Lady Gaga – Til It Happens To You
Lady Gaga* recently came out with a new music video. Different from her usual videos, this one is about the harm and seriousness of “Rape Culture” in our modern society. Now normally I am not a fan of Lady Gaga at all, but this video is very good. I encourage everyone to watch it, even if you strongly dislike Lady Gaga as I do. The song and video are both in support of a documentary on rape. They show the pain and isolation our rape culture causes. It is a powerful social commentary.
The problem is that rape culture goes far beyond just rape, hence the title rape culture. It is the whole culture that is infected with this syndrome which includes sex trafficking, promiscuity, pornography, prostitution and the general sexualization of our media. The criticism I have of Lady Gaga is that our rape culture starts with her other music videos which I would consider to be Pornographic. The Pornographication of our society that Lady Gaga doesn’t seem to have a problem with at all and even promotes and is a part of, is the first cause of our rape culture.
Lady Gaga promotes young girls and boys to have promiscuous sex by glamorizing sex. She entices boys to objectify her by showcasing her body which primes them to become rapists! Now that may seem like a stretch but we can see studies that show violent pornography is directly correlated with rape myth acceptance and non-violent pornography, also contributes although not as much. It is also well known that softer forms of pornography lead to more extreme and violent forms of pornography. Study on the Relationship Between Rape and Pornography
The point of writing this is to point out the hypocrisy of the rape culture. It is often perpetuated by the very people who are speaking out against it. Now at this point it may appear as me, a male, pointing out that rape culture is women’s own fault. “Victim blaming” women for dressing in a certain way suggesting they are “asking for it”. However, I believe Lady Gaga (the person) is in fact one of the many victims of rape culture, probably being used and persuaded into be as provocative as possible by men on her production team. We blame porn on the women depicted on screen when the producers and owners of pornography are all men. The people making money and taking pleasure from our rape culture is almost always men, while women are usually used. Which brings to mind the saying “getting their cake and eating it too”.
The solution is that every person male and female needs to reject the sexualization of our culture, as Saint John Paul II called it the “Culture of Death”. This feels insurmountable but we must unite men and women together and stand up against this sexualization attitude. Sex is an act of love that our society has perverted and defiled. Let’s work together to transform this rape culture. The only way to do this is to place Love as the highest good, which means knocking pleasure and selfishness out of contention for first place in our own lives.
*when I refer to Lady Gaga, I refer to her as the person but also as the corporation her name represents. It is impossible for me to tell where the line is between her as a person and her as a brand*