I’ve been personally debating the feminist-or-not merits of Lady Gaga for awhile now. She parades around without pants; but she’s also one of the most successful businesswomen in pop music. She sings about sexuality as a weapon—one that’s not always used responsibly—but then again, so did Madonna. Yes, ladies, Madonna—in all her cone-boobed, bondage glory—is a feminist.
And I almost wrote Gaga off entirely when she refused to use the F-word when identifying herself. But in a new interview with Los Angeles Times pop-music critic Ann Powers, Gaga discusses the importance of feminism as if it’s been her raison d’être all along.
“I’m getting the sense that you’re a little bit of a feminist, like I am, which is good,” she said. “I find that men get away with saying a lot in this business, and that women get away with saying very little . . . In my opinion, women need and want someone to look up to that they feel have the full sense of who they are, and says, ‘I’m great.’ ”
As Powers points, out, Gaga’s casual use of the term “feminist” is surprising. But rather than attack her for previous statements, Powers allows the young entertainer this change of perspective. She’s given her the opportunity to grow and evolve. And this is perhaps the greater feminist act. Why is it that we don’t permit our public women the option to actually—I don’t know—grow up?
Take Christina Aguilera, for example. When she was wearing chaps and writhing around in mud, she may not have been the best example of a feminist role model. But the modern-day mother, entrepreneur, activist and identifying feminist certainly is. What changed? She matured and gained perspective, a luxury every human should be allowed.
If Christians can be born-again, so can feminists.