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I would rather be Lady Gaga than a goddess

November 13, 2009

The thing that strikes me about Lady Gaga is her assertion that she is the first artist to translate the Warholian concept of the “popular” into popular music. Her stance in interviews is similar to the kind of stance I would have taken if I were a freshman-feminist and artiste. I don’t really want to degrade her frame of thinking entirely though, but upholding my own elitist attitude, because that seems to take it over into the realm psuedo-high brow bashing that is exactly what I’m trying to escape.

What I like about Lady Gaga is that she IS taking this step in pop music, I think that’s totally awesome. I hate the whole holier-than-thou ethos I’ve come to know all too well in the liberal arts college/radical politics/underground music worlds. Popular, to me, doesn’t automatically equate into bad or problematic in a social or political sense. I love finding the subversive or underground in the mainstream. In one particular sense, popular culture can lead people to finding things that are not-so-popular. When I was ten, I fell in love with the band no doubt, and it ultimately led me to discovering other strong female artists. If it wasn’t for this mainstream pop band, I would never have discovered riot grrrl and all-girl post punk bands. And, I bet, Lady gaga has probably introduced some impressionable young girls to more subversive ideas and “underground” bands.

I do have issues, however, with what Lady Gaga has said about feminism:

”I think it’s great to be a sexy, beautiful woman who can f— her man after she makes him dinner. There’s a stigma around feminism that’s a little bit man-hating. And I don’t promote hatred, ever. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate women who feel that way…” (EW)

I’m totally not into the stigma around feminism, either, but my approach is to try to subvert the dominant image of feminism AS man-hating by making it about so  much more than that. Lady Gaga could have totally, in line with her schtick, lauded feminism because, after all, she seems to be one by another name. In another article, she is quoted as saying,

“I’m trying to redefine through music what it means to be a woman” (big issue)

Post-feminism sucks the life out of every contemporary discourse on feminism in the mainstream. It bothers me, too, that her approach to sexuality and her appearance is pretty awesome:

“I just don’t feel that it’s all that sexy. It’s weird. And uncomfortable. I look at photos of myself, and I look like such a tranny! It’s amazing! I look like Grace Jones, androgynous, robo, future fashion queen. It’s not what is sexy. It’s graphic, and it’s art. But that’s what’s funny: Well, yeah, I take my pants off, but does it matter if your pants are off if you’ve got eight-inch shoulder pads on, and a hood, and black lipstick and glasses with rocks on them? I don’t know. That’s sexy to me. But I don’t really think anybody’s d— is hard, looking at that. I think they’re just confused, and maybe a little scared. It’s more Manson to me than it is sexy.” (EW)

I guess then, Lady Gaga isn’t quite the pop star I’d be, but I’d rather be lady gaga than a goddess.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/02/09/lady-gaga-inter/

http://www.bigissuescotland.com/features/view/10

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20257096,00.html

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