02 September 2008

Katy Perry: The New T.A.T.U.?

I know that a commentary on someone who's first big single has been out for quite a while is sort of old news. However, I can't help thinking that this is really just long overdue.

Katy Perry's first single off her new album, One of the Boys, is an admittedly catchy pop tune called "I Kissed A Girl." Imagine my disappointment when I found that it wasn't a cover of Jill Sobule's cheeky 1995 track. No, this isn't a song about two women who realize that their relationships with men are going nowhere, and that they find a mutual attraction in each other. This new "I Kissed A Girl" is basically about a girl who just wants to experiment with another female after a night of drinking.

Okay, so there might not be anything really wrong with that, but doesn't it just kind of play into the typical male fantasy of two hot chicks at the bar making out for attention? That's not love. That's a slap in the face of lesbians everywhere. I don't mean to discount the fact that Perry's song gets heavy rotation in gay clubs across the nation, but there has to be people who are at least a little offended by this song. I'm not completely put off, but it just smacks of some drunk chick trying to get her boyfriend all hot and bothered by making out with another girl. There's even a line about her not being in love, but it's just an "experimental game." No, no, no, Katy. The word "game" here is what bothers me most. In the context of this song, you're playing a game with someone. There's nothing right or funny or cute about that. The video for the song is almost as offensive; women writhing around in lingerie, as if that's all lesbians ever do.

This all kind of reminds me of T.A.T.U. a few years ago. Remember them? They were a pair of Russian pixies who sang "All The Things She Said," a song about wanting to run away clandestinely with a lesbian lover. Nothing wrong with that, or with the sexually charged video featuring lots of kissing between the two girls. However, they were presented to the world as lesbian lovers, only to be revealed later as straight. This, to me, makes a mockery of lesbians everywhere, and it just goes back to that male fantasy of hot girls kissing.

This isn't to say that lesbians don't want to see hot girls kissing, but I would think if I were a lesbian I would want someone to give me enough respect to present me with music that wasn't about people playing at being a lesbian. Just be a lesbian and be proud of it. Don't be coy or an attention-seeker. Just be out with it.

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