When I was little I grew three lemon trees which I named Socrates, Aristotle and Plato (I had just read Sophie’s World). These days I’m teaching their ideas to undergraduates…
I like some of Lady Gaga’s songs, she has some ‘banging tunes’ to quote my crazy ex-neighbour. But somehow it has always struck me as problematic how she portrays herself/is portrayed – almost as if she should be a sort of feminist icon, but just isn’t. Maybe she is, I haven’t examined what she does/sings/wears/says in any great detail at all really, but I am usually intrigued by analyses of famous women’s role in society.
Then I went to a great talk on a generally feminist topic, a quick google-stalk of the speaker brought up this paper, and all became clear. Taking apart Lady Gaga as a person/woman/fashion icon probably won’t do anyone any good or get us anywhere, so this paper deals with some of her lyrics.
“While Stefani Germanotta’s performance of Gaga reveals the constructedness and artifice of identity in true postmodern style, the lexical choices in Born This Way mobilise a conception of sexual identity that is rooted within essentialism.”
Very ‘ha! In your face!’ article . Take that, government which takes advice on families and relationships from abstinence-only groups.
I came across a fascinating and outrageous phenomenon via the excellent Sociological Images: the ‘motherhood penalty’.
According to a 2008 article, mothers are frequently penalised for being parents. Their perceived competence in the workplace decreases, whereas men’s increases, when they become parents. The authors quote the following statistics, among others:
- Employed mothers in the US suffer a per-child wage penalty of on average 5%
- The pay gap between mothers and non-mothers is larger than the pay gap between men and women