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Lady Gaga's meat dress: a bloody mess? [Updated]

September 13, 2010 |  2:15 pm

Meat200 So -- Lady Gaga's meat dress at the VMAs last night. Times food blogger Jessica Gelt found it unsanitary and wasteful. Times art critic Christopher Knight found it trite and passe.

While my instinct as a nine-year vegan was to promptly dry heave at the sight of such a thing, let's assume she meant what she said that it's an indictment of the treatment of gays and lesbians in America. Wearing a dress made of raw flank steak is a real funny way to make a point about compassion and empathy.

And that's not to mention the absolute inanity of the metaphor itself, as if she were saying, "America treats gay people like meat, you see, and I will call attention to this fact by draping myself in it." That's some real Helene Cixous-level gender and sexual identity discourse there.

We're partial to Gaga's music and provocations around these parts, but doing something pointlessly repellent and vicious towards animals at a video awards show and calling it a commentary on gay rights doesn't advance any conversation or change a single person's mind about the virtues of marriage equality.

This feels more like a tipping point in revealing that Gaga's antics aren't in service of any real, learned feminism, activism or even pop-art bomb throwing. It's just about her. And if something's got to die to make her point? Well. Art!

[UPDATED: If Gaga is interested in a primer on the intersection of sexual violence and meat imagery, Carol J. Adams might prove an intriguing introduction to the topic for her.]

-- August Brown

Photo credit: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters