Gaga as a dude makes other dudes uncomfortable

I love Lady Gaga. I’m not interested in her music (I’m too old for that), but I think she is hilarious. That meat dress was one giant “fuck you” to the music and fashion industries that value women by the fuckability of their body parts. And from what I’ve seen of her music videos, she’s not there to give you some soft porn on your Saturday morning.

So I saw this and just had to point and laugh: Music execs say Lady Gaga went too far at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Oh, this is going to be good.

It’s by “staff writer”, which means a journo either re-wrote someone else’s work, or was too ashamed to put their name to it. Given that it’s about the MTV awards in the US, I’m going with the former.

LADY Gaga prompted many jaws to drop during the MTV Video Music Awards when she channeled her foul-mouthed, whiskey-drinking, chain-smoking male alter ego, Jo Calderone, onstage and even in the restroom.

Oh, a lady dressed as a man is TAKING IT TOO FAR. I see. I guess when she’s dressed as a man then we don’t get glimpses of boobies. Or something. Too far man, too far.

And I don’t know about jaws dropping. If you watch the video, the crowd loved it:

During the performer’s multiple onstage appearances, she continued to find the need to reinforce that “Gaga wasn’t here tonight” and that “Calderone was accepting the award on her behalf,” though she scored wins for her music videos in the female category.

Um, “continued to find the need”? Calderone is a performance, and you don’t stop a performance just because some judgy News Ltd journo in an office in Sydney re-writing someone else’s work doesn’t get what you’re doing.

But I shouldn’t be too hard on that journo. Other dudes I’ve never heard of didn’t get it either. Like “television and music producer” Edward Paige:

“People originally embraced Gaga because in all her quirkiness was authentic in that she didn’t fit in. But stepping outside the more comfortable vixen role could hurt her. Does MTV or its throngs of little girls’ fans want a diva that looks like Ralph Macchio doing a Lenny Bruce routine? I doubt it.”

Firstly, who gives a shit what MTV wants? Gaga shouldn’t. She doesn’t need them. And secondly, why is it worse for little girls to see a woman dressed as a man than to see her dressed as a vixen? How on earth is showing girls that they don’t need to look sexy all the time worse than showing them that they do? Can you say “sexualisation of children”, Edward Paige?

“Gaga’s persistence as ‘Jo Calderone’ degraded an otherwise enjoyable VMAs, and stood in stark contrast to tasteful and classy presentations by the likes of Adele. Gaga’s performance art philosophy may excuse this, but it remains a poor execution of what, at this point, falls squarely into [a] predictably random pattern of behavior,” added Jed Smith, head of music composition company, Beta Fish.

“Predictably random”? What a doofus. And his point comparing two women with completely different styles and different styles of music is just stupid. What he means to say is that one is acting like a “proper lady” and the other is dressed in a way that he can’t beat off to.

51 responses to “Gaga as a dude makes other dudes uncomfortable

  1. Funny how the two people who seemed the most offended were men. Intimidated perhaps? Go Gaga.

  2. Fascinating post. Thanks.

  3. Stepping outside the vixen role could hurt her? Adele doesn’t play the vixen role and she’s doing fine. Is there a problem that there weren’t enough vixens at the awards show? Miley wore a long dress instead of her usual stage attire. One vixen down. Short on vixens.
    Like the graffiti for sexist advertisements says: If your product is any good you don’t need a naked women to sell it.
    Lady Gaga is a constructed creation. Is a performance identity. Like Jo. Go Gaga (or more correctly, go Stefani).

  4. Newswithnips, you’re the Twisty Faster of liberal feminism! Love your take on this.

  5. I LOVE Gaga. Bloody love her. Fantastic post Newswithnipples. Just brilliant.

  6. thefirstJanineonthisblog

    Gaga is great, I love her even more now.

  7. I have seen a couple of interviews with her and she was also a guest mentor on an episode of American Idol. She is so fucking smart. When she is speaking you forget that she is …. (just need to check) only 25.
    Fuck the lot of them if they don’t ‘get’ her, THEY are not her target audience.
    I don’t particularly like her music either but I do have to say that if I was locked in a room and was forced to listen to her, Katy Perry, or Rhianna, Gaga would win hands down.

  8. Doubling a role in the official music video for you and I, she took the roll as the boyfriend from the music video at the awards show. Why have a man play the role when she could take the spotlight for herself?

  9. Great take on an awful industry… If anyone took note, the gentleman of rock Dr Brian May PhD CBE (Guitarist for QUEEN) was her special guest on stage playing his own home made guitar. Back in the 70’s all these same comments were being handed out to Queen… Look at their success over the years and their snub of the music and general media. To this day they still snub the media for their treatment of years past. Lady Gaga (incidentally named after Queen’s hit Radio Gaga) stares down the barrel of criticism and the media and lets it all hang out just as her forefathers did. Good luck to her and her future endeavours. It is the fans and record sales that speak volumes and not the media critics.

    • Great point. SimonT, I was looking at 70s and 80s album covers the other day, and so many are dirty/hilarious/gay that they’d never be done today Which is sad that we’ve gone backwards in terms of what we’re open to. Welcome to the News with Nipples.

  10. Funny how nobody has the same criticisms of Dame Edna…

  11. I like Gaga a lot more after reading your post (not that I had any feeling either way beforehand)! But I am feeling particularly out of it at the moment because if I was in a shop playing either Katy Perry, Rhianna or Gaga I wouldn’t even recognise any of it. I like music a lot but I must be pretty good at tuning out. (Except 80s sax. I can’t tune that out.)

  12. I dont get the freak out over a drag act. Drag (male to female) is so mainstream these days, if it’s ok for robin Williams or Dustin Hoffman why not gaga? In fact, female to male drag is not exactly new either, (our) Cate Blanchett and that chick from desperate houewives played men in recent movies.

    I reckon their real problem is that she was having a go at the fragile male ego and this erked them…..in a delicious irony.

  13. The problem I have with the Jo Calderone character is that he’s a pig. Leering at Britney Spears and making her award all about him, groping Snooki (http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lqo7k1knNY1qbpemeo1_500.png)… perhaps it’s satirical but, if it is, I have a feeling most people won’t ‘get’ it.

    • That’s a good point. But from what I’ve seen, the Calderone character is purely satire because he is so over the top. It raises an interesting question: if Gaga as Gaga had squeezed a woman’s boobs (as my friends and I like to do, drunk or sober) it would be fine, so why is Gaga’s pisstake of sleazy guys doing the same thing not fine?

      • Wow news with nipples I have NEVER groped a friends boobs and never have they done to me. Must be a vast change in protocol in the years that lie between us.

        • Really? It’s more of a friendly joyous squeeze than a grope. And only with certain friends. And I don’t think it’s too widespread a practice…

        • I don’t know about the years – I don’t think I have either, although we do regularly take photos of a bunch of us in a circle – from above – Cleavage Express. But no squeezing.

          • Being even older than Jayne (probably) I’ve never grabbed a man-friend’s cock or taken group photos of us dangling our parts over the camera – or whatever the male equivalents would be. However, I am old enough to remember David Bowie. Bowie appeared dressed as a woman on many occasions (I remember him doing one of his songs on Top of the Pops en femme) but I don’t remember the kind of outraged spluttering about it back then that Gaga in drag has aroused.

            • I have a first year lecture I give on gender where I use side-by-side images of David Bowie and Annie Lennox, and I’ve found them to be a fabulously effective shortcut to bring students to the point where they “get” the constructedness of gender signifiers, and their role in performance. They are so cool.

  14. Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi.com

    Who doesn’t love Gaga? She’s an amazing performance artist who has taken the industry to a whole new level (and inspired a raft of copy cats). I’d heard she was going to ‘shock’ all at the VMAS (I wondered ‘what next?’) — when I saw she’d taken on the Jo persona I was thrilled. Nothing entertains me better than a surprise — down with the ‘norm’!!!!

  15. Her ‘music’ is still shit.

  16. Pingback: Meeting Miss J. Alexander | gemwhy

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