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I feel so much better about hating Katy Perry

Really, hate her. HATE HER. Want to stab myself in the ears when I hear her music, and want to scratch my own eyes out when her Proactiv commercials come on TV. She is the worst! Definitely the worst. And now my hatred is justified. Because of Feminism.


140 thoughts on I feel so much better about hating Katy Perry

  1. Yep, I must agree. She’s also explained how she threw a bottle and hit Russell Brand in the head, and how this was a ‘good’ thing — and a great relationship. Very disturbing. I can’t like Brand either.

  2. I don’t like Katy Perry either (her music or her politics), but I don’t understand the reasoning in the article/blogpost. Would it be possible for someone who read it and “got it” to elaborate?

  3. Ok…I’m definitely not gonna defend any “ur so gay” song (though I haven’t heard it, so idk), but I think Katy Perry gets more hate than she deserves. Particularly, I never saw any problem with her “I kissed a girl” song. Straight chicks should feel free to experiment with their sexuality, because *everyone* should feel free to do that, and there is no reason for lesbians or bi/pan/queer women to feel threatened by it. And you know what, if she has a boyfriend of course she “hopes her boyfriend won’t mind it.” Because your partner(s) should be ok with it, if you want to do stuff outside the relationship!

  4. My issue with “I Kissed a Girl” was it made me feel old. Um, Jill Sobule, anyone? Didn’t we already have that flap in the 90s?

  5. my take on “I kissed a girl” has always been along the lines of young teenage girls who do experiment with their sexuality, and sometimes they turn out to be straight, but they also turn out to be bisexual, gay, and trans. I think that the experimentation that a lot of girls go through was being documented in that song. Yes there is a lot wrong with katy perry’s music and with what she as a musician does when she is not singing, but “I kissed a girl” has always represented the sexual redefinition that so many young teenage girls from my generation go through in order to embrace their sexuality.

  6. Despite eschewing radio to the best of my ability, I can’t seem to get away from the fucking “Fireworks” song and it drives me up the wall. The lyrics are just so sickly sweet and trite and just plain STUPID, and the music is the platonic ideal of everything that is wrong with mainstream pop today. Puke, puke, puke. Thanks, Sadie Doyle, for letting me know I’m not alone.

    RD, personally, my main problem with “Kissed a Girl” is that it (like many other mainstream depictions of lesbianism) frames female homosexuality in terms of male titillation. I don’t think that Perry would make a song about kissing a dude and hoping that her boyfriend wouldn’t mind it, because that wouldn’t be SEXY, just skanky (according to the monogamous het standard). Like the article says, she’s “rebelling,” but ultimately not even remotely close to transgressing the status quo.

    Damn, I just wrote two giant paragraphs dissecting Katy Perry’s music. I need to stop going to the gym. Or the coffee shop. Or anywhere with a radio.

  7. …Glee doing Teenage Dream FTW! I’ve never immediately been invested in a TV relationship, but somehow that stupid effing show did it with one song sung by Harry Potter.

  8. But…that song wasn’t about female homosexuality. It was experimentation, and she liked it, so good for her. I guess its “male titillation” if the audience is male, but I would guess more girls than guys saw that video, actually!

  9. Simmer down. I also find her oversexualize image highly annoying, however all this “hate, hate, hate” speech is a tad extreme huh? All this over some pop star you don’t even know. And I thought my judging her was bad…

  10. Well, I think the entire point is moot since Katy Perry and Kesha both can’t sing live.

    Although as full disclosure I’ve listened to some of Katy Perry’s music and didn’t dislike it. It’s not on my playlist though.

  11. Ashley, I don’t know how old you are, but please tell me you were inspired to say “simmer down” by Stick Stickly.

  12. PrettyAmiable:
    I feel like her voice could be really pretty if she put it to use on a good song.
    Did you guys know she used to do Christian music? The lyrics to these songs are awful (Cause it’s 8-9-9-3-8-3-3, come on and listen to me / Take my call, collect my change, / Cause Lord I’m calling on Your name) – but they have voice riffs that are pretty.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFTNdpfYU3k&feature=related  

    After listening to that, I might agree with you. I think her voice is just better suited to other types of music.

  13. All I see here is the continued banality of popular culture and the sorry excuse for music we seem to have these days. And, like a previous poster, I am now hefting my cane in the air as I prove I am now an old fart.

    I’m not sure popular culture will yield anyone’s Feminist hero for a while. The closest we have to that is Lady Gaga, and many people have a love/hate relationship with her.

  14. PrettyAmiable, actually it was inspired by an SNL skit. It’s just something me and my bf say to be funny and it stuck so I tell everyone to simmer down when they get all excited.

  15. Nahida: I’m not sure popular culture will yield anyone’s Feminist hero for a while.

    In terms of pop culture music, I am still stuck on Alanis Morrisette (and Jewel, but only the stuff she did that never got played on the radio – not the creepy stalker songs). But I am officially old now maybe?

  16. Jill: There’s also nothing feminist about cat videos and mislabeled maps of the Middle East, but sometimes we post those. Welcome to blogging.  

    Except that you justified it with feminism. And there is nothing feminist about hating women. I would go so far as to say it’s anti-feminist.

  17. Jadey:
    In terms of pop culture music, I am still stuck on Alanis Morrisette (and Jewel, but only the stuff she did that never got played on the radio – not the creepy stalker songs). But I am officially old now maybe?  

    OMG I LOVE ALANIS MORRISETTE! I can’t believe I didn’t think of her. And Jewel also!

  18. Wait, does Janelle Monae count as pop? I’m thinking no, but I’ve been wrong before? I only listen to CBC on the radio, so I have no clue what counts as popular music right now, except that I have heard of Lady Gaga (not Katy Perry, though).

  19. C: I don’t like Katy Perry either (her music or her politics), but I don’t understand the reasoning in the article/blogpost. Would it be possible for someone who read it and “got it” to elaborate?  

    Katy Perry has politics? Do tell.

  20. I think Swift is worse. It bothers me so much that she comes across as innocent so parents allow children to listen to her. I’m worried my niece is going to become one of those white dress wearing, wedding waiting girls.

  21. Honestly, I could care less if Katy Perry wants to kiss girls if her boyfriend don’t mind it and demand monogamy from her husband at the same time. I really don’t give a shit.

    Katy Perry wants to see your peacock and Lady Gaga wants to ride your disco stick. Katy knows guys who act like girls–like stereotypical gays (but they’re not gay! OMMG!). Katy wants to kiss girls to try it, while Lady Gaga actually kisses girls as well as Xtina.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, I was listening to Peacock on the way home today and I’m not apologizing for it!

  22. I had no idea a thread on Katy Perry would produce write-in candidates for FNTT. My only exposure to Katy Perry is Sesame Street (she sang with Elmo) and afterwards got ripped up one side and down the other for not wearing a turtleneck. OMG, there was some cleavage! And she has legs! It was so ludicrous and slut-shamey that she doesn’t earn all my ire. But god, Firework is a crime against music.

  23. “Permanently offensive, permanently blitzed, always as loud and rude and inappropriate as she can possibly be at all times, frankly and hugely and inappropriately sexual, confrontational, vulgar, mean, covered in glitter and puke and possibly her own urine, out for attention and doesn’t care who knows it”

    Gee, that makes me kind of like Ke$ha and I don’t even know who she is. Must Youtube.

  24. I still hate Taylor Swift more. I’m pretty damn skeptical that her “oh, I’m just sweet little old me, sweet and innocent and not ANYTHING like those HORRIBLE other women” persona is entirely an act. And even if it is, dear god what a horrible act to put on.

  25. In regards to the hatred towards Perry, Swift and er – I don’t know Ke$ha’s surname, I think that it is unwarrented on feminists grounds. Feminism is about giving women choices. If these women choose to occupy the virgin/whore role (or both), that really is their choice. You can disagree with it on alot of grounds, but feminism? I don’t see anything horribly anti-feminist about the image of any of these performers.
    Secondly, this may be a bit naive on my part, but I always understood feminism to be about empowering women. We should be celebrating the success of these performers -sure, they’re not Lady Gaga or India Arie or Pink. But are we all perfect feminists all the time? Of course not. Let’s not uphold the female stereotype of being gossipy or catty by needlessly hating on someone.

  26. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, because I can’t stand Katy Perry, but I feel like this link is telling me that:
    a) Heterosexual monogamous marriage is inherently oppressive to your sexuality and the sexuality of everyone around you, and
    b) being in a heterosexual monogamous marriage while gyrating onstage and wearing strategically placed fruit is the height of antifeminist hypocrisy.

    Huh?

  27. Jen: My issue with “I Kissed a Girl” was it made me feel old. Um, Jill Sobule, anyone? Didn’t we already have that flap in the 90s?  

    Wasn’t Fabio in the music video for that song as a milkman?

  28. As far as empowering pop music goes, I tend to like Lady Gaga but I think Rihanna isn’t getting nearly enough credit for the work she’s been doing recently.

  29. Kristin: Good grief, people. This was a jokey, light post, not a post that involves woman-hating.  

    When you title a post “I feel so much better about hating Katy Perry”, and then in that post talk about just how much you hate her, the yes. That post involves woman-hating.

  30. I am just an ignorant pup here, but does being a feminist mean that you can never dislike any person just because they are a woman?

  31. RD: Ok…I’m definitely not gonna defend any “ur so gay” song (though I haven’t heard it, so idk), but I think Katy Perry gets more hate than she deserves.Particularly, I never saw any problem with her “I kissed a girl” song.Straight chicks should feel free to experiment with their sexuality, because *everyone* should feel free to do that, and there is no reason for lesbians or bi/pan/queer women to feel threatened by it.And you know what, if she has a boyfriend of course she “hopes her boyfriend won’t mind it.”Because your partner(s) should be ok with it, if you want to do stuff outside the relationship!  

    It’s not experimenting if you’re just doing it to attract the male gaze. Being queer shouldn’t be used just to make guys find you attractive, it’s damn insulting.

    Just cause you can’t see it, don’t mean it ain’t a pain in the ass.

    Funny Sady is Funny. The end.

  32. I love Katy Perry. Her song fireworks and the video for it is beautiful I’m sorry I dont hate the uplifting of cancer patients or introverts who are encouraged to come out of their shells. I can’t find it in me to hate someone experimenting with the same sex while in a monogamous het relationship and hoping their S/O doesn’t get upset with them for uhhh CHEATING (or are you saying it isnt cheating if its same sex….hmmm). I dont know of all of her songs or follow too closely on celebs but I don’t think her being in the middle of the two extremes is a bad thing. If that’s how she is why does feminism justify hating her for not wanting to be neither Taylor Swift nor Ke$ha? Do you have to follow one prototype to be certified free of hatred in the eyes of feminism and if so how is that different than any other entity demanding or expecting women to act a certain way?

  33. Woman-hating sounds like general misogyny; hating a particular woman isn’t misogynist, though it’s not particularly noble or sisterly. I reserve my right to despise Margaret Thatcher.

  34. Sady’s post kind of went over my head because I haven’t really observed all of that from Katy Perry (not that I’ve observed a lot from her). I know she’s newly married and excited about it, and I know when I heard Russell Brand was getting married I was kind of shocked, but that’s about it. So with that ignorance in mind:

    1. I realize that a woman who performs with her boobs pushed up that high can’t argue that she’s not courting the male gaze, but the lyrics to “I Kissed a Girl” sound like she kissed said girl out of actual curiosity and experimentation. Yes, the video is all corsetry and coyness, but outside of that it is possible to kiss a girl “just to try it” without it being about turning a guy on.

    2. I’m not sure why it’s bad that her marriage is super-important to her. Not my thing, but it seems to be hers, and we don’t know if hers is a more equitable or a more Stepford marriage. If she’s going around opposing any other type of marriage for anyone, that’s another thing. But it sounds like she’s a woman who’s been married for all of three months and is still thrilled with the newness of it. (As for “taming” her new husband–ew. Sorry, no. No “taming.”)

    3. As for wanting to be “a bad girl who’s also a good girl,” that’s something I can identify with. She’s younger than I am, and I’m still working the whole thing out. I don’t know enough about her to tell if she’s playing at whore-slash-Madonna for the shock value, if she’s playing with both to sort them out, or if she really enjoys both super-sexy wild woman with pinup wife and has found her balance.

    4. “Ur So Gay” != acceptable. I can’t get behind that. There’s nothing good there.

    So there’s my 5:30-a.m. treatise on Katy Perry feminism/antifeminism. Why am I not in bed?

  35. Folks, y’all really do need to simmer down. Having a negative opinion on a pop culture icon based in feminism is not misogyny. The bloggers regularly spend time dissecting the very ideals that Perry’s songs/videos/interviews promote — attaching said ideals to one of their female megaphones doesn’t suddenly make that criticism misogynist.

    I think the contradiction in Perry’s public/private persona is that she is trying to occupy the old “hostess in the living room/whore in the bedroom” trope. When playing armchair psychologist, I think it may be because she still personally believes in a lot of the Christian marital ideals she grew up with. Ke$ha I don’t know that well. Swift’s coy confessionals were interesting at first, even a little Carly Simon-esque, but to achieve longevity and avoid being a punchline, she’s going to have to grow out of this persona and find a voice wherein she doesn’t continue to define herself based on the storied relationship.

    I really don’t think about pop idols that much, I swear.

  36. I don’t know, this post just seems entirely contradictory to most of the other posts I have read on here since I started reading this site, even though I am not saying that I don’t agree with much of why many of you dislike Katy Perry. And I probably wouldn’t even think much of a post like this on a friend’s blog or something, but this is feminism blog and I remember older posts and discussions in comments that I was either involved in or read about not passing judgment on anyone, period. Slut shaming. Misogyny. I remember every word of my comments were taken dead seriously and a number of people picked apart everything I said, even though I was just joking.. authors and fellow commentors alike. I’m just confused as to how this is supposed to be justified coming from a feminist.

    Moving on, about Taylor. I don’t mind her too much. At first I was turned off by her music because it seemed like mushy country music which is not really my taste, and I noticed all her songs are so girly and about love and boys, but I figured it could be worse. I actually kind of think it’s a breath of fresh air that her image is more wholesome than most in today’s pop culture. Phony? Possibly, but how do we really know? Is there anything specifically that make anyone think she’s a fake or is it just because we can’t fathom a girl who’s actually as sweet and sincere these days. That tells you right there how normalized a corupt society has become. I’d rather just take it for what it is and assume she’s at least real for the most part.

    So Taylor’s overall image seems to be that she is sweet, innocent, and living happily ever after with Prince Charming means the world to her, and Katy’s image is that being seen as sexually attractive means the world to her. The thing they both have in common is that their images are largely based on catering to men.

    I wish there would come a pop artist with talent, great songs, and lyrics that don’t have anything to do with sex, men (or girls), or relationships. There’s so much more to life than that.

  37. @Ashley: At risk of derail, I think the “don’t pass judgment on anyone ever” ideal is, um, not good. In your personal life, passing judgment helps you make decisions that keep you and yours safe from physical and emotional harm. Trust your gut.

    In your intellectual life, especially in a social justice context, sure, judgment alone isn’t good enough because you’ve got to explain why. Something is rubbing you the wrong way. Why? What is that? Is your irritation a personal preference or are you being piqued by a political conflict of interest? Does this conflict do you and others psychic or physical violence? Is your experience and worldview unique to this perspective, and how? Judge, judge, judge. Take notes. Work it out, listen to and connect with others, make mistakes, and own up to them. Don’t silence yourself.

  38. Although nowhere near Katy Perry’s target audience, but being primarily a music blogger, I feel compelled to talk about her, along with Kesha, Miley and GaGa, partly because they’re inescapable right now. They’re putting product out there, a lot of young girls are buying it, yes, we should be looking at these artists critically. When we say we “feel better about hating Katy Perry,” what we’re really hating is her brand, and I think that’s completely acceptable.

  39. Tony: I am just an ignorant pup here, but does being a feminist mean that you can never dislike any person just because they are a woman? 

    Yes. This one time, I really disliked this douchebag guy who told everyone details about the one time we fucked (details which he misinterpreted in his favor, PS), and he just sent me an email today after a year. I’m not going to respond. I’m clearly a misandrist. That said, I also severely dislike Sarah Palin, so clearly I’m not a feminist. Where am I? How did I get here?

    Nonsense aside, let me quote key pieces from the Sady text:

    “Because the Taylor Swift act is an act. The Ke$ha act is an act. We know these women to be actresses, each playing to a specific archetype of womanhood, with some major collaboration by the media which wants to construe them as one or the other ANYWAY. But right here, not even in the middle but somehow bilocating herself to both ends of the spectrum while occupying neither, we have Katy Fucking Perry AND I CAN’T STAND IT. She is trying to occupy BOTH of these FUCKING AWFUL AND REGRESSIVE ARCHETYPES” and “Yeah. That thing where we tell girls to be “sexy, but not sexual?” That thing where we frame female sexuality EXPLICITLY as a performance for men, not an experience within your own body that you get to define?”

    If you accept all of this to be true – which I do, because I frankly think these women are molded by their record companies, managers, and all the other milieu of people who have their hand in the pot, so to speak – we’re not saying Katy Perry can’t be thrilled about getting married. We’re not saying Taylor Swift can’t choose to be some scary virginal sacrifice to the TRL-Gods. But when it comes down to it, the likelihood that they’re being themselves – that they chose these roles themselves – and these roles WEREN’T chosen by other people in a male-dominated music industry for them is miniscule.

    BUT! If they did? Why the hell do I have to bend over backwards to like someone when I’m irritated that her decision diminishes the number of “right decisions” for women? I don’t expect people to love me just because I choose to play into the archetypes (and I do). I get that people will get irritated at me for it.

  40. Good grief people. This is not slut shaming or hating a person for just expressing who they are. This is hating a brand image sold to consumers because it sends a horrible message about female sexuality.

    That thing thing where we frame female sexuality EXPLICITLY as a performance for for men, not an experience
    within your own body that you get to define?

    Go read that para again.

  41. Kristen J.: Good grief people.This is not slut shaming or hating a person for just expressing who they are.This is hating a brand image sold to consumers because it sends a horrible message about female sexuality.
    Go read that para again.  

    But how can you parse that out from any other female pop star? Why specifically Katy then? I mean it’s one thing to say, “Here are the reasons why ‘I kissed a girl’ is popular because of screwed up society” as opposed to “Katy Perry is just serving male sexuality, not herself.” Because all pop stars are walking that line.

    I mean, heck, you could have a better analysis of the song Peacock which is either fucking with social norms (i.e. “Don’t be shy, I bet it’s beautiful”) or you argue that she’s mimicking what guys actually do and think about their dicks (i.e. Bret Favre and his sexual harrassment) which contributes to rape culture.

    I mean, who do we really hate here–Katy Perry the person or the people who love her? Because attacking how Katy Perry feels and talks about her marriage really isn’t here nor there. If it’s the brand that is hateful, then one needs to talk about the brand. Unless you think her marrying Russell Brand adds to her brand as a good-naughty-pin-up-girl.

  42. Athenia: But how can you parse that out from any other female pop star? Why specifically Katy then?

    As the original article describes in detail…her message is different from “being non-sexual is ideal” or “being highly sexual is ideal,” its “your sexuality exists only in reference to male desire.” All these messages are angry making…but the last one makes some people’s heads explode.

    Also, this is not about Katheryn Hudson, its about the personna Katy Perry. I don’t think anyone knows here knows the person, we are critiquing the personna and its message not the woman.

  43. Nahida: I’ve been confused since this came up. Can someone tell me where this is from? I’ve never head it before.  

    Ashley (upthread) happened to pull it from an SNL skit. The superior source is from summers with Stick Stickly on Nickelodeon. But it’s an actual thing people say – it’s just random that it came up twice.

  44. I would like to say I hate Katy Perry because her song Firework encourages terrorism. Think about it. People screaming AH AH AH as you shoot (at them) across the sky. Ignite the light (of your homemade explosive device). Do you want to “start again” (via violent revolution)? Is your heart going to light up (because you’re wearing a dynamite vest)?

  45. PrettyAmiable:
    But isn’t that necessarily what we’re talking about?  

    Quoting Sady here:

    “BUT THEN WE HAVE KATY PERRY… I JUST CANNOT STAND HER PUBLIC PERSONA OR MUSIC…
    Because the Taylor Swift act is an act. The Ke$ha act is an act…”

    Wait, why are Swift and Keisha are acts and Perry is not??

    “We know these women to be actresses, each playing to a specific archetype of womanhood, with some major collaboration by the media which wants to construe them as one or the other ANYWAY.”

    Um. They are not actresses—again, I really don’t understand the assertion that these ladies are “acts” and Perry’s is not.

    Sady:
    “She is trying to occupy BOTH of these FUCKING AWFUL AND REGRESSIVE ARCHETYPES”

    Um, I suppose that’s bad.

    Sady:
    “She shows up talking about your cock and shooting whipped cream out of her tits, and then she talks about how marriage is super-important to her and she “tamed” her husband out of non-monogamy. ”

    I don’t see how shooting whipped cream out of her tits and having monogamy/marriage important to her is some huge violation. I mean, I don’t see how Perry is *intentionally* trying to occupy both archetypes to further her career.

    I mean, ultimately, perhaps the problem is of Katy’s pin-up girl image—but Sady doesn’t deconstruct that at all. All she does is talk about Perry’s marriage and cream gun tits.

    I mean, why doesn’t Sady go off on Betty Paige then? Or Xtina?

    Tie it all together perhaps and relate it to the bigger picture?

  46. Athenia: Tie it all together perhaps and relate it to the bigger picture?  

    Do I do that by taking everything out of context?

    Are you really under the impression that any famous singer is being “herself”? Because I’m not. As I’ve said above, we don’t know shit about these people – all we know is what they get paid to represent. Their brand.

    Sady never says that Katy Perry is NOT an act, just that her act includes elements of both the archetypes that Swift and Kesha represent. Oh, and if you’re not explicitly an actress by trade, I suppose that means your public persona is perfectly forthcoming? I’m sure that Sady couldn’t have been using “actress” to mean anything BUT person who acts in movies, on stage, etc., right?

    Athenia: I mean, I don’t see how Perry is *intentionally* trying to occupy both archetypes to further her career.

    Well, then I don’t know what to tell you, though I will point out that you seem to have willfully misread one part of Sady’s post, so going back and trying again might not be a bad idea.

    Athenia: I mean, why doesn’t Sady go off on Betty Paige then? Or Xtina?

    Because THIS post was about Katy Perry. Why is this even a question?

  47. I personally hate Katy Perry and I hate “I Kissed a Girl” for a very simple reason: I am in a relationship with a woman, and because I “look straight” (as in, conventionally attractive, ie. belonging to men) I deal with people not ever taking my relationship seriously and I have to try to convince men EVERY FUCKING DAY that No, I don’t want a threesome, No, I don’t want to invite you into the bedroom with my girlfriend, No, I’m not going to try to convince my girlfriend that we should be in an open relationship so you can fuck me. No, men, I don’t belong to you, no matter how much our culture tells you that hot girls kiss girls not because they like kissing girls, but because it gets you off. No matter how much our culture tells you that even when women are in serious relationships with each other, that really means that they still need a dick. Songs like that completely and totally trivialize sexual experimentation and lesbian relationships because it’s all DONE FOR MEN, for men’s pleasure. That song is NOT about sexual experimentation, it’s about look at me, are you looking? I’m kissing a girl, isn’t it hot, ARE YOU LOOKING?? It completely reinforces the male gaze and the place of women in our society as objects exclusively for men’s pleasure, even when we are in RELATIONSHIPS with women and want nothing to do with a dick.

    If anything, men try HARDER to try to fuck me when they know I’m in a relationship with a woman. There’s something really really wrong with that.

    When is our culture going to understand that lesbians = no men involved? I’m so sick of it.

    Also, “Ur So Gay”? Really, Katy? For someone who supposedly supports gay rights, that pretty freaking homophobic.

    I don’t really think it’s antifeminist to criticize her for those things. Since when is it antifeminist to criticize a woman at all? WTF? No one is woman-hating, they’re hating on her persona and the damaging messages her brand sells.

    /rant

  48. ACG: I realize that a woman who performs with her boobs pushed up that high can’t argue that she’s not courting the male gaze,  

    Why on earth not? I was under the impression that its a big part of feminism to acknowledge and try to get others to realize that women dressing “sexy” doesn’t mean they want to fuck every guy (or even be attractive to every guy) who sees them…it could mean they want to fuck and/or be attractive to a particular guy, or one woman or multiple women, or it could just mean they feel like looking “sexy” for their friends/event/s.o./whatever.

  49. I find Katy Perry to be extremely attractive. “Hot n Cold” was sort of my theme song for a while, for reasons best left unsaid in public – lest I get accused of attempting to please the male gaze or the male frontal lobe, or whatever. Alas, she really can’t sing, is still generic, in the end, etc. Sadpants.

  50. I feel so much better about paying hardly any attention to current pop culture after reading the linked-to piece. I mean, I barely recognized those three names mentioned in the article, and Taylor Swift only because of the awards-ceremony thing with Kanye West. I thought it was a good article, though, definitely not a waste of time but it made me glad I don’t waste my time on any of the subjects of it.

  51. PharaohKattAnd there is nothing feminist about hating women. I would go so far as to say it’s anti-feminist.  

    What you just said reminded me of all the times anti-feminist assholes have told me I shouldn’t say I “hate” something because it’s such a strong word and that’s unladylike.

  52. PrettyAmiable:
    Ashley (upthread) happened to pull it from an SNL skit. The superior source is from summers with Stick Stickly on Nickelodeon. But it’s an actual thing people say – it’s just random that it came up twice.  

    You mean “simmer down”? I don’t know the Stick Stickly reference or how old it is, but I do remember my mom telling us to “simmer down” at least 50 years ago, which obviously dates me and is obviously longer ago than SNL.

  53. @PrettyAmiable

    I went again and re-read it, but I’m still coming up very confused.

    Like, I mean, if Katy Perry’s work promoted this double archetype–score, but that’s not what Sady’s arguing. Sady’s arguing that Katy’s image of sexy sex sex conflicts with her being married.
    I mean, take Pink, she has this sexy rebel image and she’s married and she’s gonna have a baby. Like, is she banking on this double archetype too?

    Sady:
    “But you can’t ACTUALLY be having a lot of non-monogamous sex, so you have to be as constantly, overtly, “rebelliously” sexy as possible WHILE ALSO FINDING A HUSBAND AND “TAMING” HIM TO RESPECT THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE WHICH IS SOOOOOOOO IMPORTANT TO YOU???????”

    So basically, Katy Perry is responsible (or perpetuating) those dickheads who won’t marry ‘sluts’? And if that’s the case, isn’t that she has gotten married and loves the monogamy actually not perpetuating that?

    I’m bringing up other people as examples because if as a feminist, I should “hate” Katy Perry, I want to make sure I’m “hating” the rest of the people who do the same thing as she does.

  54. @Athenia,

    Re-read that line you quoted in context. It’s not about a sexual person wanting to be married at all. That is not the context.

    Yeah. That thing where we tell girls to be “sexy, but not sexual?” That thing where we frame female sexuality EXPLICITLY as a performance for men, not an experience within your own body that you get to define? That thing where we codify performing for men as “rebellion,” which strangely makes your “rebellion” (HA) (UGH) dependent on how much you please men, and once more divorces you from your own complex human sexuality in favor of making it an externally-defined show which you have to create in order to please as many men as possible? But you can’t ACTUALLY be having a lot of non-monogamous sex, so you have to be as constantly, overtly, “rebelliously” [i.e., perform sexuality for men] ]sexy as possible WHILE ALSO FINDING A HUSBAND AND “TAMING” HIM TO RESPECT THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE WHICH IS SOOOOOOOO IMPORTANT TO YOU???????

    Emphasis and note added.

    She simultaneously portrays (1) female sexuality as referential to men; (2) hetero non-monogamy as appropriate rebellion; and (3) non-monogamy as inappropriate with marriage as the feminine ideal. So she promotes a wrongheaded view of sexuality followed by mild slut shaming. Clear enough?

  55. Okay, well, that’s kind of a valid reason.

    But its the wrong reason to hate her.

    Right reasons:

    1. Her music is horrible, bland, vapid.

    2. She only popular because of her looks (this should be a concern for feminists).

    3. One of her breakthrough hits was rabidly homophobic (the pretty-lesbian-fantasy “I kissed a girl”). Also “UR so gay” or whatever. This should also be of concern to feminists.

  56. Thanks. No one cares what you think are “right” reasons, and you are not the arbiter of “right” reasons and “wrong” reasons.

  57. Straight-looking queer woman in serious relationship of 3.5 years and hopefully forever with another woman before anyone accuses otherwise.

  58. This this this this:

    LI hate “I Kissed a Girl” for a very simple reason: I am in a relationship with a woman, and because I “look straight” (as in, conventionally attractive, ie. belonging to men) I deal with people not ever taking my relationship seriously and I have to try to convince men EVERY FUCKING DAY that No, I don’t want a threesome… No, men, I don’t belong to you… That song is NOT about sexual experimentation, it’s about look at me, are you looking? I’m kissing a girl, isn’t it hot, ARE YOU LOOKING? … .If anything, men try HARDER to try to fuck me when they know I’m in a relationship with a woman. There’s something really really wrong with that… Also, “Ur So Gay”? Really, Katy? For someone who supposedly supports gay rights, that pretty freaking homophobic./rant  

  59. RD: I am a queer woman.And I disagree that it was about some “male gaze.”  

    Given that one of her subsequent songs was “ur so gay,” any benefit of the doubt I gave her evaporated. She’s just one great big exploiter and her music isn’t even any good (unless you’re talking mass-consumption pop, she’s doing very well in the industry).

  60. BradMillersHero, uh, what? She’s only popular because of her looks? You do realize there’s plenty of bland male pop pablum out there, and that she’s bland and vapid is very much a selling point to the pop consuming masses?

    And it’s feminism’s job to police women who are too attractive? Shut up, you’re too good looking! That’s positively grotesque, and how you came to view that as a feminist task is completely beyond me.

  61. man I’ve been hating on katy perry for years
    y’all should
    read this screed by this guy
    it’s really good, bit more substantive than doyle’s (imho), makes loads of good points, (conservatism masquerading as transitiveness etc) even mentions ‘stand by your man’..=good
    Also his writing on popular music generally is good (although sometimes he does reach a bit and it’s from the uk and so mostly about the uk )

  62. sabrina: I think that everyone needs to reread feminism 101 and full frontal again.  

    For serious, some of these comments border on ridiculous. I’m also amazed at the patience of other posters. Good work.

  63. I realize that a woman who performs with her boobs pushed up that high can’t argue that she’s not courting the male gaze…

    You know, for all of my life, I have had small boobs. Now that I’m pregnant, they have been growing. Being a lowly writer/newspaper editor, I didn’t rush out and buy a new wardrobe. I take the titties out wearing the same tops as before.

    I really like the way they look. I liked them before, and I like them now. So I am not about to hide these things or to be concerned with what someone might *think* if they happen to glance at them. They’re beautiful – I enjoy them as much as I enjoy my bump.

    Because I really couldn’t give a crap about what anyone else, male or female, pervert, sincere admirer, serious deliberator on the subject of the male gaze or whoever, thinks of me when I step out of my home and go about my work and life, I don’t get why someone like Perry should give a crap about it either, you know what I mean?

    She’s got great tits – looking at them makes *me* happy. And I’m not a dude. I can’t even say that I’m anything but straight. Yes, society treats exposed titties in a weird way. Society treats covered-up titties in a weird way as well. In general, we live in a weird world, where are bodies are forever being treated as objects that do not belong to us and must be subject to scrutiny and criticism, and we can’t divorce our actions from what’s happening around us – that’s the hand that everyone, including Perry, has been dealt. But my ultimate problem is with the weirdos, not with Perry herself.

    Her music is generic, but she clearly enjoys the tits, and I think that’s perfectly cool.

  64. She’s a rotten singer who relies on Auto Tune or something equally horrid. That alone is reason enough for me to change the station when she comes on the radio.

  65. Samantha b.: BradMillersHero, uh, what? She’s only popular because of her looks? You do realize there’s plenty of bland male pop pablum out there, and that she’s bland and vapid is very much a selling point to the pop consuming masses?
    And it’s feminism’s job to police women who are too attractive? Shut up, you’re too good looking! That’s positively grotesque, and how you came to view that as a feminist task is completely beyond me.  

    Whoa dude, calm down. When you have a music star who has zilch musical talent singing The most horribly uninspired and cliche, there’s obviously something else which saves their career. Sometimes its money, sometimes its being successful somewhere else, sometimes its looks. Obviously, for Katy Perry, its looks.

    No feminist judgement here, just facts.

  66. Thank freaking Jebus someone finally posted about that trash. I canNOT stand her, I think her music is awful and her performances are disgusting. My (gay) brother-in-law accuses me of missing out on the “kitsch” or “camp” value of her, but the thing is? I GET that. That doesn’t mean I have to LIKE it.

  67. I kinda feel like attacking Katy Perry for utilizing the virgin/whore dichotomy too much is like taking out all your anger on the “other woman”- as in, yes, it’s justified. Yes, she fucked you over. But let’s be angry at the patriarchal culture that tells her she can either be a woman or a whore. She is choosing to be both. I feel like that is just the tiniest bit subversive, honestly.

  68. MissCherryPi:
    I haven’t liked her music since “Hot N Cold” where she was berating her (male) partner for being too “feminine.” Really gross.  

    Actually, the vibe I got off of that song (the music video) was that her partner was a smarmy two-faced asshole.

  69. I never read “I kissed a girl” (the song, not the video) as “I kissed a girl to get my boyfriend off”. When I first heard the song, after high school when I started to actually understand that I liked girls too, I was just happy that someone described the actual, exciting, makes-my-cheeks-red-cos-this-is-so-new-and-somehow-right feeling that I got about, well, yeah, experimenting. I didn’t notice the boyfriend part at all.

    Of course, there were other troubling verses (“It’s not what good girls do, not how they should behave”) and at some point I kinda got that while for Katy Perry, kissing girls was “no big deal”, for me it would be something entirely else, and that I wasn’t a straight girl in a party getting drunk.

    And then I heard Jill Sobule’s song and the experience was the same, only a million times better and more right.

    Yeah, don’t really care about Katy Perry but just wanted to show that there are different ways to read songs.

  70. is there any info out there as to who is writing and publishing these songs? you can say what you will about pop stars complicity in recording songs with titles like “ur so gay” but the issue i have is why songs like these are written in the first place.

  71. Dominique: This this this this:
      

    Times two. Het women singing about fake “lesbian” kissing. Het woman with a song titled “Ur so gay”. Cis het woman slandering trans folk (I was not aware of that incident, thanks for pointing that out, gudbuytjane). Cis het woman making money fronting for cis-het-owned record companies who are making lots of money on the backs of lesbians, gay men, and trans folk.

    At first, I thought Sady was making much ado about nothing, but the more I think about it, the more I agree with her (though I don’t particularly understand why she singles out Perry quite so much when all three performers are packaged, autotuned, and branded for the male gaze).

  72. Ok I didn’t know about the tweet, that’s not cool. And I looked up the song “ur so gay” and like I said before that’s not cool either, but I think some ppl are overstating how bad it is.

    Mostly I was irritated by all the angry reactions when that one song came out. I just found it all ridiculous.

  73. gudbuytjane: And there’s that thing about her mocking trans people’s bodies, too.  

    Is there a link to her actual tweet? FWIW, someone has already been caught spoofing her account on tumblr, using photoshop to doctor screencaps of her actual twitter to make it look like she was making homophobic comments.

  74. GallingGalla:

    Cis het woman making money fronting for cis-het-owned record companies who are making lots of money on the backs of lesbians, gay men, and trans folk.

    You’re probably referring to an incident I’m not aware of. Could you include a link to it so I can research it more?

  75. Uhh. I can’t tell whether you’re being disingenuous, but in the context of this thread, I’m assuming GallingGalla is referring to Katy Perry, a cis het woman, making money for disproportionately cis het owned record companies who are making lots of money on the backs of lesbians, gay men, and trans folk by exploiting them (e.g. “Kissed a Girl,” “Ur so Gay,” “omg I’m so popular check me out judging this person who has facial hair and breasts”).

    … I assume you can google all of those key words, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t link you to them.

  76. PrettyAmiable: Uhh. I can’t tell whether you’re being disingenuous…

    Either that, or he’s pulling the “please link me to the Evidence so that I can make a Scientific, Rational, Positivist, Objective Judgment without the influence of Hysterical Lady / Gay Man / Trans Brains or that pesky little thing called Acknowledging One’s Standpoint (as in that of a cis het male)” schtick.

    PrettyAmiable: but in the context of this thread, I’m assuming GallingGalla is referring to Katy Perry, a cis het woman, making money for disproportionately cis het owned record companies who are making lots of money on the backs of lesbians, gay men, and trans folk by exploiting them (e.g. “Kissed a Girl,” “Ur so Gay,” “omg I’m so popular check me out judging this person who has facial hair and breasts”).

    Yes, this is exactly what I’m talking about. And though Taylor Swift and Ta$ha don’t seem to be as blatant with homophobia and transphobia (as far as I’m aware), they are still buying into the same dynamic.

  77. RD: Ok I didn’t know about the tweet, that’s not cool.And I looked up the song “ur so gay” and like I said before that’s not cool either, but I think some ppl are overstating how bad it is.Mostly I was irritated by all the angry reactions when that one song came out.I just found it all ridiculous.  

    Overstating how bad it is? Calling someone gay in our culture is considered an insult, maybe THE worst thing you can be called, other than fat; that’s especially true for youth. And gay kids are committing suicide over it. That doesn’t bother you even a little?

    It’s fine if you weren’t offended by “I Kissed a Girl”, that’s okay. I was, and I’m sick and tired of dealing with men who won’t take my relationship seriously or take no for an answer because in their delusional porno frat boy world (which is our entire society), lesbians still want men.

    She touts herself as a supporter of gay rights…I’m not buying it.

  78. RD: “I kissed a girl” was not homophobic!  

    Trivializing lesbian relationships is extremely problematic.
    “I hope my boyfriend don’t mind”
    “it’s not what good girls do”
    you seriously don’t see a problem with what she’s promoting?
    This song suggests what every straight male I’ve encountered with my girlfriend believes… these two women are kissing for my pleasure. These two girls are engaging in a sexually charged ‘experimental game’. These two girls are so open minded they must be wild in bed. and these two girls can’t wait to share my dick.

    It’s disgusting.

  79. RD: Ok I didn’t know about the tweet, that’s not cool.And I looked up the song “ur so gay” and like I said before that’s not cool either, but I think some ppl are overstating how bad it is.Mostly I was irritated by all the angry reactions when that one song came out.I just found it all ridiculous.  

    Yeah.. I hate when people froth at the mouths about silly things like celebrities piggybacking on the lives of marginalized communities for profit.
    It’s so annoying.

    It’s not just ‘not cool’
    it’s dangerous.

    If someone wrote a song called ‘ur so r3t@rded’ or ‘ur so @zn” it would not be making record sales. (those spellings belong to Katy Perry, please request translation if needed).

  80. PrettyAmiable:
    Yes. This one time, I really disliked this douchebag guy who told everyone details about the one time we fucked (details which he misinterpreted in his favor, PS), and he just sent me an email today after a year. I’m not going to respond. I’m clearly a misandrist. That said, I also severely dislike Sarah Palin, so clearly I’m not a feminist. Where am I? How did I get here?

    You’re funny. 😀

  81. And “ur so gay” appears to be a song about katy perry being unhappy with her explicitly straight boyfriends gender expression for fitting into gay stereotypes without being gay. So yes fucked up, but not like some ppl are making it out to be.

  82. Catherine: I can’t believe I’m about to say this, because I can’t stand Katy Perry, but I feel like this link is telling me that:
    a) Heterosexual monogamous marriage is inherently oppressive to your sexuality and the sexuality of everyone around you, and
    b) being in a heterosexual monogamous marriage while gyrating onstage and wearing strategically placed fruit is the height of antifeminist hypocrisy.
    Huh?  

    Co-sign on this. Including the “huh?” I mean, fine, Katy Perry performs a male-centred version of sexuality, but…that would be acceptable if she fucked more guys?

    Last I checked, “monogamous” did not actually mean “virginal” or “asexual” or “forbidden to wear skimpy clothes in public.”

  83. Natalia:
    You know, for all of my life, I have had small boobs. Now that I’m pregnant, they have been growing. Being a lowly writer/newspaper editor, I didn’t rush out and buy a new wardrobe. I take the titties out wearing the same tops as before.I really like the way they look. I liked them before, and I like them now. So I am not about to hide these things or to be concerned with what someone might *think* if they happen to glance at them. They’re beautiful – I enjoy them as much as I enjoy my bump.

    Seen this kind of comment twice now, and looking back, I really was wrong. I actually had a conversation last night with several friends about our love of our own boobs, so I certainly have no place to judge her boob-placement choices.

  84. RD: Its not a song about lesbian relationships.Its a song about a straight girl experimenting, which is fine, good for her.  

    guh. except that’s how lesbian relationships ARE viewed. Straight girls experimenting. For men.
    That is THE number one stereotype about girl on girl. Straight girls love to fool around. It is completely fetishes. and it is precisely why no one takes my relationship (and probably your relationship) seriously because neither my partner or I look emasculating enough to draw the blood back into their brains.
    Do you think she actually kissed a girl and liked it?
    My guess is that she liked the record sales anyways.

  85. RD – That you see these things as ‘no big deal’ or not overtly, troublingly homophobic doesn’t negate the experiences of others, who do see this – no matter how many times you reiterate the point that it just doesn’t compute for you. Signed – a queer girl with a different viewpoint than yours, so look at that, there is no sole arbiter of what’s a-okay with the queer folk.

  86. It depends a lot on the situation, whether guys take my relationship seriously or not. Honestly, I really don’t care what they think (yes I know sometimes they are irritating anyway), and I didn’t when I was dating girls who were more femme either (my gf is butch).

  87. RD: And “ur so gay” appears to be a song about katy perry being unhappy with her explicitly straight boyfriends gender expression for fitting into gay stereotypes without being gay.So yes fucked up, but not like some ppl are making it out to be.  

    Video: http://www.tmz.com/videos?autoplay=true&mediaKey=1c73580b-c3a7-4bdc-9e44-f2e83e0f556d

    “Oh, that clever, clever wordsmith. You see, what Katy is saying is that Mr. Lopes was a dumbass back in high school for not picking her because she is so amazing now and has bras that shoot whip cream and he must be living in the agony of his incorrect life choices which led him to his current sorry and despicable state. In other words, he is so gay.

    You know, because “gay” is bad. Gay is stupid. Gay is something you definitely don’t want to be called in front of a crowd of thousands. Do you really still think Katy Perry is awesome?

    …I’m also sure some of you are thinking,” Well, what’s the big deal? She likes the gays and is just using ‘gay’ in a joking way. It’s a joke. It’s funny.” Ha ha ha ha ha. Oh, wait, but then it isn’t. It isn’t funny because language matters. Granted, language may not matter that much to a person who intentionally spells “you are” as “ur” in her official lyrics, but it matters to the rest of the world.

    You would never, not in a million years, see a major pop star launch into a revenge song called “Ur So Asian” or “Ur So Disabled.” That would not and should never happen. But it is still somehow acceptable for a Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling major recording artist to sing a song like “Ur So Gay” in revenge as “the crowd cheered and howled in laughter.” – Dorothy Snarker

  88. I also don’t want to be the sole arbiter. I just have to code-switch between talking to straight ppl with opinions on what’s homophobic and Lesbians with a capital L.

  89. V: “If someone wrote a song called ‘ur so r3t@rded’ or ‘ur so @zn” it would not be making record sales. (those spellings belong to Katy Perry, please request translation if needed). V”

    As someone who finds a lot of Katy Perry’s music deeply heterosexist, but who is also impacted by ableism, can we please avoid diminishing oppressions in order to make points about others? Apart from being generally oppression olympicy, it’s also demonstrably false: the Black Eyed Peas, for instance, have a song called “Let’s Get Retarded”.

  90. Li: V: “If someone wrote a song called ‘ur so r3t@rded’ or ‘ur so @zn” it would not be making record sales. (those spellings belong to Katy Perry, please request translation if needed).V”As someone who finds a lot of Katy Perry’s music deeply heterosexist, but who is also impacted by ableism, can we please avoid diminishing oppressions in order to make points about others? Apart from being generally oppression olympicy, it’s also demonstrably false: the Black Eyed Peas, for instance, have a song called “Let’s Get Retarded”.  

    Yes they certainly did. And that song has been censored. “let’s get retarded” was changed to “let’s get it started.” It’s just an example of what society will and will not tolerate.
    I’m sorry, I did not intend to play into the oppression Olympics or in anyway trivializing or diminishing oppressions. That’s the point.. Katy Perry is.
    I feel that sometimes it is relevant to talk about one form of oppression relative to another so individuals who can’t see how it’s a problem, can gain a new perspective on why that’s offensive. And that’s fine if you disagree with that.

  91. GallingGalla: Either that, or he’s pulling the “please link me to the Evidence so that I can make a Scientific, Rational, Positivist, Objective Judgment without the influence of Hysterical Lady / Gay Man / Trans Brains or that pesky little thing called Acknowledging One’s Standpoint (as in that of a cis het male)” schtick.Yes, this is exactly what I’m talking about.And though Taylor Swift and Ta$ha don’t seem to be as blatant with homophobia and transphobia (as far as I’m aware), they are still buying into the same dynamic.  

    Actually, I kind of thought you were referring to a separate incident with workplace mistreatment of lesbians/gays/trans folk in the record label that Perry was signed to. My bad for asking.

  92. RD: And “ur so gay” appears to be a song about katy perry being unhappy with her explicitly straight boyfriends gender expression for fitting into gay stereotypes without being gay.So yes fucked up, but not like some ppl are making it out to be.  

    No, that’s still completely fucked up.

  93. Holy crap, 60% of the commenters on this post have terrible reading comprehension. Glad I don’t read Feministe’s comments much because it seems to have become the new stomping grounds for complete n00bs to feminism, since the Feministing overhaul killed the comments section.

    At least Sady’s post was pleasant reading.

  94. Jill, long time reader, first time writer. My god you always nail things from on the head – from complex issues surrounding feminism/ femininity to how absolutely intolerable Katy Perry is. That Sady Doyle article just made my evening! I’ve been calling that fool (Katy) a homophobe for ages and ranting about that side of things (my friends are going deaf), but now I get to slightly add to and alter my rant.

    Worst moment of 2010: sitting in a group of male student newspaper writers, all talking about how HOT Katy Perry is. Ok, it wasn’t that bad, I had a glass of wine. And then I said something bangin’ like “ok, you guys have Katy, I’ll take Alison Mosshart” and their view of me as the uptight feminist somehow morphed into ‘shit she has better taste in women than me’. Yes, I’m well aware of the irony of objectifying women to get men to listen to my feminist views …

    Sigh (it never ends).

  95. Kathy: When we say we “feel better about hating Katy Perry,” what we’re really hating is her brand, and I think that’s completely acceptable.  

    Well then, we should specify this. If it’s a critique of a brand or of a type of behaviour, then make it sound like one. Otherwise it sounds too much like ‘I hate this particular type of woman’, and it just provides more fodder for people to accuse feminism of only ‘letting in’ certain types of women.

    Plus I can’t get through Sady Doyle articles because of all the UNNECESSARY CAPITALS.

  96. Why do some people feel the need to police other people?

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, don’t listen to the radio… turn off MTV.

    Simple.

    1. Why do some people feel the need to police other people?

      If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, don’t listen to the radio… turn off MTV.

      Simple.

      Voicing an opinion is not “policing.”

      If you don’t like it, don’t read this blog and definitely don’t comment.

      Simple.

      (See why that’s a silly argument?)

  97. Hiya Jill,

    Thanks for addressing the comment rather than attacking the poster 😉

    Happy Valentines Day!

    —————

    I long ago found that MTV/mainstream radio had little to offer me so I sought music from other places and was much happier for the search.

    I guess some find it constructive deconstructing artists they don’t care for as maybe trying to pinpoint something in society.

    Maybe it might be more productive to analyze what one likes and why….

    ….but I’m probably just mansplaining now….

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