Lady Gaga's Emotional Video Highlighting Campus Sexual Assault
Lady Gaga has not been known as an artist that shys away from controversial subject matter. From a theatrical and edgy fashion sense to a confident expression of the state of outcast-ness, Gaga has planted herself in the music scene with a permanent individuality that thrives on a consistent artistic integrity. There appears to be no boundaries for the Lady, and that is an element of artistry that transcends mediums. No matter the content, no matter the method, the sole goal is to speak the truth, and in that truth the longing is for connection. In her proud confession of oddness, Gaga won the bond of millions of 'little monsters', attaching to their leader on similar sufferings of isolation, separation and loneliness—sensations intrinsic to the rocky boat rode from teenaged years to adulthood.
Gaga's firm grounding as an artist and steady displays of versatility has allowed her to expand her field of ideas and concepts; and in the case of her new music video and first musical release since 2013's Artpop, societally relevant issues that plague the age group of her core audience.The black and white video details a warning right off the bat; graphic material will be shown as a method of raising awareness about the obscenely high number of sexual assaults that occur in colleges in the United States.
The video is disturbingly graphic. The director of the script intelligently includes three very different occurrences of non-consensual sexual acts, with variances on appearance, race, gender and sexuality of both the perpetrator and the victim. The pain that follows those who have been horrendously violated is what strikes the viewer most; the sharp and distinct alienation from social events, the shame, the downfall of self-esteem and self-confidence that often and likely spiral into the dark abyss of depression and suicide. Gaga's emotional and poignant rasp rings off lyrics that are reflective of the general agony that combs away at an individual suffering from depression;
“Till It happens to you, you don't know how it feels, how it feels/Until it happens to you, you won't know, it won't be real.”
Gaga is pleading for empathy, which is a consciously chosen act that places yourself in the mind and circumstances of another before condemning judgment and criticism.Sexual assault amongst women, and in this case amongst women in a college environment, was once shunned and rejected as a legitimate form of assault because of the inclusion of alcohol or claims that the female 'simply wanted it'.
Gaga is asserting her power as a musical figurehead and shining a light on an issue that thrives on silence—but when we sit and listen to her candid bellows and whimpers of hurt, you think of your own daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, having to sit in the dark and question their value as a person, we stand up and offer a hand, rather than a pointed demonizing finger.
For more information please visit http://www.sexassault.ca