Lady Gaga: Subversive or Submissive?
Just listened to the great podcast about Lady Gaga, and it was nice cause i've had many discussions with friends about the same topic. Is Gaga really subversive and positive voice for womens rights and LGBT issues?
As a Dj and music fan, i thought i'd comment on this.
is Gaga subversive? Musically, she is about as mainstream as it gets--standard pop-dance music with singable choruses. I have yet to hear any intelligible, straight forward social/political commentary or challenging of accepted mainstream assumptions from gaga.
She wholeheartedly accepts (and even promotes) fashionable consumption as one of the greater things in life. certainly there is nothing subversive about "haute couture" fashion which is something which has been used to separate rich and poor for generations...not to mention reinforcing the notion that our roles as people is primarily that of obedient consumer, more concerned with insanely expensive handbags and sunglasses than whether the kid in the other end of town can even afford to eat. Yes she embraces sometimes the most odd and unwearable clothing, but it looks more like an attempt to "carve out a niche" with todays fashion-obsessed youth (her target audience) than being genuinely shocking to mainstream society.
She sometimes gets the nod for being LGBT friendly, but it seems again something largely devoted to securing a fanbase. She flaunts it in her videos , makes the odd statement about being gay-positive in her music and has been accused of being Trans gendered but apparently that's as far as it goes...in her private life she is not actually bisexual. In other words, she's cashing in on the fact that it's considered "hot" to be a bisexual woman and it sells records. Katy Perry realized this and that's why she stole the title of Jill Sobule's late 90's song "i kissed a girl" and put it to a more modern beat and made a fortune off it. Seems gaga is doing the same. Madonna did it too!
On top of that, her music is being distributed by major media conglomorates that happen to to be making a killing selling her to the world and using her to sell toothpaste, financial services, beauty products, cellphones and designer goods...subversive? i think not.
This is after all 2010, and we have had many a really radical female artist come and go. Put lady gaga in the same class as:
Buffy St. Marie? Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics (probably the best of them all)? Marva Whitney, Gaye Advert, Poly Styrene, Patti Smith etc...
If that is the case, women have much to fear!