Lady Gaga & Female Liberation?

Pop sensation of the moment, Lady Gaga, has recently topped one billion views of her videos on Youtube. Her new 10-minute music video Telephone is creating quite a stir. The video has been praised as exemplifying “liberated” female sexuality and Lady Gaga herself has been held up in the media, including by feminists, as a “feminist icon and a gender revolutionary” and “a strong symbolic figure… for the openly and secretly flamboyant of all genders and sexualities.”

Pop sensation of the moment, Lady Gaga, has recently topped one billion views of her videos on Youtube. Her new 10-minute music video Telephone is creating quite a stir. The video has been praised as exemplifying “liberated” female sexuality and Lady Gaga herself has been held up in the media, including by feminists, as a “feminist icon and a gender revolutionary” and “a strong symbolic figure… for the openly and secretly flamboyant of all genders and sexualities.”

In reality, the video is an example of the role the profit-driven media and popular culture plays in reinforcing gender stereotypes and negative ideas about women and LGBT people.

In the video, Lady Gaga is taken to the “Prison for Bitches” which is populated by scantily clad women and predatory “butch” lesbians – hardly “revolutionary”!

The video may be trying to “parody” these ridiculous stereotypes. However, in the context of a society in which both the objectification of women and homophobia are commonplace, the effect is to reinforce them.

The video is full of blatant product placement, with Virgin, Polaroid and Coca-Cola among others given premium advertising space. Also on display are outfits from high-end fashion designers such as Chanel, Jeremy Scott and Viktor and Rolf. There is nothing “liberating” about this.

The fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar industry which is reliant on the continuation of a culture where women are objectified and judged on appearance. It also depends on the super-exploitation of women workers in third world sweatshops.

The fact is that we can’t seriously challenge sexist ideas if we tie ourselves to big corporations who have a vested interest in perpetuating them. If we want a society where people can be genuinely free about their sexuality and personal identity, we need to take on the domination of the world’s resources, including media and culture, by big business and the profit motive and fight for an alternative based on democratic control, solidarity, equality and respect.

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Joe Higgins on the public sector deal

Next Article

Capitalist splits, workers’ struggle - eurozone in crisis

Related Posts

NI: Scrap fees in the FE Colleges

STUDENTS OVER the age of 18 in Belfast and other Further Education Colleges have to pay as much as £1,000 a semester for A-levels and GCSEs. The Socialist spoke to Socialist Youth member Colm Smyth, an A-level student in Belfast Metropolitan College, about crippling effect of fees on students in colleges.

Read More

‘Jobbridge’ is a scam

Looking for work? Good news- courtesy of the government's 'Jobbridge' scheme, there's all kinds of full-time opportunities on offer. The Corner Bakery in Terenure is looking for a Bakery Assistant. The Landsdowne Hotel in Ballsbridge is looking for waiting staff. Axa Assistance is looking for a call centre worker in Athlone. You'll even get an extra €50 euro a week.

Read More

Cork Against Fascism says: No platform for Nazi Nick Griffin

The UCC Government and Politics Society have invited British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin to speak at a debate on campus in February. This announcement comes only shortly after Griffin’s invitation to Trinity College was cancelled in the face of opposition mounted by anti-fascist campaigners, including members of Trinity Socialist Society.