Friday, July 9, 2010

I was going to get mad about Ke$ha, and then I didn't: an okay occurance in blogging.

Image description: Ke$ha, a young blond woman wearing aviators, looks to the left of the camera with her mouth hanging open.

Content warning: solipsism.

Things have been serious round these parts, and slower than I’d like. Working full time tends to eat up prime blogging time. When I’ve been posting, it’s often about very serious topics - even if the news is positive. And then there are all the deadly fucking topics I don’t get to: Oscar Grant. The murder of a trans woman in Chicago. Abuse of disabled children.

But for whatever reason, I wanted to write about Ke$ha and the recent naked pictures of her or someone who looks like her. I ran across... well, okay, that’s not true, I sought it out, I like Ke$ha despite the appropriation, and my curiosity led me to a place I swore I’d never return to: Perez Hilton. I looked up the photos, and was immediately pissed in a weird way. It wasn’t actually a nude picture - it’s just a picture you’d see in any Rolling Stone, hands covering boobs. Second, there was the matter of the substance on the stomach - there was supposed to be semen on her stomach (though I couldn’t see it). Folks seemed to want to hear about it, too.

The issues here should be fairly apparent if you’re not new around here. Hilton and whomever released the photos are slut-shaming Ke$ha. They’re ridiculing her for being sexual, for having a female body, for being famous and having a past that’s not highly discreet. Hilton is trying to make her a public spectacle because he makes a living off humiliating women. Patriarchy 101, folks - men trying to restrict and punish sexual ladies.

But then I started doing a little research and I realized, I don’t have to cover this.

Because no one really cares.

There were a lot of hits on my Google news search for Ke$ha. Ke$ha is quite popular right now. But most of them were not about the photo I sought out, or some other photos (apparently neither of them are actually her). Most of them were about her professional accomplishments - videos, songs, awards, etc. Except for the most dedicated gossip hounds, few people cared.

The scandal appears to have failed. She hasn’t commented publicly because she doesn’t need to. It’s not a big deal. Perez Hilton is stamping his feet about how Ke$ha is not meeting his sexist standards for womanly behavior, and most people are pretty much ignoring him. She is a young, openly sexual pop star, and it’s just not that big of a deal.

It’s a nice feeling, to realize that shit has evolved to the point where feminist defense of a sexual woman is not that necessary. It doesn’t come along very often, and it’s not coincidental that it’s a young cis woman with white privilege who’s not being widely decried. I haven’t seen any feminists jumping to Ke$ha’s defense, because we’ve succeeded to the point that defense of this naked young white cis women is not that necessary, and we have bigger things to worry about. Like Oscar Grant. Or, like wringing our hands over the sexuality and professional accomplishments of a young cis woman of color (apparently).

I often focus on pop culture (and particularly privileged people in pop culture) to the exclusion of marginalized issues, like race, disability, and cissexism. I’ve been trying, hard, to focus on covering issues and news that others don’t. My aborted post on Ke$ha is another demonstration that my efforts, at least, are better spent elsewhere.


  1. i've been..well, not anti-perez, but definitely un-pro-perez ever since he provoked a guy (can't remember who) at an event or a club or something to give him a black eye by screaming that he (other guy) was a faggot, among other things, and then he immediately ran home and made whiny videos about how HE was the victim of a hate crime. there is something just backwards about him. i think maybe he is a good example of how you can be so empowered (or maybe that's entitled) and go so far to, in theory, try to do good things, but you, in practice, are only doing them for yourself and you go into retrograde and all is fucked.

    anyway, good post. hate ke$ha as an artist, but have no real PROBLEM with her. and i hope more people get that women have bodies that they SHOULD be proud of, and sexuality is not the devil. this doesn't make much sense, but you get it.

  2. i think that was from the (ugh) black eyed peas (it hurts to type that)? whom i hate, but i also think he maybe called said the n-word? which is even shittier.

    i got you girl. ke$ha does kind of suck, but whatever, my taste is pretty, uh, questionable at times.


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