Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (May 9, 2008)


You know how straight girls get drunk and make out with their straight girlfriends while they’re out at a club (or in a hot tub) with their boyfriends? Well, now there’s a theme song for them.

Pop singer Katy Perry recently released her new single, "I Kissed a Girl," as a lead-up to her debut album, One of the Boys, which is due out in June. This track isn’t like Jill Sobule‘s cute, folksy song of the same name, though. Whereas Jill’s song was a lighthearted, sweet tune that could have been a coming-out song, Katy Perry’s song is a bit more, well, stereotypically bicurious.

The first time I heard this song (you can listen to it at Katy Perry’s MySpace page), I was hooked. It’s fun, it’s kind of naughty, and Perry’s self-confidence shines through in her bold voice. The chorus, "I kissed a girl and I liked it," repeats often enough that it gives the song a kind of (fake) Gay Pride feel. And then I read the lyrics:

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

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

In case you can’t tell what’s wrong with this song, let me elaborate.

  • The girl has to be drunk first to kiss another girl, implying that kissing another girl is only something you’d do after you lose control of your decision-making faculties.
  • "I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it" not only means she’s cheating on her boyfriend, but that she thinks he’s going to find out and hopes he won’t mind. After all, what straight guy would mind watching his girlfriend kiss another girl?
  • "It’s not what good girls do" clearly implies that lesbians are not good, and their behavior is wrong.

It’s not exactly surprising that Katy Perry wrote this song, though, considering that she’s best known for her recent song "Ur So Gay." That’s a bitchy kiss-off to an ex-boyfriend, in which Katy derides him as a Hemingway-reading vegetarian who drives an electrical car, concluding, "You’re so gay and you don’t even like boys."

Sure, some gay folks may find this amusing in a campy way, but I don’t think 23-year-old Katy Perry has the right, yet, to make gay jokes. She needs to wear a lot more sequins and way higher heels for about a dozen more years. I mean, she’s using a homophobic slur repeatedly, going so far as to explain that the word is actually meant as a slur and not as a description of homosexuality.

But back to the "I Kissed a Girl" shenanigans. The one good thing about it is that the lyrics also say that kissing girls is "just human nature." Oh, who am I kidding? This song is for drunken straight girls fulfilling Real World-type stereotypes! I’m appalled! Boycott!

by Malinda Lo

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