Since her start as a performance artist and singer, Lady Gaga has been extremely outspoken through her music and concerts about her support for LGBTQ equality. She tends to stray away from society’s “norm” by the way she looks, acts, and dresses. She has so much influential power because of her fame, so she decides to use that power to express herself and to help others feel comfortable expressing themselves as well. She even said that “I’m just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time.” For example, she was the first singer to reference the LGBTQ at the Super Bowl half time show. She has also participated in multiple equality marches. It has been her goal to get people talking and to feel more comfortable with the entire community, especially since Lady Gaga herself has come out as bisexual. She wants men and women to be able to dress and act however they desire without feeling judged by people. This is why she wears outrageous outfits, because she wants to show people it is okay to be different and it can be accepted. She is one of many celebrities who use their fame as a way to try to make a difference particularly in the LGBTQ community. Jack Halberstam’s focuses on Gaga Feminism because Lady Gaga does a good job at embodying ideas of sex and gender and breaking away from society’s fixed roles that men and women are supposed to have. Lady Gaga resists being put in a bubble or a category. She does whatever she feels like and she has zero shame. This is why she has such a strong fan base and support system behind her and why Halberstam chooses her to help better represent and explain feminism, sex, and gender.
A reading that I thought was really interesting was Jack Halberstam’s Female Masculinity, more specifically “The Bathroom Problem.” This stuck out to me because it brought up questions I never thought about like how a transgender person has so much trouble using the bathroom. Something that for me I never even have to think about which bathroom I am going to use. It can be confusing if a transgender woman who still has masculine features is trying to use the bathroom. Or even a lesbian woman who appears very masculine; or a person who does not identify as a male or a female. The bathroom is something that for some reason many people take very seriously and insist on separate bathrooms for women and men. Especially today with Trump trying to remove Obama’s protections for transgender student bathrooms and facilities in public schools. He is trying to tamper with state laws, which will remove transgender equality in bathrooms. It is nice to see that many bathrooms at the University of Delaware are for all genders or are gender neutral. I do not understand why there even is a bathroom problem. It should not matter which bathroom anyone decides to use. A transgender man or woman should not be afraid to use the bathroom at school because of the risk of not fitting in or getting bullied. The bathroom should not be a dangerous place for people. Society needs to realize that there should not be a “bathroom problem” because using the bathroom should not be a problem for people who identify as different genders or no gender at all.
After watching Roxane Gay’s Ted Talk of her coming out as a “Bad Feminist” it really got me thinking. Am I a “Bad Feminist” too? Roxane Gay listens to offensive rap music that degrades women, she likes the color pink and The Bachelor, she embraces women who stay at home and take care of their children, and she believes in “man work.” I realized that I am very similar to Roxane Gay and we share similar beliefs like when she said that she would “Rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.” I completely agree. Many women fear the label of being called a feminist because there are so many negative stereotypes out there about feminists like how people think they are all “hairy, angry, man-hating, sex-hating women.” I will admit because of those stereotypes I have never once referred to myself as a feminist. Although, I do strongly believe in equality for all including equal pay, equal work, and many other feminist ideas. I never realized before that anyone can call themself a feminist and that many feminists are different from one another. Feminists are under a lot of pressure to be perfect, but perfection is not realistic. Feminists are fighting for what they believe in and they should not be judged for that by others. Roxane Gay said, “None of us are the nothing the world tries to tell us we are,” which spoke to me because it felt like Roxane Gay was talking to me and saying that I can make a difference by being a feminist, even if I am a “bad feminist.”