in this week’s Stylist on her guide to modern feminism? I don’t wanna comment about the feature as a whole although I must say that the media seem to be loving the idea of fourth wave feminism at the moment. Not that I’ll really believe it until the Daily Mail stops spending a fortune on paparazzi shots of female celebrities in bikinis, just so they can comment on their ‘flab’.

Oops. How did I end up on this soapbox?

Anyway stepping down from there for a minute… I really liked what Caitlin Moran wrote about Lady Gaga in the ongoing debate about the ‘over-sexualisation’ of pop music and whether you can call yourself a feminist and still like a pop star that seems to own nothing but see-through body-stockings and spiky knickers. [I’m not sure I agree with her comments on Rihanna though. What if girl just really DOES get excited by whips and chains?]. Here’s a quote:

“The “sexiness” in Gaga’s videos is neurotic, damaged, freakish, furious – she’s dressed in meat; she’s covered in blood; she’s wearing shoes that look like armadillos and setting fire to a man in bed. If anyone’s managing to get aroused over the video to Bad Romance, good luck to them. As Gaga said in interview, “It’s not for straight guys to masturbate over”.”

I think this is a really interesting point. For my last essay for university, I questioned whether perhaps Gaga’s sexual creativity is, for the first time, truly gynocentric and difficult for our patriarchal society, where we have been conditioned with the male fantasy of what is considered sexy, to digest. Because what does happen if you remove the apparently ever-present ‘male gaze’ and centuries of patriarchal conditioning?

Would we be all kittens and batting eyelids the way that Stock, Aitken Waterman prescribed or would we be covered in meat, dressed as man on the cover of a magazine or hanging off fire escapes covered in so much Versace that my little heart dribbles?

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