Rihanna released her music video Te Amo yesterday. Much to my dismay, I was left shrugging and mumbling “Me disgusta” as Rihanna fell into the new fad of homoerotic homophobia among female pop stars. Rihanna’s video depicts the age-old tale of a heterosexual female entertaining the attention of a homosexual female only until things get “too deep”. After a series of homoerotic scenes where Rihanna is pulling another woman’s hair and instigating a sexual vibe between the two, Rihanna simply walks away and says “I don’t feel that way”. What are the implications of Rihanna’s video Te Amo? What is happening to female heterosexuality as a result of artists like Rihanna and their disingenuous homoerotic antics? Are self-proclaimed straight females out of style now?
Katy Perry used to represent the most obnoxious portrayal of female bi and homosexuality with her song I kissed a girl and I liked it. She can now pass on her crown to pop diva Rihanna. Interestingly, Rihanna’s video has a female speaking the words “te amo” to the star. In her response, Rihanna isn’t sure what she’s saying and eventually concludes with “I think that means I love you.” Quite literally, Rihanna is not speaking the same language as the woman who she’s seducing. Rihanna can’t really understand the woman she’s all over and under during the video. She only understands the sexual part of their interaction. I question why Rihanna straddles this female and participates in a homoerotic exchange if she “don’t feel that way” as she sings. If straight females are indeed straight, then they should avoid trying to speak the language of a bi or lesbian female. The former will not understand the latter. Why do straight women walk the line between homo-eroticism and homophobia lately?
Social media forums like Facebook start to separate the homos and the heteros with the infamous “Interested In” field of the site. Here, users are expected to disclose their sexual orientation for the world to see. If someone hasn’t specified whether she is interested in men or women, it’s assumed that she is curious or bi and afraid to let the world know. How minimally minded we’ve degenerated as a society.
Yesterday, I saw my 15 year old cousin’s Facebook page and I saw the seedlings of sending mixed sexuality signals beginning to take root in a teen. She had noted that she was interested in men yet was also in a relationship with her female friend. My peers are also falling into this fad of clicking married to a female friend or in a relationship with another woman; but they claim to be interested in men. They’re sending two distinct and conflicting messages about their sexual preference. On the one hand, they’re holding on to their heterosexuality; yet, they’re flirting with homosexuality by listing a relationship with another woman. It’s quiet confusing.
The Perry and Rihanna type of “straight” women can flirt with homo-eroticism but will never get too deep into the world of living as a lesbian. One can almost conclude these girls are “selfish and entitled” which are terms usually reserved for bisexuals. For Rihanna, Perry and all of their fans, it’s okay to touch a woman and have your questions answered, as long as you remember that you’re just not that way before the end of the night. One person’s needs are met and satisfied while the other person is left feeling taken advantage of and used. It’s the epitome of sexual selfishness. Listeners should be wary of the Rihanna and Perry message. Would you really want to be physically intimate with someone who is so self-serving and cold?
Homophobia or the fear of being identified as bisexual or lesbian keeps the experimenters like Perry and Rihanna from taking the full leap into a homosexual relationship. Rihanna’s video brings a whole new meaning to Ciarra’s song Just Like a Boy. Eventually, women won’t harp on men using them as objects of sexual pleasure because other women will be using them. Here’s a thought: If you don’t like women, don’t pretend as if you do. It’s okay to just be straight still. It’s not out of style, I promise. With the likes of Tila Tequila, Rihanna and Perry, I wonder if we’ll wake up into a world where saying “I’m straight” will be considered taboo. Maybe someday, not kissing a girl will illicit the same disgust and fright that openly bi and lesbian females do. Are homos and heteros Trading Places in terms of social inclusion and exclusion? Is identifying as strictly straight controversial now? In Rihanna’s native English tongue I say to her: “I don’t like you’re homophobic type.” She shouldn’t have any trouble understanding what I mean.
Please read Sara Waters novel Tipping the Velvet for other literary examples of homophobia undermining homosexual relationships.
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