Alex Blaze

Katy Perry vs Beth Ditto

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 04, 2009 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: beth ditto, gossip, homophobic behavior, i kissed a girl, Katy Perry, ur so gay

I't think I've ticked off the "Celebrity Gossip" category button this year, so here goes.

Beth Ditto of the Gossip and Katy Perry are involved in a Famous People Fight. If you're like me and don't listen to the radio, Perry is the mediocre singer who got attention singing "I Kissed a Girl," an otherwise boring song about a straight girl who's naughty enough to kiss another member of her sex and then wonder what her boyfriend thinks about it. You see, it's shocking because women have never kissed each other before, and it means she's a real artist because she's pushing the boundaries ever so salaciously.

Ditto, who's a talented singer whose band has a cool rhythm section, is a real-life lesbian who might know a thing or two about kissing girls and liking it. So, about a year after the song came out (last week), she criticized Perry:

In an interview with Attitude magazine, Ditto explained her condemnation, saying: "She's just riding on the backs of our culture without having to pay any of the dues and not being actually lesbian or anything at all. She's on the cover of a f---g gay magazine."[...]

But Ditto found her adoption of a faux-gay attitude phony, calling the song a "boner dyke anthem for straight girls who like to turn guys on by making out or, like, faking gay."

"I hate Katy Perry [...] I'm so offended," Ditto said, before stating she would like to start a "band feud" with the pop starlet.

Ouch! I mean, she's right, and feud with someone more famous than she is (life's not fair) would probably help her band out. I can't blame her for trying.

While Perry's the sort of person who has no trouble making money off of any topic, be it bicuriosity in "I Kissed a Girl" or homophobia in "UR So Gay," I do have to speak in her defense and say that the fact that she's on the cover of a gay magazine has more to do with the fact that queer people have little self-respect than it does with the fact that Perry's using us.

Anyway, Perry responded by saying it's tacky to even discuss the topic:

Katy took her chance to have her say as she stepped out in a show-stopping electric blue dress at the Disarrono-sponsored Women of the Year Awards last night, where she told us: "I heard that she said something about me. I don't want to get into a slanging war with anybody, so I don't want to say anything bad about her. But I'm not impressed."

Katy, 24, went on: "I've learnt in the past year that one artist should never insult another artist's music - it's tacky.

Glad that's all cleared up, since Ditto didn't insult an artist's music, just Katy Perry's.

But I do find it interesting that Perry can't even discuss a rather basic criticism of her work with anything substantive. I'm sure it's frustrating that lots of LGBT artists do get held back because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and seeing someone like Perry jump ahead of the line is probably annoying.

Sure, I don't expect Perry to express an understanding of what she's doing beyond "It's funny," but wouldn't it be great if she could/would discuss her music? She could then sound like, you know, a real artist.

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Paige Listerud | June 4, 2009 6:46 PM

Beth Ditto is a queer punk rock woman who's music reaches a far smaller demographic than a vapid straight pop star's does.

That's the only remarkable thing about Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl"--it made millions in a market where it was too scary for a girl to say that she had kissed a girl, before, without seeming like a big, scary lesbo.

So the real message of Perry's song, "Look, everybody, I like girls and I'm not a threatening dyke", falls in line with a general trend of girly on girly action, promoted by, among other things, The Straight Girl's Guide to Sleeping With Chicks by Jen Sincero.

I remembered when I first saw this book on amazon, I was deeply insulted. How dare this book treat so flippantly the experience of bisexual and lesbian women . . . and "chicks"? . . . is this what post-feminism has come to?

To a certain extent, I got over it. This is what the revolution looks like. It looks like all kinds of women, including celebrity straight ones, getting over fear of sex with women and fluid sexuality in general. The women who take that superficially are probably superficial on a whole lot of other levels as well. The ones who don't take it superficially will probably make it to a lesbian/bi support group. But we will not be fooled about what it really takes to be a girl who kisses girls.

Paige, would you mind if I quoted you on this (specifically, your last paragraph)?

mixedqueer mixedqueer | June 5, 2009 5:32 PM

i meant to say:

omg i HEART beth ditto!!

Did you see the interview the New Gay did with Katy Perry? It's well worth the read; they call her out on the UR So Gay song.

She compares her songwriting to Anne Frank??? And says "UR So Gay" is the same as "You Oughtta Know"?

OK, I no longer think she's stupid, but just playing an idiot while trying to make bank. I can see why Beth Ditto hates her.