Really, Katy Perry? Seriously?


Katy Perry, the flamboyant pop singer who soared up the charts when she sang the sapphic ditty “I Kissed a Girl (And I Liked It)” has admonished Lady Gaga.

What for?

For appearing in her latest video, “Alejandro” wearing a latex nun’s outfit, seductively putting rosary beads into her mouth and frolicking with nearly nude boys in her underwear. With a red cross plastered on her crotch. (If you haven’t seen it, but want to, go here . It is not safe for work.

Katy Perry reportedly shook her finger at Le Gaga (as I like to call her) via twitter. She said using blasphemy as entertainment is on par with a comedian telling a fart joke.

Well, Katy, no. They aren’t the same thing. It’s fair to say that Lady Gaga was treating religious symbols irreverently. I think it would be just as easy to puzzle over Gaga’s comparison of a frustrated nun and troops of half-naked boys wearing World War I-inspired helmets. What turf are these characters fighting for? Could they be wrestling for control of the red-crossed crotch?

But that’s not what piqued my interest. It was Perry’s follow up, rebutting her critics by saying sexuality and spirituality are separate things. You see, someone suggested Perry was being a touch hypocritical. In her latest video for “California Gurls,” she wears a cupcake bra, licks a pastry like she’s in love with it and then appears in a bra that shoots whipped cream out of the nipples.

But that’s OK, because there isn’t a Celtic cross bedazzled with candy or anything?

I like Perry’s pop, but her thoughts on sexuality and spirituality are lacking. Or maybe just a mite too  convenient to ring true.

Our behaviors are the purest testimonies of our values, whether we claim a religion or not. Our sexual behaviors aren’t apart from that.

There’s a reason why religious leaders speak of marriage as a vocation, and consider sex sacramental. Sexual expression speaks volumes about our ethics, our insecurities and — whether we like it or not — our priorities. The reason so many gay and lesbian couples are agitating for civil marriage is because they consider marriage a status worthy of their aspirations and their hardest work. Sex is perhaps the deepest expression of vulnerability and desire to bring peace, devotion and affirmation to our partners. This can be so — no, it is so — whether you are a believer or not. Sexuality is most fruitful when it is lived out in a covenant, in an abiding relationship. It’s the signifier that the relationship we’ve chosen is special.

Should Lady Gaga suck a rosary into her mouth like Lady and the Tramp sucked up that famous strand of spaghetti? Maybe not. I have to admit that her decision to strut around with a scarlet cross on her crotch made me wonder if the message might be subversive, an exclamation point that emphatically agrees that female genitals aren’t dirty, but sacred. Or, at the very least, the real estate culture warriors are fighting over.

Either way, Ms. Perry, if matters of the soul and matters of the groin were really so blatantly separate, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.


One comment on “Really, Katy Perry? Seriously?

  1. joshef
    June 25, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    i prefer the all male parody “i kissed boy and i liked it”

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