I kissed a girl, and I liked it. Because I was dating her.

I have a post brewing on how I think Lady Gaga might be a lot cooler than I originally thought she was. (Short version: doesn’t the Paparazzi music video seem like a criticism of the sexualized violence against women?) I thought maybe I was being to harsh on other female pop singers, so I thought I’d give Katy Perry another look.

Darlings, I couldn’t stand it! Here are the lyrics to “I kissed a girl,” with all the lines that are positive about lesbianism in italics, and all the lines that say NO REALLY I’M STRAIGHT, DUDES, THIS IS JUST SO I LOOK HOTTER, NOT A LESBO, I SWEAR… those are in bold.

This was never the way I planned, not my intention
I got so brave, drink in hand, lost my discretion
It’s not what I’m used to, just wanna try you on
I’m curious for you caught my attention

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chapstick
I kissed a girl just to try it

I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it

It felt so wrong, it felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

No, I don’t even know your name, it doesn’t matter
You’re my experimental game, just human nature
It’s not what good girls do, not how they should behave

My head gets so confused, hard to obey

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chapstick

I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it

It felt so wrong, it felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

Us girls we are so magical
Soft skin, red lips, so kissable
Hard to resist, so touchable
Too good to deny it

It ain’t no big deal, it’s innocent

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chapstick

I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it

It felt so wrong, it felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

So. There are 15 (and a half) lines frantically reaffirming her heterosexuality (seriously, “No, I don’t even know your name, it doesn’t matter/ You’re my experimental game” ?!), 9 that are just the chorus (positive towards the whole kissing-girls thing but really just one line over and over again), and 8 and a half that are saying nice things about ladies. (Plus the two that are “It’s not what good girls do, not how they should behave/ My head gets so confused, hard to obey” — it seems to play into her sexy-naughty schtick but it’s harder to classify.)

15 of 33 lines are about how she’s totally straight– that’s almost half the song. The chorus is exactly half and half. And the few bits that aren’t aggressively straight get immediately negated. I didn’t plan to, I have a boyfriend, I just wanted to try it… It ain’t no big deal, it’s innocent.

Yeah. If that’s what kissing girls is like for you, maybe you’re doing it wrong. Unless, of course, you’re only doing it to titillate.. in which case, the random lingerie pillowfight in the music video makes more sense now. (A video that, by the way, ends with her in bed with a dude, smiling at him!)

I think for songs about bisexuality and explorations thereof, I’m going to stick with Lady Gaga, and Poker Face.

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3 Responses to I kissed a girl, and I liked it. Because I was dating her.

  1. I’m reading the “It’s not what good girls do” bit as homophobic as well (while also adding to the raunch/naughty feel of the song). It seems to be implying that acting on attraction to women is wrong/dirty/impure. Which adds a whole ‘nother layer of ordaining acceptable patterns of women’s sexual expression, making kissing women taboo. Once the taboo is broken (“hard to obey”), the narrator of the song steps back behind the hetero line (I didn’t enjoy it that much, I’m totally straight!) to show how completely not gay and OMG-guys-R-hott she truly is.

    I really don’t think anybody can come down too hard on this song (or the steaming pile of misogynistic crap that is Perry’s “Hot ‘n Cold” (“Yeah you PMS/Like a bitch, I would know.” Really? That’s how you’re phrasing that shit?)), but maybe that’s just because I respect women (and myself, as a person attracted to both women and men) as human beings.

    Off-topic: Holy shit, it’s a resizable comment box!

  2. Dalal N says:

    THANK YOU. I could never succinctly explain why I hate this song so much. Now I can just link to you. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

  3. Katy Perry is the epitome of the heteronormative “bad girl” – all her “naughty” is designed to titillate the male gaze, while reaffirming that she’s really into guys, she’s just playing at bisexual to get them off.

    She makes me cringe, which makes me sad, because she’s a talented singer. But someone who has bought so completely into the supremacy of the male POV is not for me.

    Lady Gaga, on the other hand, I adore. She pushes boundaries of what’s attractive, how women relate to men, whether women even want men, and she’s an awesome singer/songwriter as she does it. She’s powerful, as is her message – which is clearly why some assholes keep making transphobic jokes about her. She *clearly* can’t be a real woman, because real women are entirely focused on performing for men. (/sarcasm)

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