Normally, I would try to avoid having a strong opinion about a celebrity, especially one that evokes people and asks for controversy. This is because most celebrities who do warrant any opinion usually do not last long — cultural relevance has a short shelf life (genuinely good entertainers, however, don’t).
But, Lady Gaga, I guess you win this round. You’ve succeeded in getting me to feel something for you, even if that emotion is primarily “annoyed.” And thus, I will proceed to have an opinion about a woman who, in honestly, only ever wanted me to have an opinion about her.
The first thing I will say about Lady Gaga is that initially I was unsure how to feel about her, and I liked it that way. I found her music entertaining, of course, but as a human being I could have taken her or left her. The costumes, while “outrageous,” seemed sort of conventional in the way that a lot of “outrageous” things are. Her “persona” didn’t seem to be much other than a vague accessory to said outfits.
It seemed like, “Hey! Look at me! I’m defying conventional norms!” And I’m like, “Yeah, you and ever other hipster ever.” Besides, unconventional fashion was already achieved 25 years ago in the late 80s by James St. James (and perhaps even before him):
So, like I said, I have lived a majority of my life relatively uninfluenced by Lady Gaga in any respect. However, lately she has been giving interviews, and so now I’ll finally concede that she’s retarded.
Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore. -Lady Gaga
First of all, let’s say this is true. Let’s say that life is a dichotomy in which there are only two possible routes to be chosen by women: men or careers. Ok, fine.
But, NEWSFLASH: Your career can effectively wake up and tell you it doesn’t love you anymore too. It’s called getting fired, or laid off. It’s called a shitty economy. Sorry to bring up the possibility Lady Gaga, but your career could possibly do the same thing to you once the novelty of your “outrageousness” wears off.
And then, to indeed say that a woman must decide between men or careers is insane. Why not fucking have both? I want both. And I think I am at a place in my life where I do have both. I did not have to follow men to get a boyfriend, nor did I have to give up everything to follow my dreams. I just lived my life like a normal human being: worked hard, made choices, and in the process met people.
The thing I find most upsetting about Lady Gaga is that I feel like her comments in this vein are meant to be empowering for women. I find that they do the opposite. A comment like this encourages women to feel guilty about the fact that they are human beings who might indeed desire a romantic connection with someone. I think that’s normal. This comment also implies that there is something silly about loving another human being, while “following dreams” is somehow more respectful.
I do think that women should absolutely follow their dreams, but I do not think this comes at a cost of denying anything they might inherently desire.
I think that if there is a woman out there who follows men in the ultimate sense, perhaps wants to just get married and have kids, abandoning the possibility of her own income, then you know what, whatever. That’s her fucking prerogative. That is her choice and those are her values. Who am I, really, to judge that? While it is not something I would be personally satisfied with, I also do not think that the high-strung business women who has no time for friends or family is somehow a more “worthwhile” person.
And again, I feel like while Lady Gaga is busy trying to be some fucking feminist, she is missing the point. Her quote comes with a double standard ingrained in it. Imagine saying the same thing to men, “Some men choose to follow women, and some men choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”
You would never say such a thing to a man. Men are never asked to choose between women and careers. It is implied that they will achieve both. Men don’t live in fear that women will wake up and tell them they don’t love them anymore. I mean, that’s a generalization, but so is the concept of this quote in the first place. Women shouldn’t live in fear that men will wake up and tell them they don’t love them anymore. They also shouldn’t live in fear that they could lose a job. These things admittedly do happen, but that is no reason to sacrifice the possibility of finding a good relationship or a solid job. Anything worthwhile comes with risks, and so it seems natural that in making choices in life you might come to a road where things could go wrong. But that’s okay, because it’s normal.
So, women, here is my advice: follow men and follow your dreams. You deserve both, and not only that, you can have both.