Wes student on NPR

Rayna Edwards ’10 was quoted on NPR, commenting on Kate Perry’s song “I Kissed a Girl,” which starts with the following lyrics:

This was never the way I planned
Not my intention
I got so brave, drink in hand
Lost my discretion
It’s not what, I’m used to
Just wanna try you on
I’m curious for you
Caught my attention

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

A July 9 All Things Considered show (which can be listened to here) included a comment from a rising junior.

One of our listeners, Rayna Edwards, who attends Wesleyan University in Connecticut, wrote in saying, “As both a gay woman and a youth, I was excited to hear music that breaks the pattern of the otherwise heteronormative pop music scene. Though I’m thrilled by the apparent proliferation of homoeroticism in contemporary music, Kate Perry’s song does not seem to take seriously the lifestyle that I and many others live.”

Well said, Rayna!
[Edit: typos were fixed. I’d accidentally typed “eroticism” instead of “homoeroticism”]

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38 thoughts on “Wes student on NPR

  1. Anonymous

    The song isn’t a serious song. If it was, it wouldn’t be so popular. You gotta start somewhere, dude.

  2. Anonymous

    The song isn’t a serious song. If it was, it wouldn’t be so popular. You gotta start somewhere, dude.

  3. Anonymous

    it was actually misquoted here. the original NPR segment said the word “homoeroticism.” fyi.

  4. Anonymous

    it was actually misquoted here. the original NPR segment said the word “homoeroticism.” fyi.

  5. Jesse

    “‘m thrilled by the apparent proliferation of eroticism in contemporary music..”What does that mean? Since when is sensuality something even remotely new to pop music? Is this a word coded in some fashion I don’t understand?Also, I’m not convinced at all it’s a good thing, whatever it means.

  6. Jesse

    “‘m thrilled by the apparent proliferation of eroticism in contemporary music..”

    What does that mean? Since when is sensuality something even remotely new to pop music? Is this a word coded in some fashion I don’t understand?

    Also, I’m not convinced at all it’s a good thing, whatever it means.

  7. Anonymous

    Very well said, Rayna. The song is offensive. It IS the sort of thing that seeps into our cultural understanding and is internalized. And it is too easy to hail it as “progressive” for those less informed about these issues. It isn’t just a song.

  8. Anonymous

    Very well said, Rayna. The song is offensive. It IS the sort of thing that seeps into our cultural understanding and is internalized. And it is too easy to hail it as “progressive” for those less informed about these issues. It isn’t just a song.

  9. Anonymous

    off topic but:the part that bothered me most was actually just the comment about being both a woman and a youth.

  10. Anonymous

    off topic but:

    the part that bothered me most was actually just the comment about being both a woman and a youth.

  11. Anonymous

    “the song panders to bisexual/lesbian-obsessed teenage boys.”So what? Can’t we have a song, too?

  12. Anonymous

    “the song panders to bisexual/lesbian-obsessed teenage boys.”

    So what? Can’t we have a song, too?

  13. Anonymous

    First, I just find the song plain annoying and the lyrics not particularly inspired. And as a bisexual I was disturbed by the implication that kissing a girl is the wrong thing to do, that it’s something to be kept secret or to be approved of by a boyfriend (and if he does approve/”doesn’t mind” you get into the whole “I don’t care because it doesn’t count/lesbians are soooooo hot” bullshit.) I feel like there’s not a lot of mainstream music representing queer love/sex, so if there was going to be a breakout hit with that content it wouldn’t include that kind of message.

  14. Anonymous

    First, I just find the song plain annoying and the lyrics not particularly inspired. And as a bisexual I was disturbed by the implication that kissing a girl is the wrong thing to do, that it’s something to be kept secret or to be approved of by a boyfriend (and if he does approve/”doesn’t mind” you get into the whole “I don’t care because it doesn’t count/lesbians are soooooo hot” bullshit.) I feel like there’s not a lot of mainstream music representing queer love/sex, so if there was going to be a breakout hit with that content it wouldn’t include that kind of message.

  15. Anonymous

    “less educated folks”? Let’s ban all music that doesn’t conform with our socio-political views. We know best. Save the stupid people.

  16. Anonymous

    “less educated folks”?

    Let’s ban all music that doesn’t conform with our socio-political views. We know best. Save the stupid people.

  17. Anonymous

    Katie Perry’s songs straddle the fine line between humor and ignorance. When I hear it, I get the same uncomfortable feeling that I often experience when someone tells a racist joke. It’s just a song, and Perry is a talented singer who writes catchy lyrics. She’s fetishizing herself to seem like a bad person, which I guess people interpret as cool and edgy. It’s fine for her to “kiss a girl and like it,” but I agree with the comment above about the lyric “it’s not what good girls do/not how they should behave” — if you don’t see a problem there, then you probably subscribe to the stereotype of lesbianism as wrong, taboo, or illegitimate. I don’t want to get into a discussion about the validity of lesbianism; I just don’t like to hear people brushing this off as “just a song” if they know full well the detrimental effects of packaging stereotypes and exporting them across popular radio stations for less educated folks to internalize as fact. Check out some of her other songs, like “Ur so Gay” … if you can get past the title.

  18. Anonymous

    Katie Perry’s songs straddle the fine line between humor and ignorance. When I hear it, I get the same uncomfortable feeling that I often experience when someone tells a racist joke. It’s just a song, and Perry is a talented singer who writes catchy lyrics. She’s fetishizing herself to seem like a bad person, which I guess people interpret as cool and edgy. It’s fine for her to “kiss a girl and like it,” but I agree with the comment above about the lyric “it’s not what good girls do/not how they should behave” — if you don’t see a problem there, then you probably subscribe to the stereotype of lesbianism as wrong, taboo, or illegitimate. I don’t want to get into a discussion about the validity of lesbianism; I just don’t like to hear people brushing this off as “just a song” if they know full well the detrimental effects of packaging stereotypes and exporting them across popular radio stations for less educated folks to internalize as fact.

    Check out some of her other songs, like “Ur so Gay” … if you can get past the title.

  19. Anonymous

    I like the song. It feels so wrong to like the song (for all the reasons above). But it feels so right.

  20. Anonymous

    I like the song. It feels so wrong to like the song (for all the reasons above). But it feels so right.

  21. Anonymous

    But on the other hand, I actually don’t care about the song and I find it fun and silly, regardless of its message.- the person who posted the above comment.

  22. Anonymous

    But on the other hand, I actually don’t care about the song and I find it fun and silly, regardless of its message.

    – the person who posted the above comment.

  23. Anonymous

    No, it’s not just a song. It’s a popular, infectious song, and those lyrics don’t help anything.People get annoyed at “heteronormativity” as being over sensitive or overdone or whatever, but honestly, if you see it that way, I’m convinced you still don’t understand the true extent of it.Everywhere is not like the West Village.

  24. Anonymous

    No, it’s not just a song. It’s a popular, infectious song, and those lyrics don’t help anything.

    People get annoyed at “heteronormativity” as being over sensitive or overdone or whatever, but honestly, if you see it that way, I’m convinced you still don’t understand the true extent of it.

    Everywhere is not like the West Village.

  25. alex

    i guess i can see what you mean if you’re saying that pop music doesn’t advocate healthy hetero relationships to begin with, so it makes sense that it would misrepresent homosexual relationships, too. i’m still annoyed, though… particularly the line “it’s not what good girls do…not how they should be.” (i’m slightly ashamed at my ability to recall such specifics, but that’s what i get for listening to the same radio station all the time). i guess the song would be way less catchy if the lyric were “it’s not what good straight girls do” blah blah.

  26. alex

    i guess i can see what you mean if you’re saying that pop music doesn’t advocate healthy hetero relationships to begin with, so it makes sense that it would misrepresent homosexual relationships, too. i’m still annoyed, though… particularly the line “it’s not what good girls do…not how they should be.” (i’m slightly ashamed at my ability to recall such specifics, but that’s what i get for listening to the same radio station all the time). i guess the song would be way less catchy if the lyric were “it’s not what good straight girls do” blah blah.

  27. Anonymous

    Since when does pop music take even the heteronormative “lifestyle” seriously? What makes the lesbian “lifestyle” the exception?This is such a knee-jerk, “let’s turn this into an issue” kind of comment.

  28. Anonymous

    Since when does pop music take even the heteronormative “lifestyle” seriously? What makes the lesbian “lifestyle” the exception?

    This is such a knee-jerk, “let’s turn this into an issue” kind of comment.

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