Gagaphrodite and other new myths. [Crosspost]

By | May 10, 2011


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Still from 'Judas': Lady Gaga stands on a rock, wearing an elaborate gold gown, while enormous waves come crashing toward her from behind.

Out of the foam.

My (relatively brief) analysis of Lady Gaga’s new video for “Judas” is up over on Gaga Stigmata. In it, I look at prostitution as the video’s main thematic thread, and its messages about what our culture does to women in positions of power. Check it out: Gaga/Magdalene: Unpacking Prostitution in “Judas”. Here is a quote to tantalize you.

Immediately following the lipstick application, straddling the distance between Gaga’s despair and the prostitute-kiss between Judas and Jesus, the video breaks to a dream sequence in which a motionless Gaga is overcome by a cascade of waves reminsicent of the early mythological origins of a much older deity: the Greek goddess of love and sexuality, Aphrodite.

Gaga thereby connects herself with another powerful, otherworldly feminine archetype worshipped long before Jesus was a glimmer in his [F]ather’s eye, and one also associated with sacred prostitution. Aphrodite literally means “out of the foam”; as the story goes, she was born of the ocean, after Uranus’ son castrated (or possibly emasculated) the elder god and threw his severed genitals into the sea. Given the persistent rumors that Gaga is intersex, or possesses both male and female genitalia, the depiction of her in the role of a distinctly feminine, sex-centric goddess born as a result of the removal of male genitalia is both tongue-in-cheek and incredibly apt.

Yes, I am still fascinated by the Gaga-penis rumors, and probably will be for some time.

Also, at some point in the near future I hope to write a fuller analysis of Gaga’s recent interest in co-opting Latino/a ethnic markers, because DAMN is that ever begging to be done. Until then, this will have to suffice.


2 Comments

LS on May 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm.

Lesley, don’t think I’m weird but in the past month I have been through all 40 pages of the blog. I didn’t read every single post but I love the wit you bring to your work.

Also, there is an article on Tiger Beatdown that touches on the Latin@ appropriation… you might want to check it out if you haven’t seen it.

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Barrett on May 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm.

Yesssssss! I have been waiting for an LG post! Mmmm, Lady Gaga, my feelings for you are so wonderfully complicated – Delicious! Thanks for breaking it down again, Lesley – your ideas and explication of both the awesome and troublesome aspects are kind of amazing. Oh, and Long Live Gaga-ambigi-penis!

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