Bil forwarded me a Gawker post with this message:
Feel like taking on Gawker for always saying Lady Gaga has a penis? I've never been sure if all that "Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite/transgender woman/intersex" is "true" or where it came from.
I won't be taking them on because it's just too stupid. The article in question doesn't refer to the possibility of Lady Gaga having a "dick," "penis," or "cock," but a "peen." What are we, 8-years-old?
They have their audience and they're not about to change. But I did wonder about where this whole rumor started, since this isn't the first time I'd seen it.
According to multiple gossip sites, the rumor started with a terrible YouTube screenshot that some people thought showed a penis between her legs, which is after the jump. Then Bossip published an unconfirmed quotation from her being all "multiple gendered" pride, which contradicts her later, confirmed quote on the subject, complaining that the patriarchy started and sustains this rumor:
About the hermaphrodite rumors, Lady Gaga told Australian radio station: "My beautiful vagina is very offended. I'm not offended; my vagina is offended."
"I'm not embarrassed. I sold four million records in six months; I'm not embarrassed about anything. I think this is society's reaction to a strong woman."
"The idea that we equate strength with men and a penis is a symbol of male strength, you know, it is what it is. But like I said," the dance-pop diva reiterated, "I am not offended at all, but my vagina might be a little bit upset."
Maybe that's true, although it's a pretty rare reaction to "a strong woman." People do tend to react to strong women by saying that they're "really" men (Ann Coulter, Hillary Clinton, Janet Reno) or by saying they're lesbians (Oprah, Alicia Keyes, thousands of other female stars), but I don't know of any other rumors that someone is intersex.
Other than Jamie Lee Curtis. Snopes lists that rumor, that's been around since as long as I can remember, as "undetermined" since Curtis is unwilling to comment on it. The "evidence" for her is that she adopted her children and her boyish name. She's also kinda butch for a straight woman.
That's about as much evidence as there is for the Lady Gaga rumor. Here's that incriminating photo of her I mentioned before the jump:
So my theory is that Gawker just wants hits or attention out of picking on one of the biggest stars around right now. And it worked, since it's now Google's top suggested search for Lady Gaga:
Gawker's been feeding that, with post after post after post after post calling Lady Gaga a "hermaphrodite" or a "chick with a d*ck," instead of the preferred terminology, "intersex." In a complete lack of self-awareness, one Gawker writer wrote:
The Lady Gaga Penis Conspiracy is the one-armed man of pop culture, and tonight's VMAs could be its grassy knoll. This is exciting, if only because there's a substantial pop culture rumor out there that a chart-topping pop star has a cock.
Really? And just who's pushing that "substantial" rumor?
Her manager called the rumor "completely ridiculous." Lady Gaga herself said last week:
She has denied the rumours are true: 'At first it was very strange. But, in a sense, I portray myself in a very androgynous way. I like pushing boundaries.'
She added: 'I have had sexual relationships with women. But I've only been in love with men. That was really what Poker Face was all about. Why, when I was with my boyfriend, was I fantasising about women?'
If the unconfirmed Bossip quote is true instead of just made up to get hits in the competitive gossip blog link economy, and she really is all about "multiple gendered" people living openly, then why the change?
Also, that terrible video cap would only show a penis if she weren't wearing any underwear. If she's on stage, then she probably is wearing something under there. She's not an idiot.
Which still makes me wonder how and why it started. There are plenty of blatant untruths that get spread on the internet - Obama is Kenyan, death panels are in the health care bill, etc. - and usually they participate in and form fantasies of the believers and disseminators. Is that the case here?
While the question of whether the rumor is true or not isn't all that interesting, I'm sure there are larger sociological questions to be addressed here. What does it say about our culture that we latch on to something like this? Do we need an excuse to think about sex ambiguity or is it just people hoping to find scandalous secrets in a rich and famous person's past? And why Lady Gaga specifically?
I'm sure that we have more than a few readers here willing to venture answers to the more interesting questions, but I'm already burnt out on this one. I rarely read gossip writing for a reason; the writing style gets very tiring, very quickly.