The Aftermath

In both “Bad Romance” and “Yoü and I,” Gaga performs écriture féminine through a circular narrative flow and a multiplicity of personas.  This multiplicity allows her to escape intentional, reductionistic objectification.  Ultimately, by performing écriture féminine, by taking up Cixous’s challenge to “write her self” (1942), Lady Gaga refuses to conform to a role defined by phallocentricity.  However, as with any battle, there are consequences, and “writing the body” does not mean that the body is invincible.  By the end of “Bad Romance,” Gaga is rather the worse for wear:

BR 4 59

Bones & Ashes: “Bad Romance”: 4:59

And in “Yoü and I” there are many painful scenes and images such as:

U&I 0 12

Brutal Shoes: “Yoü and I”: 0:12

U&I 3 45

Strapped Down with Plastic Wrap: “Yoü and I”: 3:45

In “Yoü and I,” Mother Monster has even been so damaged/modified as to need a mechanical arm:

 U&I 1 17

Mechanical Arm: “Yoü and I”: 1:17

For Gaga, freedom comes at a price.  However, a price must be paid either way.  As seen in “Bad Romance” and “Yoü and I,” both men and women attempt to make Gaga into something she is not; they attempt to conform her to the confining role of the Other, dictated by the patriarchal system.  While she gains her freedom by writing her body and successfully challenging the male order, Gaga leaves much unanswered.  Although these music videos challenge the system of phallocentricity, they do not offer a viable alternative to the traditional, heterosexual relationship, nor do they offer alternative narratives for men.  Perhaps this should be something to look for in Gaga’s future work.



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