“He wrote on a piece of paper with his pencil.
Psychosis: out of touch with reality.
Since then, I have been trying to find out what reality is, so that I can touch it.”—Lighthousekeeping // Jeanette Winterson
“If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.”—The Bell Jar // Sylvia Plath
Let us explain, as I have done, many times, whilst drunk:
Over here, we have Taylor Swift. She is fulfilling one of the fucked-up Acceptable Woman archetypes: Permanent girl-child, weirdly virginal no matter how many famous dudes she dates and writes songs about dating, white-dress-clad, sort of a permanent bride waiting for her lifelong heterosexual marriage which is the only thing you can really envision for her, Has A Lot Of Feelings but saves the really venomous ones for (a) girls whose boyfriends she wants to steal, (b) girls who steal her boyfriends, and (c) occasionally boyfriends. Depoliticized, only ever speaks about private concerns, anti-feminist or a-feminist, a giant child, strangely impossible to sexualize (even when she’s talking about “things that [another girl] does on the mattress,” she sounds like a sixth-grader who’s not quite clear on what Mattress Things consist of, but knows they’re DIRTY and girls who do them are GROSS). Acceptable, culturally, for these reasons.
AND OVER HERE, on the OTHER END of the spectrum, we have Ke$ha. Who, yes, looks exactly like Taylor Swift in the process of incurring the world’s worst hangover. Permanently offensive, permanently blitzed, always as loud and rude and inappropriate as she can possibly be at all times, frankly and hugely and inappropriately sexual, confrontational, vulgar, mean, covered in glitter and puke and possibly her own urine, out for attention and doesn’t care who knows it: Ke$ha occupies the whore/bad girl end of the Girl Spectrum, on which Taylor Swift is of course the virgin/good girl at the opposite end. You would think the whore/bad girl would be less acceptable, in the grand scheme of things, but it’s not true: She’s still depoliticized and anti-feminist or a-feminist, she still reserves her hostilities for other girls and the disappointing boys she’s dated, so we have room for her. If only because we need someone to publicly vilify and disassociate ourselves from. And I have a sneaky love for this archetype, because I spent some time occupying it myself in my less mature years, but yes, let’s be frank, Ke$ha is freaking awful. Much like (IMO! IMO!) Taylor Swift.
BUT THEN WE HAVE KATY PERRY. AND I HATE HER SO MUCH MORE THAN EITHER OF THOSE WOMEN, YOU GUYS, I DON’T KNOW HER BUT I JUST CANNOT STAND HER PUBLIC PERSONA OR MUSIC, MY DISLIKE IS SO EXTREME.
Because the Taylor Swift act is an act. The Ke$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. 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. She kissed a girl, and she liked it, but ultimately it’s very important that her boyfriend don’t mind it, because he has veto power on her sexuality. She wants to see your cock, but not really, cocks are for heterosexual monogamous marriage and she has one of those. She wants to be a bad girl who’s also a good girl, a Whore who’s also a Madonna, and it’s not about complexity, DON’T SAY IT’S ABOUT COMPLEXITY, it’s the exact same thing sex-positive AND older-school feminists have been complaining about FOREVER.
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” sexy as possible WHILE ALSO FINDING A HUSBAND AND “TAMING” HIM TO RESPECT THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE WHICH IS SOOOOOOOO IMPORTANT TO YOU???????
THAT IS KATY PERRY.
STOP SAYING NICE THINGS ABOUT HER.
SHE IS AN EXAMPLE OF EVERYTHING WRONG ABOUT THE PRESSURES ON WOMEN IN THIS OUR CURRENT ERA.
SHE JUST IS.
this, so very much. also the lyrics “someone call the doctor / got a case of the love bipolar”. no. you don’t. that’s not a thing, any more than ‘hate cancer’ is a thing. (not going to go into “u r gay” - but bad gay not gay gay, obviously! or that other hateful soul-destroying song which made her famous).
i also hate that taylor swift song where she says “she wears short skirts, i wear t-shirts” UM EVERYONE WEARS T-SHIRTS. EVEN THE SLUTS YOU HATE.
and not to defend ke$ha or anything but there is this amazing quote: “all my songs are about equal rights…. and white diamonds!” lolol #secretke$halove
“I wonder which is preferable, to walk around all your life swollen up with your own secrets until you burst from the pressure of them, or to have them sucked out of you, every paragraph, every sentence, every word of them, so at the end you’re depleted of all that was once as precious to you as hoarded gold, as close to you as your skin - everything that was of the deepest importance to you, everything that made you cringe and wish to conceal, everything that belonged to you alone?”—Margaret Atwood