Born This Way

Lady Gaga is an eccentric, well-known pop artist whose career has never had a dull moment. She is known for her wild antics such as wearing a meat dress to arriving at an awards show in an egg, which she stayed in for seventy-two hours before coming out to be reborn on stage. Since the beginning of her career in 2008 Lady Gaga has won five Grammy Awards and thirteen MTV music awards for her hit songs like ‘Just Dance,’ ‘Poker Face,’ ‘Born This Way,’ and ‘Bad Romance.’ In addition to her music, Lady Gaga pours her heart and soul into supporting the LGBTQ community and fighting for their equality. When she is not on tour or writing songs, she is speaking at pride events, conferences, and being there for her fans which she calls her “Monsters.” For example, she spoke at the National Equality March Rally, the Gay Pride Rally in New York City, in Maine to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and many more across the United States.

Gaga has been and advocate and an icon for the LGBTQ community throughout her entire career, and she continues to use her fame and influence to fight for equality for all of the queer culture. Many of her songs like ‘Poker Face,’ ‘Born This Way,’ and ‘Hair’ refer to her sexuality and many of the struggles the LGBTQ community can relate to. The most controversial of these songs would be ‘Born This Way,’ because a lot of Gaga haters and anti-LGBTQ people were outraged by the lyrics. These naysayers believe that sexual orientation is a choice, which goes against the message the lyrics ‘Born this way’ stand for. Some people take issue with this song due to the reference to loving God, and they do not believe God approves of queer culture and therefore criticize her for putting them together. However, they do not speak for all religions, there are some religious communities that do not condemn queer culture. Although there were many objections to this song, Gaga also gained a lot of fans because the lyrics made a connection with people, and helped them realize it is okay to be different and to love yourself for who you are, because you were “born this way.”

“‘Born This Way’ is about being yourself, loving who you are, and being proud” – Lady Gaga

Some people argue that Lady Gaga is not truly queer, that instead it is an act she puts on to gain popularity and profit and therefore they do not think she should be an LGBTQ icon or advocate. However, Lady Gaga has come out identifying as a bisexual time and time again over the years. It is true she has only dated men, but she says she has always been attracted to females as well and has had many sexual relationships with women. Queer is an umbrella term for many different sexualities like gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and many more. Lady Gaga is queer, and she supports all of the queer community. She is not discriminating against straight people, her point is that not everyone is the same. There are straight people and queer people and everyone deserves love and acceptance. She advocates for queer equality which relates to the conversation in class about gender neutral bathrooms. They are similar in theory as both concepts make provisions to include not exclude. For example, in our discussion about bathrooms, we talked about how it is not about removing separate sex bathrooms, it is about adding a third option for gender neutral people so that everyone’s needs are met.

“Lady Gaga Is Queer. Always Has Been, Always Will Be” – Queer Voices

Another Lady Gaga song that supports my argument that she is a good LGBTQ icon, is ‘Heavy Metal Lover.’ This song is about one of her past relationships where they shared an interest in leather and BDSM. Throughout the song there are sounds of whips slapping, and lyrics like “Whip me slap me, punk funk, New York clubbers, bump drunk.” This type of sexual behavior directly relates to the film “Cruising” because they both have scenes in the leather bars in New York City where gay men in leather explored their sexuality. Also, BDSM is an aspect of queer or abnormal sexuality, which connects to Gayle Rubin’s theory of sex hierarchy with the “Charmed Circle.” Rubin used this circle to describe good, normal, natural, and blessed sexualities in the inner circle known as the “Charmed Circle.” The outer circle describes the bad, abnormal, unnatural, and dammed sexualities known as the “Outer Limits.” Lady Gaga advocates for the outer limits and for acceptance of different sexual expressions.

“There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are” – Lady Gaga

Mentioning the New York gay leather bars exemplifies her knowledge of LGBTQ history showing she has done her research and is part of the queer community. ‘Heavy Metal Lover’ is also another source of evidence that Lady Gaga is bisexual because her lyrics are gender neutral, meaning she does not show a preference for one sex over the other. In addition to demonstrating her knowledge about LGBTQ history, Lady Gaga reiterates her strong passion for the LGBTQ community by using “Baby we were born this way” in the song ‘Heavy Metal Lover.’ This use of repetition of ‘born this way’ once again emphasizes and proves Lady Gaga is a good LGBTQ icon, and ‘Born This Way’ was not a fluke or a publicity stunt.

“No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgender life, I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive” – Lady Gaga

As many of our classmates can vouch for, it can be very challenging living as queer in a world where not everyone accepts you. During a time of confusion, loneliness, and self-hate, I believe having the support of a pop star like Lady Gaga can only be seen as a positive, and in fact can be the light at the end of the tunnel for many that are struggling. At the end of the day, we need more people who accept us like Lady Gaga.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spectrum of Sexuality – #WhereDoYouFall

“Everyone loves someone regardless of their gender,
so why would you think there’s some agenda?
Everyone loves a man and woman somewhere,
so why would you think there’s nothing there?
Where do you fall on the spectrum of sexuality?”

Ryan Amador is an openly gay singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn. Amador produces songs that express his relationship experiences as a gay man. He also uses his music to address his listeners in an attempt to inspire them to evaluate how they feel and, in turn, express themselves. Amador calls his most recent album, titled “4s,” a “short reflection on nature’s influence over human behavior, be it in regard to love, sex, and Mother Nature herself”.

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Amador’s song “Spectrum” asks listeners the question: Where do you fall on the spectrum of sexuality? The artist’s message of sexual equality stands strong throughout the entire song, however, a deeper idea is buried within the song as well. Amador notes that the title of the song relates to the fact that he believes sexual diversity exists on a scale with a wide array of sexual options for people to make. He connects this scale to a spectrum with a diverse selection of colors on a color wheel.

“My hope is that when people watch this video, they too can celebrate in our planet’s natural complexity, feel some love for their individual self and see we are all just loving each other on the same big white bed.”

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Uncovering and analyzing one’s sexuality through their feelings and emotions is a complex process for anyone, and Amador’s song highlights why; defining sexuality is far from choosing a black or white label. It takes time, experiences, and sincere introspection.

“Spectrum” also successfully relays the notion that acquiring love is what we should aspire to, regardless of whatever dogma might surround that love. Identifying yourself on the sexual spectrum should not be hindered by the opinions or beliefs of others.

“What in nature moves linearly?
Planets and seasons move circularly
What in nature is really black and white?
Flowers and twilight share every shade of light”

In the “Spectrum” music video, numerous couples of several different sexualities and race are featured laying together on a bed, visibly blissful and intimate with each other. Their laughing, playful interactions exude pure love while Amador urges listeners to choose their love. The smiles on every person’s face in the video affirm Amador’s principles.

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While Amador’s lyrics serve as more of a public service message for those struggling with recognizing their sexual status, his music definitely encourages people to be open and straightforward about how they feel towards who they love. Sexuality is experimented by almost every single person, as it should be, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to express those erotic feelings on a platform that goes beyond complete privacy. The film Cruising exhibits gay men being open about and comfortable with going to a public forum to express their sexuality, with no judgments being passed or qualms about the acts of sexuality being performed; sex and love are accepted as attributes wanted by all. Amador’s music undoubtedly promotes deference for expression of love in any and all forms.

“There’s more than two ways you can reach a climax,
and on the spectrum of your sexuality,
let’s find respect for individuality.”

Sam Smith: Musician on the Rise

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“I want to thank the man who this record is about, who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart, because you got me four Grammys.”

– Sam Smith (via The Daily Beast)

Sam Smith is a 22-year-old British musician who earned his first number one single with the song “La La La” in May 2013. Since then, the musician has released an album, toured the world, and won four Grammy’s. Smith came out as gay in May 2014, following the release of his debut album In the Lonely Hour, which was the third best selling album of 2014 and won the 2015 Grammy for best pop vocal album. He was the first openly gay male to win the award.

In the Lonely Hour, which has achieved much critical and commercial success, was inspired by Smith’s past relationship with model and actor Jonathan Zeizel. While many view Smith’s music as a positive representation of queer relationships, many question the decisive exclusion of gendered pronouns within his songs. Pronouns like “he” and “his” are nearly entirely absent from is his work, leading some popular queer culture blogs and publications to criticize his work. In an interview, Smith stated that he if first and foremost a singer and that his sexuality should not define his identity as an artist.

“Sometimes people forget to even ask me about my songs, and the things I’m actually doing because they ask me about my sexuality – it shouldn’t be a talking point,” Smith said to Access Hollywood.

Many artists, who some deem as “icons” within queer culture such as Lady Gaga, are singing praises for Smith. Some point to the fact that many of his songs help eradicate stereotypes surrounding queer hook up culture, that have been perpetuated by the mass media. Films such as William Friedkin’s Cruising, which depicts gay underground sex culture in the 1970’s and 80’s, brought queer culture to the mainstream in a negative light. For many, films such like Cruising – which was directed by a straight man created a negative, amplified, and unrealistic image of queer culture. Simply by writing and performing hit songs that happen to be about Smith’s past relationship, he brings realistic gay relationships onto a mainstream scale.

“It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.”

– Sam Smith (via The Daily Beast)

Though Smith’s songs don’t always depict positive relationships, in fact, one of his biggest hits, “I’m Not the Only One,” is about getting cheated on by his boyfriend. Yet these songs depict love, loss, and heartbreak — bringing realism to relationships that have been, and still are, stigmatized due to stereotypes.

Sam Smith is still a new artist, and nobody knows how his music will affect, if at all, mainstream ideas about queer culture. But having an astoundingly popular singer-songwriter, who also happens to be a gay man, is certainly a positive step forward.

The King of Carrot Flowers Part 1

I need to give a slight preface: Given this unit of sex, it seems we didn’t get pass the mental time line of the late 1990s, the most recent article is from 2000 by Kalifa. All references are more than a decade earlier than our current head space. I realize we alternatively have and have not progressed past the contentions of queer sex (and sex in general) brought up in this specific-date unit, but I want to focus on art generated from this particular period still in relation to its contemporaries. What I mean is, I want to archive Neutral Milk Hotel’s “King of Carrot Flowers Part 1” as if we were all still operating under 1990 assumptions, otherwise its significance fades. This band has been around since 1991 and one of the few from this time period of popular culture (to my knowledge) that acknowledges gay sexuality. Listening to it now in 2015 and it is still difficult to catch the address of ‘he’ instead of the traditional ‘she’ of the love song until the fifth hearing. A testament to even our assumptions now, so I’m curious to analyze it from its own perspective.

I am so focused to archive it in its own stratum because in class we discussed how homosexuality and violence were intrinsically linked in that time period. During the days spent on Cruising and Interior. Leather Bar, the issue of homo/erotic/physical/violence very much dominated the discourse. Homosexuality depicted as steeped in deviance was normative then, as compared to now where it is known that homosexuality is not its own deviant behavior. So when I look at the lyrics “And your mom would stick a fork right into daddy’s shoulder/ And dad would throw garbage all across the floor/ As we would lay and learn what each other’s bodies were for” I cannot get the image of gay love surrounded by pain and degradation out of my head. But that is the mind set the artists were working in. Yes, on the cusp of the millennial social revolution, but still mired within the political and societal constructions of the day. The speaker remembers his lover surrounded by violence and secrets, but he is not making a stand with this, he is solely commenting on the life lived that was comparative to so many other lives of that generation. The only stanza that describes the tenderness and yet still the ‘illicitness’ of the romance, “And this is the room one afternoon I knew I could love you/ and from above you how I sank into your soul/ into that secret place where no one dares to go” is followed right after, and ends the song with “And your mom would drink until she was no longer speaking/ and dad would dream of all the different ways to die/ each one a little more than he could dare to try.”

It is not addressed whether the “king of carrot flowers” parents are fighting and drinking over their sons gayness, or over personal disputes. But the two seem linked through the construction of the song.

The slight biblical reference in the first stanza “in holy rattlesnakes that fell around your feet” makes the listener consider the bible and its verse “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Abomination means ‘a thing that causes disgust or hatred,’ like a crime against mankind, such as a violent act, and once again homosexuality is bonded to violence.

The key reason this song should be tabled within its era is that reading this in 2015, it seems I am imbuing this song with meaning, I am making it mean this terrible thing. But back then, as shown through our very own class consensus, homosexuality was violence, it was deviance; and in mainstream media (a reflection of the majority opinion) it was a dark and unsettling thing.

This song reads more bitter than sweet, and its main significance lies in its unquestioning commentary about the idea of homosexuality. How then it was one being inherently surrounded, grown from, described by, abuse.

 

 

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”: The gay anthem of the century

The Wizard of Oz tells the story of a young girl, Dorothy, who is whisked away from her drab, boring, black and white town to the elaborate and extravagant land of Oz. In her anthem, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, Dorothy sings about wanting more than the life she has and asks “If happy little bluebirds fly, beyond the rainbow why, oh, why can’t I?”

What was thought to be a song of a young girl dreaming for a bigger life became an anthem for an entire community looking for someone to guide their way out of the shadows. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” became “an anthem of pain for homosexuals who perceived themselves as belonging to a despised minority.” (Brantley, 1994) Gay men everywhere began identifying with not only the song, but Dorothy herself, calling themselves “Friends of Dorothy.” Dorothy accepted people for being different hence her friendships with the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man. And following her character from the film, Judy in real life accepted people who were different. Judy Garland, the woman who played Dorothy, became an idol for the gay community. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Judy Garland became the ultimate gay icon. She was relatable, she was human, and most of all she was camp. Camp, as defined by Babuscio, are the “elements in a person, situation, or activity that express, or are created by, a gay sensibility.” Camp was in every essence Garland. She was larger than life, over the top, and extravagant. Towards the end of her career, Judy began to fall apart, the drugs and alcohol become too much. But after all of that, her fans still loved her. In some way, her falling apart and displaying her struggles to the entire showed how human she was and that she knew how it felt to be the victim. To this day, Judy Garland is not an example of camp, Judy Garland is camp.

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Judy Garland died on June 22, 1969, one week prior to the riots at Stonewall. Some state that there is a common factor between the two; that Garland’s death lead to high emotions and rage but no truth behind that facts have ever been proven. For those who believe this to be true, Garland’s death leading to Stonewall riots shows a critical turning point in the gay rights movement.

Stonewall

After Garland’s death, her legacy continued on through her song that started it all, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The community continued identifying with the song and making their own renditions to keep it alive.

The song gives them power. Identifying with something bigger than themselves. After all, isn’t that what Judy was? She was bigger than life!

I think all of this, identifying with the song and “Friends of Judy” exemplifies a sense of world-making, a notion brought forth by Berlant & Warner (1998). To them, world-making is more than what is just evident in the public. It’s what you make of intimacies; it highlight that inventiveness of the queer world, as well as the fragility of it. World-making is building a community where you feel at home, and in an essence Judy gave that to the gay community. She showed that it’s okay to be human and makes mistakes. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” continues to be an anthem for the gay community, and I believe it always will. It will always be a sense of hope. Judy will be a sense of hope.

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On a final side note, I believe that it is not a coincidence that the flag for the gay community happens to be a rainbow flag. Even Gilbert Baker, the creator of the LGBT flag, gives some credit to Judy. No matter what, Judy will always be “over the rainbow.” (corny I know, but I couldn’t not put it.)

Frank Ocean

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Christopher Edwin Breaux, better known as Frank Ocean, is an americna singer, songwriter, and rapper. He’s an artist that seems to prefer no labels. In Frank Ocean’s coming out statement (http://frankocean.tumblr.com/image/26473798723 ) which read slightly more like a song at times, it appeared that he wasn’t really coming out, but acknowledging that he does not choose one sex or the other, in his own very poetic way. The statement, an image posted on Ocean’s tumblr account clarifys a situation that occurred when a journalist made comments on about several of his songs addressing a “male love object”. His announcement of the fact that he has once been in love with a man in an industry that is historically and currently deemed rather homophobic was significant and even more significant because he has not “come out” but rather just announced that he loved a man. He identifies with neither gay nor straight.

Instead of an announcement addressing his sexuality one way or another, Frank Ocean took to tumblr in a way in such that I would classify his work as art and specifically poetry in the way he articulates his thoughts. With his post, he breaks down normative thoughts about queer culture, and not only chooses to not classify himself as gay but not as straight either; in fact he does not classify himself as anything but simply defines himself as a loving human being who experienced a relationship with strong emotions.  While he did post this post out of a response to a journalist commenting on his “male love object”, he didn’t respond by simply saying he was gay; he responded by expressing a love he had shared in his life.

 

I think Frank Ocean’s coming out, if you will, or better said, expression of his sexuality, is important to gender, sex, history, and current queer culture, because it is so representative of what modern day sexuality should be like. Sexuality over time has been classified in very certain definite ways, and in today’s culture, not only should gender and sex not be assumed by someones appearance, but sexual preference should not have to be one way or another. Sexuality has evolved and through Frank Ocean’s statement, through the units of our class and discussion, if there is one thing that is clear, it’s that sexuality is and should be up for every individuals own interpretation and not classified as gay or straight only… if that is not what someone so desires.

 

“The Electric Lady” by Janelle Monae

The Electric Lady is Janelle Monae’s second album, and it was released in early fall of 2013.  This follows her first album, The ArchAndroid. which was released in 2010.  Janelle Monae’s single “Q.U.E.E.N.” was featured on The Electric Lady. The lyrics and music video, as well as the album as a whole, feature a number of queer topics such as same-sex attraction, resisting labels, questioning religion, and challenging gender roles.

The Electric Lady fits in a queer archive because Janelle Monae embraces difference, an idea often associated with the queer community in numerous ways, including her album’s concept, lyrics, and music videos.  She as an artist is unafraid to take risks and address potentially taboo topics in her work.  Additionally, Monae speaks to a number of possible identities, including queerness, blackness, and womanhood.  The story of The Electric Lady is queer in itself.  Both it and The ArchAndroid depict a dystopian community in which there is a totalitarian government, humans are forced to wear cages on their heads, and everyone looks down on androids. Monae portrays the character of  a revolutionary android who actively resists the regime that is in power.  The androids could be compared to various societal minorities, including those with which Monae identifies.

“Q.U.E.E.N.” is a song that does not shy away from questioning our societal roles. Janelle Monae is well-known for this, and while she has not officially confirmed or denied any rumors about her sexuality, she is a great representation of queer ideals, saying “I won’t allow myself to be a slave to my own interpretation of myself nor the interpretations that people may have of me.” “Q.U.E.E.N.” itself has many lyrics that can be connected to queer thought, such as “Am I a freak because I love watching Mary?,” “Hey sister am I good enough for your heaven?,” and “Categorize me/I defy every label.” Also, Monae sports a multitude of styles in the music video which include aspects of masculinity and femininity, challenging gender norms. I wanted to feature this song because I believe Monae is one of the more progressive artists of our time. Her music constantly questions the labels and differences our society seems so focused on.

The ideas expressed by Janelle Monae’s music seem to align specifically with those of Monique Wittig. Monae resists the general norms set up by society, which is reminiscent of Wittig’s sentiment that “these discourses of heterosexuality oppress us in the sense that they prevent us from speaking unless we speak in their terms…these discourses deny us every possibility of creating our own categories.” This is echoed in Monae’s lyric; “categorize me I defy every label.”  She does not believe in the labelling that is so prevalent in both our culture and that of her dystopian fantasy world.  Monae resists the norms in both her appearance and her creative output, and her work should be cemented in this queer archive as an example of an artist who is not afraid to take risks.

 

Little Game

Ben J. Pierce is a 16 year old Youtube star, who runs the Youtube channel “KidPOV” (Kid Point of View) which he started on August 28, 2011.  Pierce also runs a second channel for his music called “BENNY”, which is where he released his debut single “Little Game”. This music video focuses on how harmful gender roles can be to kids. Pierce has also released two other videos questioning gender roles on KidPOV, “Why Boys Can’t Wear Pink” and “Why Double Standards Are Great”. In the first video, Pierce relays to his audience the three negative reactions he got for going trick or treating as a pink loofah; in the second, he discusses the double standards in the reactions between a photo shoot Nick Jonas did and Miley Cyrus did. Pierce released “Little Game” on October 25, 2014, which soon went viral and currently has a million and a half views.

The music video uses color and gendered toys and clothes to visually contrast the two gender roles society forces children into from a young age. The video revolves around two main characters, a boy and a girl, who question the roles they are forced into. The boy tries to pick up and play with a pink doll while the girl opens a book instead of balancing it on her head like the other 3 girls, at 0:37 and 1:21 respectively. As the video progresses, we see how both children’s peers react threateningly to these displays of independence. The boy and the girl then get thrown into a room for “broken toys” where it seems that other children who have also broken from their gender roles were sent. The other kids in this room are still trying to conform to the gender norms despite already being ostracized from the group. Our two main kids find some blue and pink powder and shake hands after touching it at 3:02. This mixes the colors that represent the two genders and breaks the other kids from the “game” of gender, allowing everyone to be themselves. More colored powder is added to visually represent the mixing of the two “genders” and the children end up putting the opposite gender’s color on their faces to show that everyone is done playing the “little game” of gender.

The video visually represents Judith Butler’s idea that when the minority in the population queers gender or sexuality, they pave the way for the majority of the population to have more freedom. The two main kids break from their gender performativity, and stop performing as their assigned gender even though they are shunned for it. By breaking this performativity, they end up showing their own peers that it is okay to be themselves. At the end of the video, the boys and girls are interacting and sharing their genders with each other, visually represented with blue and pink powder being blown around. There is also a visual representation of the breaking of the genders through the breaking of blue and pink objects, which then mix together at 3:05. The minority group (the boy and girl) queer gender and allow for the majority group (the other kids) to explore their genders farther.

The lyrics of the song further the idea of Judith Butler’s Gender Performativity. The song starts out saying that the people are played “like pawns” with “absent minds”; the kids are dolls who have to perform to the expectations of their society based on what they were assigned at birth. The song goes on to say, “You’re raising suicidal with your predetermined titles” and “Gender roles impose control and deceive progressive time”. These lyrics show how gender is predetermined without the person’s say and how it serves more to control those people. It also stressed that, despite the idea that society should be progressive, this is not actually the case. The song ends with a repeat of, “Play our little game” and a question, “Won’t you play with me?” Society wants everyone to play the game of gender and perform their gender correctly, but each person has the ability to say no and reject their gender roles or performance, thereby queering gender.

I Was Robbed of My Humanity – CocoRosie

CocoRosie, the duo of Bianca “Coco” and Sierra “Rosie” Casady, which started in Paris in 2003 has continually pushed queer agendas onto its listeners through abnormal visual and vocal stimuli in the release of their five albums and drag aesthetics.

CocoRosie is not shy to challenge the normative.

The duo is seen dressing semi-drag on various occasions, infusing masculine and feminine qualities in their aesthetics. But their message comes predominantly from their music.

To queer is to question and CocoRosie never fall short of asking the difficult questions. In order to grasp their differences and messages, we are going to look at one of their most popular songs, Werewolf, which was released in 2007, and dissect key points from it.

The song begins with Bianca subconsciously viewing herself as a werewolf – this is a woman turned into an animal.

The first verse is the loss her innocence in “fatherless showdowns” which is reflective of the CocoRosie duo’s childhood. The point is continued with, “River sweep away my memories of children’s things a young mother’s love.” The things that children hold dear are taken away, implying a loss of innocence in a transition from childhood to adulthood but also, imply the roles of a mother to rear her children.

In the chorus, the duo is trying to relieve themselves of the negative memories that they encountered.

“Ima shake you off though
Get up on that horse and
Ride into the sunset
Look back with no remorse”

But again in the second verse, they encounter “black magic” in the form of a man. In the third verse, after an introduction of a mysterious message in the bridge from the father, the band reveals the true pain of this song:

“You blew through me like bullet holes
Left stains on my sheets and stains on my soul
You left me broke down begging for change.”

And suddenly the song isn’t simply about childhood abandonment. It’s almost as if this father character was an accomplice in the rape of the song’s narrator because of his absence. The mysterious bridge talks about the father telling his daughter to keep “the secret” which is implied to mean the secret of the daughter’s rape.

In the metaphorical sense that father means government, CocoRosie is saying that in the eyes of the “Man,” the woman, who is seen as a beast, a werewolf, is inferior and is a tool for men. This relates to Judith Butler’s idea of “Gender Perfomativity” where women at birth, are given a set destiny of oppression because of their biological “inferiority.”

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In the instance of this song, the guidelines for what it means to be a woman and what power is given to men are set. This song challenges the normative in the idea that the scenario that is set up is the normal, and by hyper-exposing the situation, it pushes change. The duo are trying to say, “this happens under our noses and people allow it continue to stay under our noses, but it has to change, now.”

The song is called Werewolf, but what it really means is, “I was robbed of my humanity.”

It’s queer. They are different. But they offer insight on a gender-struggle situation that is ignored too often.

CocoRosie continues to create music that sounds different, but also offers alternative messages that deal with challenging the norm.