Katy Perry bugs the ever living SHIT out of me.
Not that I’m terribly familiar with her work, just that one song, I Kissed a Girl.
(I picked this clip so you can read the lyrics, which I will analyse in a bit.)
Now, firstly, the title and subject had already been done and done better by Jill Sobule in the 90’s.
Secondly, Katy Perry’s song doesn’t even have the balls to actually be about fluid sexuality.
Let’s break down the lyrics (I’m paraphrasing because I assume you’ll watch the video for the actual lyrics):
Girl impulsively and drunkenly stumbles up to a random girl with the idea to “try her on”
Already, Katy is objectifying this other girl. The girl doesn’t have a name, she doesn’t know her and she already has no intention of going further.
She admits to liking it, but makes it clear that she’s not gay (because that would be wrong), by mentioning her boyfriend and stating that it “don’t mean I’m in love tonight.”
Not only is she disrespectful of the girl she’s kissing, leading this poor girl on, potentially, but she’s also cheating on her boyfriend because, obviously, they have not discussed this, or she wouldn’t have to “hope” he “don’t mind it”.
She re-iterates that she doesn’t know this girl’s name and doesn’t care. She’s just experimenting and again refers to how subversive and bad she’s being by kissing a girl.
Far from normalising this encounter, she makes it clear she thinks it’s unnatural and kinky.
She regales us with how “magical” women are, by talking about only physical things: lips, skin, etc. And then downplays all of the previous talk of how “wrong” it is by saying, “it’s innocent.” Innocent to whom? To you? Has it occurred to you that just because this person you are kissing doesn’t have a penis, doesn’t mean she has innocent intentions?
I had a friend, a really lovely dyke friend, back in college who was constantly “the experiment” for girls exploring their bisexuality. Inevitably, they would go back to their boyfriend, or would meet a guy, and she’d be left alone. She was treated as less than a person because she was a woman. BY A FELLOW WOMAN! At one point, she and I almost had an encounter, and I had to turn her down because I was already in love with a man at the time and I really didn’t want to lead her on, even though I would have really liked to have slept with her. I didn’t want to hurt my friend by pretending it was ‘innocent fun.’ And I think she really appreciated it.
In short, I think Katy Perry’s song is misogynistic, irresponsible and it grossly misrepresents bisexuality.
And her music kind of sucks anyway.