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Friday, May 16, 2008

Friend or Foe?

Ever since this reader and this reader hipped me to this Katy Perry singer chick, I've been torn. She has two really interesting songs out right now. One called "I kissed a girl," which is like, YEAH dude. Wicked! And then another, which is more popular thats called "You're So Gay," where she's describing an ex-boyfriend. Check them both out:

"I kissed a girl"


"Ur so gay"


Every time I hear the lyrics to "Ur so gay," I get more and more offended. And believe me, I'm not one to have a chip on my shoulder or try to create the drama. I really love promoting talented people, and I wouldn't want to cause unnecessary criticism of this chick...BUT that being said, the fact that this song is marketed to a younger crowd who already uses "you're gay" as a derogatory term WAY too much (any amount is too much) is seriously dangerous and irresponsible, in my opinion. It feels like it's helping to unravel the little progress that we might have made in that respect.

Now the fact that she has the lovely girl kissing song and isn't afraid to sing about that tells me that she's good people with good intentions. I just think an older version of herself would regret the choice to make the other song. I don't know...do you think I'm overreacting?

Maybe she wasn't around when they were airing these ads with Matthew Shepherd's mom on MTV a few years ago:


...and just to help with the balance of things right now...

26 comments:

joshlyn said...

i agree 110%

i also believe that if you want it to stop you have to be an advocate yourself

like no saying "well im gay so i can say fagget" or something like that.

you need to BE the change YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.

<3

ShapeshifterC said...

I totally agree with you Arlan. Just the phrase "you're so gay" or "that"s so gay" is very derogatory and I do find it offensive.I have spoken to my nephew and his friends bout it but they just do not understand. The songs are okay at best but nothing I would listen to again.

Steven said...

Yep. I agree. It's the classic rock and hard place thingy. But, I am thinking the first song is just an attention getter, and then after an amount of attention, she wants to perpetuate an over used (not to mention used incorrectly) phrase to pander to a bunch of teens.
Nope, there are more talented and respectable artists out there that deserve the attention. If you like that sound, go check out Angie Mattson or Courtney Jaye!

Martina said...

I found both songs could be taken offensively. The girl kissing song talked about how she "knows its wrong" and such, so either way...I did think she had a good sound and decent voice. Catchy tune even. The fact is that if you think censorship is wrong than there you are. Artists create what they create and should have that freedom of expression. How one interprits that art is up to ones own mind. That being said, I wouldnt listen to it again, thats my freedom of choice.

Lisa said...

In addition... "I kissed a girl" blatantly marks her as an attention whore - someone who thinks making out with a girl makes them cool, kinda like the emo kids. It doesn't set her out as being a lesbian - she plainly speaks of her boyfriend. I don't think either song warrants praise, although I might admit to singing along in the car. ;p

Anonymous said...

Over at AfterEllen there's an article about the lyrics to "I Kissed a Girl". Apparently she kissed the girl because she was drunk and curious. There's lines that say "You're my experimental game" and "It's not what good girls do". I haven't listened to Katy Perry and after reading these lyrics I'm leaning more towards foe.

Lauren said...

She sounds angry and bitter and like she's trying to find an outlet for her anger. Too bad she had to take it out on gayness :(

I disliked "Ur so gay" so much that I couldn't listen to the whole song -_- The fact that she's smiling and has a bow in her hair makes it even more irritating. "I kissed a girl" sounds like she wrote a song about a drunken game of spin the bottle.

She's talented... too bad she can't channel it elsewhere.

carcrash-love said...

Ok, Im very guilty of saying, that's gay. and you're gay. However, I don't think this Katy Perry is anything to put much thought into. "I kissed a girl" seems too much like it's about a drunk makeout.

Anonymous said...

I have listened to both songs and neither one are gay friendly. She is using a phrase that is de-meaning and hurtful to people to sell her music. I do not agree with censorship, she does have the right to say what she wants to but I do not plan on listening to this "artist" ever again.

amy aim said...

while i was unable to listen or watch... i am on a work comp... i did read the lyrics... i think both songs were dumb in as far as lyrically and i believe them both to be in a "im a lesbian i should know" way to be degrading to both lesbians and gays... i will not be listening or watching...

A journey of sixty miles... said...

I had similar thoughts. I first heard "I Kissed a Girl" and liked it, so I wanted to find other songs by her. Of course, I ran across "Ur So Gay" and I immediately thought, "WTF?" I work with teens on a regular basis and let them know that it's not cool when they say stuff like that. I wish it was more prominent that people would stop this saying.

Stacie said...

I am right there with you on that. My 15 yr. old sister knows that I hate it when she calls something "gay," and she'll catch herself when she's around me and apologize. It's sweet, but I hope there's progress when she's not around me. I really don't think I will ever understand why that started. When I first heard someone say it, I was like, "WTF?"

Anyway, I don't think I'll be adding this girl to my iTunes any time soon...

P.S. Jill Sobule's "I Kissed A Girl" is WAY better. :)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=k4r41vPTF8k

Anonymous said...

the first song is just as offensive as the second. i think she needs to rethink her messages.

kim said...

I totally agree, both songs are derogatory.
in my humble opinion she is just another stupid girl trying to make like tatu did in the 90's and pulling another one of those "gayness" stunts.

she is both foolish and offensive. people like her make me wanna puke.
...and they wonder why some people are against gays when these stupid little posers go around showing us up by going stupid stufflike this.

bloo said...

I am guilty of saying thats gay or your gay and i think its mostly used in the gay community alot....i was at school and i actually heard someone saying lets play smeer the queer when two of my friends were kissing and up untill this point i have never hear anything so harsh in real life and it infuriated me so much, i did the day of silence and i mean it really opened my up and after that day ive decided to start using harsh instead of gay and ive been alot better at it then i figured i could

emopunkdyke said...

Actually the ur so gay song isn't really even an offensive song if u really actually pay attention to the words. She's singing about this guy that she likes but he acts like a gay man. She doesn't understand how she can throw herself at him n he doesn't even pay any attention to her hot little ass. She's telling him he is gay (as in homosexual) but he doesn't even like boys. so ahe doesn't get it.
And I don't think the phrase thats so gay is offensive at all becuz I am comfortable with my sexuality. First off the word gay means happy. People who get offended by that term need to stop sucking their thumbs and get over it.... seriously. Whats the harm in saying oh my god thats gay. I'm a raging lesbo n I say thats gay all the time. I don't get you people!!!

random said...

I actually find the "I kissed a girl" song more offensive. She is perpetuating the stereotype that all lesbians need is a "good man" and they will no longer need women. I had to deal with that when I came out. A bunch of my friends were kissing each other to get their guys turned on. So I had to deal with every guy I know telling me that they could "set me right". I am extremely offensive and would never buy or listen to her songs again. And in the second song she is pretty much saying "Look at me I don't REALLY like girls, I have ex-boyfriends that I call 'gay' look how cool I am" I am not feeling the high schooler trying to be cool vibe that she puts off.

consonantvowel said...

It actually makes me really sad that she has such a good voice and she's using it for something so negative. The fact that you're supposed to take it as a joke is exactly what's wrong with it, it ISN'T a joke. It doesn't matter even if you don't have a problem with homosexuality, it's still just as offensive. She comes across kind of ridiculously immature throughout though, not even funny, just like a kid.

Jeremy said...

I am kinda with 'emopunkdyke', i use the term "gay" often and i am an out and proud box eatin' lesbo too... neither song is going onto my ipod anytime soon, but i didn't all offended either...

Anonymous said...

I find them both offensive...
Her attitude in I Kissed a Girl is not one that reflects positively on us, it was just something to do for attention when she was drunk. I don't find it courageous at all to sing about kissing women in that context.
And Ur So Gay left me absolutely disgusted. It was extremely offensive. I don't think this "artist" deserves any support whatsoever from the gay community.

Jaggedlilme said...

I honestly thought she was just talking about how her exboyfriend is so "metro".... the whole h&m scarf, not eating her...yadda yadda. Talking about her exboyfriend was probably gay. Using gay as its actual meaning...of him not wanting to have sex with her....rather be on myspace. lol.
I thought the song was halarious. Her ex was probably gay. "just be honest with me"
ive dated girls whos exboyfriends ended up being gay for all the reasons katy perry is talking about.
What is offensive about this song?
and as far as I kissed a girl...seriously....its an honest song that 5/8 women can relate to. we all know that to be true.
xoxo
Debs

Michelle said...

I feel they both could go in either direction.

First off, despite how many women I've loved, I've never had any desire to stop saying "That's gay." To me, a word isn't evil until you allow it to become so. If no one reacts to it, then it has no impact, and it's meaningless.

As for "Ur so gay," I feel like the character in the song is supposed to be acting irrationally, so what she says doesn't really bother me. She's a a girl who just got screwed over by some dude somehow, and she's throwing a little fit over it.

"I Kissed A Girl" almost bothered me. Being bisexual, I find myself fighting off the "just making out in public for attention / curious" label all the time. So part of me wants to hate this song because it's perpetuating that stereotype. But on the other hand... just because I don't want to try kissing a girl at a party doesn't mean that she doesn't, or that any other straight girl might not want to... so whatever. Plus, I really like singing along to the "I kissed a girl and I liked it!" part. haha.

maggie said...

I doubt that she's a foe if she's singing about kissing girls and liking it.

Come on. I mean, the song "Ur So Gay" isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's obviously a song about a girl who's bitter about an ex who's more feminine than her...and by saying "and you don't even like boys", that's almost saying if he did it would make more sense, and be okay. Right? It's not as though it's called "Ur Such a Faggot, Go Burn in Hell".

She's singing about gays, regardless if one is just a drunken party song/bitter break-up ballad. I say friend.

Let's compare it to the overwhelmingly straight-themed pop songs out there...

moondog said...

katy perry is a girl who prefers being goofy a lot, and i have taken her novelty songs like "ur so gay" as just her trying to be funny. she has other music which is not trying to be funny which is actually quite good, i don't know if you can judge someone's music based on one or two songs.

there will always be an infinite number of interpretations of these songs. if they offend you, that's your prerogative. i don't think she is out to offend, but we all make inadvertent offenses to someone at sometime.

Heather said...

i really don't like either.
I think where it may seem harmless it just perpetuates the derogatoy use of the term "gay." which really equates it with "stupid." and the whole gay is ok if its two drunk chicks making out at a frat party thing. I wouldn't say thats bad on her but shes not neccessarily doing the gay community a favor or anything.

shaevoyeur said...

OMG! How many of you out there have been kissed by that straight girl? I have and it's I'm so over it. Here's my love letter back:
Thanks for reminding me that I don't count. I'm sorry that I'm a threat to you and your boyfriend. It's too bad that I take up too much space. And most of all, I'm truly sorry for ever falling in love with you and causing you the inconvenience of the little bit of guilt I might have left you with.
XO - Your cute enough to kiss token Lesbian