Feminism, Marxism, Lady Gaga

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I came across a blog about Lady Gaga’s new music video ‘Telephone’ and read a section on feminism that reminded me of Marxism.

The blog can be found at

http://onlywordstoplaywith.blogspot.com/search/label/Lady%20Gaga

The section on feminism interested me because it discusses how Lady Gaga attacks ‘the whole taxonomy of gender itself.’ The idea of attacking the whole taxonomy of gender as a way to approach feminism is a strategy that I find very Marxist. When Marx talks about how to resolve class struggles, he calls for a revolution and a deconstruction of the class structure as a whole. Creating laws that state that everyone is equal and has the same rights, political emancipation, is really ineffective as it keeps the class structure in place- the proletariat will still be under control of the bourgeoisie. I see feminism acting in a similar way. Feminism supports the gender dichotomy that created the inequality between and gender roles for men and women. Just as Marx calls for a removal of the class structure as the only way to achieve true human emancipation, true gender equality can only be achieved by removing the concept of gender from society.

Removing gender from society would require that people realize that gender is a social construction- it is made up. In our society, biological sex, male or female, determines an individual’s gender. Male and Female is a dichotomy that I see as true, as it is purely biological. Guy and Girl, Man and Woman, He and She, Him and Her are dichotomies that I see as false.  I think that even the words guy and girl bring to mind different images than female and male.  It is this difference that I would see useful in exploring. I also think it is very unfortunate how deeply gender is ingrained in our language: have you ever came across a person who you couldn’t tell their gender? Or perhaps you can tell their sex but not really their gender? I believe that this person would probably be closer to liberation and equality in gender because there are no stereotypes to attach to their gender. A genderless society seems far more valuable and effective than women’s rights and women’s interests. A genderless society would create true equality for males and females. It truly allows everyone to be individuals and doesn’t make species out of people.

Here are some examples of how Lady Gaga attacks gender in her new video (these examples can be found and explained further in the blog): Lady Gaga’s sexuality can be intimidating- it is androgynous, powerful, and aggressive. It is as if she puts her body out there and dares the viewers to objectify her.  By daring the viewers, she takes on a masculine role. She does the same thing with her make-up, outfits, and dancing. There are also lesbian themes in the video. However, as opposed to much of the lesbianism in pop culture, the lesbianism in Lady Gaga’s video is not one for the “sexual gratification of straight men” – it is androgynous and butch. I feel that Lady Gaga’s sexuality challenges what is sexy. It is definitely not a conventional sexuality. Another aspect of feminism in the video is the prison (a space traditionally associated with masculinity) full of glamorous women. By challenging the taxonomy of gender as a whole, I feel that Lady Gaga moves beyond expression within a system and is able to create something truly original.

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