Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Is it just me, or is Lady Gaga an idiot?

 
"Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you're wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn't love you anymore." 
Lady Gaga
 
Wow. Seriously?? I am not sorry to say that I could not possibly disagree with this quote more!! It is just plain false, Lady Gaga! First of all, YES, your career can and most definitely WILL wake up one day and tell you it doesn't love you anymore! Especially if you are in the "show business" business. But any career a woman chooses carries a high risk. What happens when you're too fat, too skinny, too old, too young, not experienced enough, too experienced, too opinionated, too hard-working, not hard-working enough, too soulless, too shallow, too profound.... for your fans or your employer or the world? I'll tell you what, your career looks at you and says "You're fired." "You're not hired." "You're laid off." "You're being replaced." Maybe those are not the exact words "I don't love you anymore" but they're pretty darn close. 

Secondly, "some women choose to follow men" is such a negatively stereotyped phrase. Yes, some women enter into relationships with men, and some choose to marry those men. But if you're a smart woman, before you ever date a man or eventually marry him, you will be following one man very, very closely. Listening to him. Obeying his every word. Devoting all your heart and soul to him. Holding back nothing of yourself, but giving your whole self to him. Completely surrendering to him.
At this point it's almost a little too obvious to say who I'm talking about, but I will, just because he's the coolest guy ever and I like his name! Jesus. And the fact is, if you are in fact following this man, then the persons you choose to date and the man you eventually marry will be following him too. And such a man will not hurt you the way so many people hurt each other in this world. The way somebody or somebodies clearly hurt Lady Gaga at some point in her life. She's the same person who once said, "
Well my music was different in high school; I was singing about love—you know, things I don't care about anymore." So somewhere along the line, somebody hurt this poor woman enough to make her give up on love altogether and actively preach against it! And for that reason (among others), I pray for Lady Gaga.

Lastly, the thing that bothers me most about the quote is that she puts "following a man" in OPPOSITION to "following a dream." I don't know how many of you have seen the movie Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts, but it's one of my favorites. It was set a few decades back, but the themes are timeless. It's about a group of beautiful, amazingly gifted, young women in college, all preparing to take the next step in life. Julia Roberts' character seems convinced that in order to be fulfilled, a young woman MUST enter into a professional career of some sort, that married life will not fulfill her. As the movie comes to an end, we find that both professional life and married life have their pros and cons, and both lifestyles are EQUALLY, albeit differently, fulfilling for women.
What always strikes me in the movie is the idea that women who choose to marry young and start a family are all too often harshly criticized as settling for something less. As if listening to God's call and making her vocation her true, number one priority is somehow foolish and makes her less of a woman, leading a life that is less fulfilling than her career-seeking peers. Although this movie is set in the 40's or 50's, this theme is still so strongly present in our generation! 
I think as a married woman, I am easily offended by this particular mentality, particularly because I can say from experience that married life is EXTREMELY fulfilling! It also bothers me that so many people think that married women who have chosen to completely give up on their "careers" in order to have a family, when the reality is that they've simply put marriage and family ahead of their careers; prioritized one ahead of the other. And for those who truly have made being a wife and mother their life's work, I say more power to them! And more power to working moms! And more power to work-from-home moms! In fact, more power to MOMS! 
Married life and motherhood isn't an easy life, but one thing it most definitely is - is FULFILLING. And with Thanksgiving approaching tomorrow, I can honestly say that I am so thankful to be a wife and mother. I am thankful for the vocation God has given me. I am thankful for my own mother, who has been a working mother, a work-from-home mother, back to a working mother and has done it all with more flair than Lady Gaga has ever been able to muster in all her shenanigans!
 So. Whether you're a woman who's focusing on a professional career right now, or a woman who is devoted to family life, or a superwoman who can do them both, give thanks! Give thanks to God for whatever life he has given you, and let's not get down on our fellow women who may have been given a different path than our own.   

3 comments:

  1. I will never (ever) say that family is lesser than career. Sure, I've chosen career so far, and I might always choose it (I'm not sure I want to have kids - which my bf knows and agrees with, so hey! that works!). But I also see her statement in a completely different way (not a surprise I guess).

    In college I was dating this guy (who clearly didn't work out). He was fine, but a lot of our problems towards the end centered around him not encouraging me. He didn't want me to get the totally awesome job I was up for at the time, since it would require me/us to move every 2-3 years. In essence, what he was looking for was someone to follow him, but had no willingness to follow. I ditched him and have been MUCH happier as a result, even if it did result in a broken engagement.

    I think it all boils down to compromise, which gets such a bad name these days. We all choose what each of us values most and our best hope is to find another person who values those same things. You obviously did a very good job at that, but for many people it takes a long time and a lot of bumps in the road.

    (On a side note, it makes me sad that you are so pessimistic about women in the workforce. I sincerely hope that it's not all so shallow as you make it seem, although honestly I'm in a primarily female workplace, and always will be. I also went to a women's college. So clearly I am all about a woman's right to choose her life's path, whether it's God and home or big city and career - and the fact that she should NEVER EVER be demonized for what she feels is best.)

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  2. Elizabeth,
    Thank you for your comment! I found myself reading your words, nodding along the whole time - I agree with you! I don't feel that my opinions or blog post in any way contradicts your opinions either.
    I am inspired by working women! I've been in the workforce, and know many, many working women as well.
    Any pessimism I expressed towards following a career (i.e. the possibility of getting fired/not getting the job you want) stems only from experience of myself or other women I know. And the actual possibility for that reality to occur in a woman's life! But in no way is that reality restricted to women. Men experience the same hiring/firing issues.
    I was simply pointing out that Lady Gaga seems to ensue in her quote that if you choose to follow a career, you have certain success to look forward to, but if you follow a man, you have failure to look forward to. So my post was meant to point out that the opposite is also a real possibility for women.

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  3. Hello, I found your blog on Catholic Bloggers. That is a sad quote. I left a career to be a homemaker. Careers never will tell you they love you, husbands and children will. Can I add you to my blog roll so I can check your posts regularly? I love the baby pics!!!

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