When Lady Gaga toured here last year with Monster Ball, young girls were treated to a video clip of the star being vomited on and greedily eating something akin to a human heart. Her face and body were covered in blood.
The same girls saw highly sexualised and porn-themed dance routines.
Gaga’s young audience picked up all the information they needed about tour dates and tickets from articles such as ”Lady Gaga: Ooh la la! Cool concerts” in Girlpower magazine – aimed at girls aged between seven and 13. Moshi Monsters, lip gloss, toys, puzzles – and Lady Gaga – all in the one issue.
The Lady Gaga juggernaut was again marketed to young girls this visit, with competitions to be in Wednesday night’s ”Monster Hall” audience and her “Little Monsters”, as she called them, dressed in Gaga garb and performed Gaga dance routines for the cameras in Sydney streets during the day.
Viewing her music video clips, girls are exposed to sadomasochistic sexual fantasies, simulated sex acts and more phallic symbols than can be counted. In Telephone, they see Gaga stripped and thrown naked against prison bars, girl-on-girl violence as a fellow inmate is kicked in the head with stiletto heels, and Gaga and Beyonce drive off in their “Pussy Wagon”.
Lady Gaga contributes to a broader cultural story being read by young people every day. They observe a script loaded with eroticised violence, themes inspired by the sex industry, lyrics celebrating the debasement and degradation of women.
Girls are taught their value lies in baring their flesh: that attention and social cachet are achieved through exhibitionism. Liberation is about taking a ride on a disco stick, sucking on anything resembling the male organ and offering yourself as a sexual service station for boys and men.
While Lady Gaga is described as avant-garde and counter-cultural, really she is none of these things. She is further entrenching stereotypes about women and sexuality.
Dyed hair, crazy costumes, pornographic accoutrements, pelvic thrusting and grinding do not a revolution make. Little girls need a lot more than a musical porn peep show to understand this.
See also: Going Gaga over raunch dressed up as liberation, Melinda Tankard Reist