“Born This Way” Lyrics Not Even A Little Bit PC

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I’m all for Lady Gaga and her crazy outfits and generally insane persona (see the “pod” she wore to the Grammy Awards). However, I think she took it a little too far in the lyrics of her new song, “Born This Way”. The general message of the song is empowering: love yourself because you were meant to be this way. And I can totally get on board with that. I can even appreciate Gaga’s vote for nature in the nature vs. nurture argument. But some of her lyrics are borderline offensive.

“You’re black, white, beige, chola descent
You’re Lebanese, you’re orient”

Last time I checked, the term “oriental” was not even a little bit PC. Also, I’m all about reclaiming words, but I’m pretty sure using the word “chola” as an identifier is a little dicey.

I also found her use of sexual identity terms to be a bit problematic. While I appreciate that she is trying to be inclusive, I don’t know that it’s necessary to list all of the terms, especially if you’re going to leave some out.

“No matter gay, straight or bi
lesbian, transgendered life”

Gaga, if you’re gonna go ahead and make a laundry list of sexual/gender identities and orientations, you should at least know to include them all. I’m not saying she needs to be all inclusive, but if she’s already making a list, why not include queer? Pansexual? Pangender? Genderqueer? She should have just stuck with gay.

Overall, I’m not that impressed with Gaga’s new single. Let’s hope the video changes my mind.

About Michaela

Michaela

Michaela is a recent Seven Sisters graduate with a self-designed degree in Sexuality Studies. When she's not blogging, you'll find her teaching Health and Wellness and A Cappella to high school students, helping women find properly fitting bras, and working as an editor on a documentary. She hopes to continue her education one day with a PhD in Feminist Anthropology.

  • Erader

    Easy now. Are you saying that since her “laundry list” lyrics don’t include every single technical or emotional term human beings have come up with that the message is nullified?

  • Michaela

    I don’t think the message is nullified at all, I just find it to be a little corny and transparent. By simply naming off all of the people she wants to have feel included, she’s placing people into categories (categories which people may or may not feel comfortable identifying with). I know she’s trying to be all-inclusive, but I personally would have preferred if she skipped it.

  • TheSpecialLadyFriend

    I am also not very impressed with this single. So much hype, and… just kinda reminds me of Madonna. It’s a bit trite, actually.

  • Erader

    Perhaps the issue is that the target audience for the message of this song is not people who liked Madonna, or people who already are aware of gender/sexuality differences. Maybe the message is exactly the same as Madonna’s or maybe it appears to be categorizing to people who are comfortable enough to identify as whatever. But, to a suicidal teen who doesn’t know Madonna’s music, or isn’t aware that there’s more than just straight, even hearing the word “gay” in pop music without a negative connotation might be their saving grace.

    A message must be tailored to an audience, and by doing that she clearly has alienated some people. Hopefully though, those people can see the progress a song like this makes indirectly for all minorities, even if it can only mention a few in the space of 4 minutes.

  • Guest

    Yeah! She didn’t include the beastiality people or the pedophiles. They won’t feel empowered now.