I wonder how many people had heard of Katy Perry before that song came out? Came out. Ha! Every now and then, the media picks up on the fact that lesbians are a top fantasy for straight guys and women alike and a song like "I Kissed a Girl" happens. The basis of it all is much like "The L Word" i.e. a glamorous version of the concept with very little grounding in reality and even less authentic lesbian content. Heteroflexible women are the ideal, not lesbians.
The most interesting aspect of the hype around that annoyingly formulaic pop song for me was the lesbian/feminist backlash. We (lesbians) get grumpy when people borrow our sexuality and wear it like an accessory without understanding the politics behind it. We feel that way, because we have some serious history going on and some even more serious discrimination. Two lesbians were murdered in Soweto (South Africa) last year simply because they were lesbians. Katy Perry's merry little bubblegum-song does nothing to assuage that kind of situation. It doesn't make lesbians cooler or more accessible or liked, it just reinforces the notion that you can play with fantasy in public when you look like a bimbo. Yet another in a long line of dishonourable role models for the youth - I absolutely do not mean the sexuality thing, but the vapid thin pretty nonsense. Also, that kind of song goes nowhere without marketing; it's as insubstantial as candy floss. If you want to hear a good pop song on the subject, try Jill Sobule's ... oh wow would you look at that ... "I Kissed a Girl."
I noticed on a few turbo-christian blogs, that there was some homophobic backlash too, with fervent teenage girls offering to pray for Katy's soul and so forth. All good for record sales, no doubt. A hit like that is also a good smokescreen for the fact that the rest of the album is utterly pointless and forgettable.
It was advertised all over as a cellphone ringtone too. That's a clear indication that a song is destined to become annoying very fast - and really, what good song makes a popular ringtone? Successful ringtones all seem to be moronic songs with very basic rhythms. The reassuring part of the whole fiasco is that soon enough people will forget and Ms Perry is highly unlikely to be troubling the airwaves with much more of her music. "I Kissed a Girl" makes three minutes feel like a long time.
Despite the rant, I do feel that same-sex relationships etc should be a public topic, but do they necessarily have to be aimed at us all in such an unintelligent way? Then again, if the point of that stupid song causes someone to write a better song about kissing girls, it'll have done something decent. It would be so good if audiences demanded brains behind their art and media. It'd be great if the girl she kissed wrote a song called, "I Kissed Katy Perry and Her Breath Stank."