I was talking about the generational shift in attitudes towards homosexuality in a recent class when a student asked why sexuality had to be defined at all. Good question. Is that when true acceptance comes, when differences between us are no longer thought worthy of comment?
While Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s hit, VMA winning song “Same Love,” featuring Mary Lambert, . . .
. . . certainly promotes acceptance, some have asked whether the sexuality of the singers matters. Mary Lambert, who sings the refrain and co-wrote the song, is a lesbian, but the verses’ focus is Macklemore’s straight talk (pun intended). Does this imply that the power of definition and acceptance still lies in the hands of straights (talk about a value laden label)? In other words, is acceptance a form of appropriation? (And does my sexuality matter when writing about this?)
Angel Haze has now re-appropriated the power of definition, or more accurately, the refusal to be defined, in her remake of the song:
Speaking of appropriation, Miley Cyrus has caught a lot of flak for her use of “ratchet culture” (which is why her SNL joke about twerking no longer being cool “now that white people are doing it” was so funny). Haze takes this back, too, in her video for “Echelon (It’s My Way)”:
Actually, she does not so much take it back as disseminate it across multiple cultures, again refusing to be defined too narrowly.