Kiss and Sell

Katy Perry is all the buzz, with her new single "I Kissed a Girl" flying up to #2 on the ITunes chart this week. Her last single was a kiss-off to self-absorbed metrosexual boyfriends called "You're So Gay (and You Don't Even Like Boys)," so, obviously she's comfortable in her wheelhouse of edgy, gender-bending pop.

But this isn't really new and doesn't have the edge that "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" brought to the scene in the mid-eighties, or that David Bowie pioneered long before that. And, geez, Madonna (who apparently thinks Perry is great, FWIW) kissed Britney on stage way back in 03. Heck, even the recent pop girl duo Tatu had a whole "are they/aren't they?" vibe that I never saw resolved.

I don't know that this even classifies as "gay pop" as I'm sure the intended audience is much broader and straighter than that. With lines like "I tasted her cherry chapstick," who are they kidding? The video is, of course, a glam, soft core fantasy that ends in the familiar and tired motif: "It was all just a dream... or was it?"

Rock/pop videos should be hot. This just seems too easy to be truly controversial.

Let me ask, though. Does this male-fantasy-driven-pop-lesbianism do anything for gay rights? Or is it just a distraction?

--Straight Guy


Anonymous said...

I've got a theory about this whole lesbian male fantasy thing. It's totally misogynistic. I can't speak to how the gay community feels about it but as a feminist, I think it's some bull dude. It's men displacing their own homo-erotic desires/fantasies onto women. Straight men can't even acknowledge another man is attractive without qualifying it a hundred different ways (unless the attractive man in question is brad pitt or johnny depp - they've been fully vetted). So instead of honestly admitting an attraction to another man, straight guys just make up shit about girls making out - it's complete objectification of women, in my humble opinion. It's this damn patriarchal society.

Actually, I think it is bad for gay rights. The homophobia that drives the whole fantasy is exactly the kind of shit that forces gay men into one of five boxes generously provided by Queer Eye and Bravo. And while I do love Tim Gunn, he's not helping either (sorry Tim - truly I do love you. Hugs to Heidi). It kills me that America can only handle gay men as long as they are experts on something "gay" like fashion or interior design.

And let's not forget that this fantasy does NOT involve actual involves your two hot straight friends getting totally wasted at a bar on a Friday night and making out while singing every word to Tom Petty's American Girl.

In short, I think it's bad for the gay and lesbian community and for women in general.

So - that's my conspiracy theory on the issue. Thanks for letting me rant. I guess I'm still pretty pissed about Hillary.

Straight Guy said...

Thanks for the feedback, Anonymous.

I know it's a male-driven fantasy, but not willing to blame it entirely on displaced homo-eroticism. Our male fantasies might be much MORE selfish than that.

But even if they are (and bad for gays, lesbians, and women in general), why have we gone from shocking to ho-hum on the issue?

I was just wondering if the cultural numbness might open the door on other acceptance issues.

Working on another post on this topic... stay tuned. Gay Guy, where are you on this?

Kathleen Lawton-Trask said...

Well, also, you guys know that this is a cover of a Jill Souble song, right?

Has been around a long time...

Straight Guy said...

Sure is similar in so many ways, and exact same title, but I don't think it's a cover.

I'm not saying it's new content, but Perry's song is now #1 on Billboard's pop chart and overall sales chart and is looking to be the "song of the summer." That content that was out-and-out "out" was so popular.