Lady Gaga discusses her rape & music industry ‘boys club’ at Billboard WOTY


Here are some photos of Lady Gaga on Friday at Billboard’s Women In Music event. As you may remember, Gaga was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year for some reason. It’s not that she’s had a bad year, I just don’t understand why her year was so much better than, say, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift or Adele. Incidentally, whenever I look at new photos of Gaga these days, I’m always struck by the changing nature of her face. It feels like old-school Megan Fox, where Fox would look radically different every six months. I guess my question is this: is Gaga getting some work done or is this just all “styling”? I don’t think it’s styling.

As for her Woman of the Year award, Gaga made a speech in which she called the music industry a “boys club.” Here’s part of her speech:

“What I really want to say is that it is really hard sometimes for women in music. It’s like a f—ing boys club that we just can’t get in to. I tried for so long, I just really wanted to be taken seriously as a musician for my intelligence more than my body ever in this business. You don’t always feel like when you’re working that people believe that you have musical background, that you understand what you’re doing because you’re a female. Tonight is so important because women provide a wisdom to music that is very unique and special. It is a perspective that no other person can have because we bear life. And we go through things that no one goes through and more importantly because it’s right because we’re all equal.”

[From People]

I think she’s half-right and half-wrong. The music industry is a boys club in that the overwhelming majority of music executives, producers and promoters are men. But… Gaga acts like she was facing overwhelming odds and that no woman has ever been successful. See: Beyonce, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Pink, Stevie Nicks, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Chrissie Hynde, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Florence Welch, Britney Spears, Faith Hill, Adele, et al. I also side-eye her for this: “I just really wanted to be taken seriously as a musician for my intelligence more than my body…” O RLY? That’s what the meat dress was about, right? And that’s why she wandered around in little more than bras and panties for like four years? That’s why she kept posing naked for magazines? I mean, it’s her body and she can do whatever she wants with it. But don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth.

In addition to being up for a Golden Globe this year (for her work on American Horror Story), Gaga is also up for a Grammy for the song she recorded for The Hunting Ground, a documentary about campus rape. Gaga has talked in the past about being a rape survivor, and as she promotes the documentary and her music, she’s been giving some detailed interviews about her rape – you can read more about it here.

Last thing… am I the only one who is truly shocked that she and Taylor Kinney are still together? I hope he comes to the Golden Globes with her and I hope she wears something crazy.



Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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81 Responses to “Lady Gaga discusses her rape & music industry ‘boys club’ at Billboard WOTY”

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  1. BlueSky says:

    Am I the only one that think she looks like Courtney Love here?

  2. vauvert says:

    Yes, I would go to meetings, awards ceremonies and the like dressed in a bra instead of a top and ask to be taken seriously too. And no, it isn’t a double standard (in this case), I would roll my eyes equally hard if a guy came to the events in shorts and a tank top too. You can’t have it both ways.

    • Bettyrose says:

      ^So much this. And WTF @ “tried for so long.” Wasn’t she like an international mega star at 20? I get that it’s probably bewildering at first and easy to be exploited, but she’s now established and powerful enough to call some shots on her own, and if she wants to put on a shirt and start mentoring younglings, no shade from me.

    • Dangles says:

      But women experience shade differently to men.

  3. Lara K says:

    I think Taylor knows on which side his bread is buttered. He is super hot but has nowhere near the talent, money or career Gaga has. He is staying put.

    I admire anyone who is willing to open up about horrible personal experiences – rape, abuse, addiction, pregnancy loss, etc. But she is rather self important about her career. Looking forward to seeing how her 30s turn out.

    • Skye says:

      I think it’s so harsh when people discredit their (or anyone else’s long term relationship) as a “beard” or a situation where one of them is using the other. How long do they have to be together before it can simply be a nice relationship? Is it so hard to believe that people love famous people too?

      Also, I too was baffled by the “woman of the year” thing, considering how little she’s put out musically this year. But I read an interview where she talked about how exciting it was to receive such positive attention the year that she actually started living for herself and branching out into other things without worrying how they would affect her brand and it made me feel happy for her. I have no idea if I’d like her or her boyfriend in person or not, but when I see someone break away from their shtick and start living life on their own terms, I’m totally happy to see that celebrated.

  4. Shambles says:

    Gaga gets on my nerves most of the time, but I do think she has a larger point.

    Kaiser says: “See: Beyonce, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Pink, Stevie Nicks, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Chrissie Hynde, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Florence Welch, Britney Spears, Faith Hill, Adele, et al.”

    If you think about a lot of the ladies on that list (Beyoncé, KP, Ariana Grande, Mariah, Christina, Madonna, Britney, etc) many of them have played up their bodies/sexuality to market themselves. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all– I’m all for ladies taking ownership of their bodies and sexuality, but maybe they felt a certain pressure from the male-dominated music industry to do so? Maybe they felt like that’s what they had to do to make it big, even if they didn’t necessarily want to? Maybe that’s what Gaga is trying to say here, even if she is saying it half naked.


    But yes, she’s messing with her face waaay beyond this strange “face tape” I hear of.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I agree. I’m all for women being sexy if they want to. But I definitely think there’s pressure in the music industry to be sexy and use your body as advertisement, wear skimpy clothes, be in perfect shape. I don’t think men have that to the same degree.

      • Ripley says:

        “LA told me, “You’ll be a pop star,
        All you have to change is everything you are.”
        Tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears
        She’s so pretty, that just ain’t me ”

        Pink… Stevie Nicks, they play on talent. The above girls have traded off their looks. (Btw, I think both Srevie and Pink are stunning they just haven’t played off their looks ala the other ladies.)

      • Bridget says:

        Early Pink? She definitely had a sexier image (though still a ‘tough’ sexy). That woman hustled her butt off to get the control she has over her own image.

      • SnarkySnarkers says:

        I disagree with men not having to look sexy to the same degree. Look at all the boy bands and most male musicians right now. Sex sells in the music industry be it male or female. Perhaps if she wanted to be taken seriously for her “intelligence” she should have selected a different career? That said, I actually like her better as an actress than a singer. Shes been really good in American Horror this season.

      • Bridget says:

        Men can get away with being schlubby and unattractive more than women in music though. Women have to be extraordinarily talented to ‘earn’ the right to not be sexy, whereas men can just be ernst singer-songwriters, or even the less attractive member of the boy band (of which there is a grand tradition).

      • Otaku fairy says:

        Pink and Taylor Swift have definitely used flashy looks, sex, and sexiness throughout their careers just as much as…if not more than… Ariana Grande, Mariah Carey, and Katy Perry. But because Pink is more talented than some of those women and pulled it off with a tough girl edginess that the others lack, she has escaped the criticism other female artists get for it and is kind of held up as the one acceptable example of how a female artist can be “not modest” but still be accepted in the liberal/feminist/mom circles. With Taylor, since she’s 25, looks her age, and has already spent almost her whole career as the ideal good girl of the pop crowd, people aren’t as bothered by her suddenly deciding to get up on stage in a bralette, short shorts, garters, and kitty ears.

      • kate says:

        Pink wears barely anything on stage, writhes around in bed with male dancers, swears like a sailor during shows and regularly trash talks other women…it’s like Taylor Swift, both women don’t have obviously sexy bodyshapes or personas, so they get away with a hell of a lot more. If Pink had FF boobs and a big butt people would be calling some of her acrobatic routines pornographic. She does one that was clearly designed so she could show the audience her crotch 40-something times in 3 minutes. It makes Miley’s Wrecking Ball look ultra vanilla.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        True about the boy bands, and I suppose that has always been true. But I can’t think of any female music stars who are out and out unattractive, while I can think of a long list of unattractive male musicians.

        You all know more about current women in music than I do, but it does seem to me that they are pressured to be overtly sexy, and are the exception, not the rule, if they resist that. As for men, of course being attractive will give you extra bonus points, but are they dancing around half-naked on stage? In their underwear?

    • sally says:

      100% agree. She seems to be saying…that just getting your foot in the door was extremely hard. Plus she was doing the skimpy clothes and posing naked AFTER she broke in. Nonetheless, wearing something outside of work hours/business meetings –granted award shows are kind of like work– shouldn’t affect how you are perceived as an artist and human.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Re: Madonna, such a different time. She entered the scene when pop starlets were pretty vanilla, and she stormed in with a message of owning your sexuality/rockin your bod for that payday. It was more empowering, for the time, than what it inspired, the Britney love slave message, and it’s all gotten very convoluted from there.

    • Emma says:

      You only have to look at what’s going on with Kesha to see that even wealth and fame doesn’t protect a woman from abuse. Sony Music is deliberately trying to kill Kesha’s career to punish her for speaking up. All of these successful women are under contracts and they know their labels have the power to destroy their careers. So it’s kind of silly to say look at all these women who’ve achieved success. Therefore there isn’t a problem. But Kesha’s sad situation proves that things can look great on the outside but things can be very wrong behind the scenes. On January 26, Kesha’s going to court to ask for an injunction that will allow her to resume her recording career. If she doesn’t get it, it will be a big win for abusive record executives and a big loss for the exploited women they hold under contract.

      • BunnyEars says:

        Kesha’s situation makes me so sad. I wish more people would talk about it. Especially when you considered that Chris Brown beat a woman and he still has a solid career. Kesha was raped and abused and her career is now being destroyed because she spoke out. Sooooo effed up.

      • WR says:

        I’ve been surprised too at the extent Kesha’s story is being ignored. I don’t think this site has addressed her injunction request at all. They didn’t address the victim blaming nonsense Dr. Luke’s and Sony’s lawyers used to mock her when she asked for the injunction hearing. Even Jezebel initially ignored the injunction story although they did cover it a few weeks after. They also covered the Care2 petition asking Sony to release Kesha that currently has over 100k signatures.

        I feel for Kesha because she really needs media attention to her plight to embarrass Sony into changing course but it oddly isn’t happening. Care2 is planning a protest outside the courthouse the day of her hearing. Hopefully enough people show up that it will attract media coverage.

      • Emma says:

        There has been some great coverage of her story. The Fader had a very poignant article Why Pop Needs Its Warrior Kesha. Salon, AV Club, Slate and Passion Weiss had great articles as well. But a lot of big name news sites like CNN and the BBC haven’t covered her story in their Entertainment sections. Even Rolling Stone hasn’t covered the injunction. Justin Bieber knocking over a chair during a temper tantrum got far more coverage than Kesha saying her career is over without an injunction against Dr. Luke and Sony telling Kesha they’ll only let her record if she works with Luke. That’s some really sick and awful stuff and the media has been weirdly quiet on it.

      • BunnyEars says:

        Ugh I can’t imagine. Not only to go through the trauma of being drugged, raped, and abused but to also lose your career to your abuser and for it to be largely ignored by the mainstream media.

      • Bridget says:

        Kesha’s story is so sad, and I’m disappointed that it’s barely a blip on the radar. Is it Sony? Is it Dr. Luke? Because I totally believe her – this is not a ploy to get out of her contract.

      • mimif says:

        Wow. I knew shit was bad for Kesha, but not that bad. I don’t think she gets a lot of love on this site, but I like her and would be interested on reading the scoop/comments here. *wink nudge*

    • Bridget says:

      “Maybe”? Oh hell yes they did. These women, even the most talented, are products in an industry completely run by men. The packaging IS the product. Their sexuality is presented in varying degrees, based on who their demographic is, but these women are all being marketed for the male gaze. Look at even Faith Hill – she only became a huge crossover act when she sexed it up.

  5. DesertReal says:

    They live in PA. Not in a big city like Pittsburgh or Philadelphia – but in a small town that’s practically considered off the grid country. An old friend of mine saw them in a diner recently and they were so low key she recognized him first and her second.
    I believe she’s a little scattered and quirky as an entertainer (to put it mildly) but she’s just a regular broad when it comes to relationships.
    Good on them both for having a solid work/life balance and being committed to each otherl

  6. grabbyhands says:

    What in Courtney Love hell is she doing to her face? Is this part of her new campaign to be an actress?

    I’m guessing something with her eyes/brows or possibly her nose.

    • LeAnn Stinks says:

      I do believe this maybe her second or third tweaking of her nose. Google images is the great teller.

  7. Tania says:

    She literally has a different face every time I see a photo of her.

  8. Miss M says:

    Whenever she talks about her struggles to be taken seriously in the indutry, I wonder if the Lina Morgana stories are true…

    • mimif says:

      I just went down the Lina Morgana wormhole, I had not heard that sad story before.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Followed you down and now a dark cloud of suspicion hangs over Gaga. Wow. I mean, I don’t follow Gaga at all, so serious question, does she credit her friend at all, acknowledging that her success was born n tragedy? She wouldn’t be the first. The music world is rife with tragedy and successors, but there’s something especially creepy about this one. *shudders*

      • Miss M says:

        I don’t know… When the story aurfaced years ago, she went mum. I saw videos od the girl too. Aparently, they collaborated in certain tracks (no idea if Gaga ever released them) and it seems Gaga dated the girl’s manager/producer, etc.
        Also, if I recall correctly Gaga used to say she in the beginning of her career that she had a tough upbringing and we all know this is not true…

    • Azurea says:

      Qu’est ce que c’est?

    • Aren says:

      I got curious and went to the girl’s memorial page. There are some photos of her and she’s just a normal girl: Long straight hair, shirt and jeans. Her make-up is more into the natural look, and nothing makes her stand out.
      It must’ve been very hard for the mom, and that’s probably what made her go to the media, but nothing about those photos shows any sort of connection to Gaga.

  9. Jayna says:

    She has bragged over and over how she likes walking around pantless. She says she feels free. She would change in airplanes to walk out in her bra and panties and chains. She went to a ballgame in her bra She stripped down comletely nude on stage at a gay club, but she says it has a deeper meaning. She’s not like these other pop girls. Sure, Gaga.

    She did a video for some yoga lady or something right at the time Artpop was coming out or out and was stark naked the complete time. But that’s different she says. And no one cared.

    She is always stripping down and using it for deeper meaning or dressing outlandishly, which is fine, but she says it’s not for attention. It’s because she is walking art every day. Of course she does it for the attention. She did it all the last tour. No one is making her do it. She likes the exhibitionism, as I think many pop girls do.

    The one thing she is adamant about is she is a great songwriter, unlike other pop girls. She places herself way above most of them. She is a good songwriter. I haven’t seen enough evidence yet that she is this great songwriter she brags about except certain songs.

    The problem is she does talk out of both sides of her mouth always. Fans admit this.

    Bowie in talent she’s not. Who knows? She may prove to be a great songwriting talent one day, but Artpop did not prove that.

    I like Gaga and think she’s talented and have been moved by many performances by her, some not. But she is exhausting in her proclamations and her need to tell everyone how different she is from popstars. Well, Gaga made a bunch of pop records you could dance to. Own it. And don’t tell people how different you are from the pack. Prove it by your songwriting in your next album and let people discover that about you and say it, not have to be beaten over the head with your proclamations.

    The body of work, her songwriting, is what will be telling when you look back on Gaga one day.

    • Aren says:

      I can agree about Gaga, but can’t agree about Bowie. He always surrounded himself with super talented people, then copied them. From Marc Bolan to Trent Reznor. He has no voice, he can’t play an instrument, he’s not attractive, but uses real musicians to disguise himself as one.

      • Jayna says:

        Oh, lordy. We’ll disagree on his talent.

        Of course, he collaborates with good musicians when songwriting. Gaga should try it. Has no voice? LOL Okay. And Bowie is a great songwriter, period.

        And not attractive? Swoonworthy below.

        Live performing Heros in his early 50s.

        He can’t play an instrument? Huh? “Guitar, piano, saxophone, stylophone, harmonica, ukulele, viola, cello, drums, percussion.”

      • Bettyrose says:

        Jayna – co-sign X a billion. Bowie is walking sex. I know multiple straight men who harbor Bowie fantasies. And one word: Labyrinth. I die. (To say nothing of his talent. My ring tone is Ashes to Ashes, but I’m not obsessed).

      • Emma says:

        Bowie has been accused of being a complete jerk and of using people including other successful musicians. But I don’t think anyone has ever questioned his talent. It’s possible to be both talented and a horrible person.

      • Jayna says:

        @Bettyrose, have you seen the David Bowie retrospective? I didn’t get to see it. Everyone I have read or heard from just absolutely raves about it and says it is amazing I really wanted to see it in Chicago and blew it.

        “The rock legend’s career is hard to define and even harder to contain. His creativity and outlandish style, which transcend language and culture, turned him into a global phenomenon, says one of the show’s curators, Victoria Broackes.

        “There are so many levels of the David Bowie story. One one hand you’ve got somebody who came from a very ordinary background and is now a superstar and has had his ups and downs along the way and there’s something, quite sort of Shakespearean about that story. But equally, you’ve got fantastic music and the visual, which takes in aspects of European culture – not just European, but also Japanese and beyond,” she says.

        “Featuring more than 300 objects including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photographs and rare original performance material, the show is a true multi-media experience. Each visitor is given a headset to listen to Bowie songs and interviews.

        “The idea is that you wear the headphones, you don’t have to do anything, they follow you where you are, but it creates this very immersive experience which was really important to us. Because of course Bowie is not just about a collection of artefacts and objects and the music, it’s also an emotional thing, it’s vitally an emotional thing. And we wanted people to feel, as well as learn things and look at things, as they went round,” says Broackes.”

      • Bettyrose says:

        No, Jayna, sadly I haven’t, but when Chicago announced an official David Bowie Day last year, I was seriously considering the 2000 mile trek to pay homage. All you Chicago CBs live in an awesome town!

  10. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    I hate it but she’s one of the ones I have trouble believing any word that comes out of her mouth.

    Much like her ‘Woman Of The Year’ award that Prince spilled the tea on every other story and achievement in her life usually has a few untruths and shadowy facts waiting to come out. So many things she’s said or done have come out as being lied or marketing.

    No props to her for her award, she’s not Woman Of The Year.

    • claire says:

      Same. She seems like a massive hypocrite, exploits her fans, sics them on people while out of the other side of her mouth espousing anti-bullying and quite frankly, writes pretty crappy vapid pop songs. I just can’t with her.

  11. Miran says:

    That thumbnail is crazy, she doesn’t even look like herself.

  12. Reine_Didon says:

    She had plastic surgery it’s evident. I think people underestimate the frequency of plastic surgery IRL. Even I had a nose job LOL.
    It explains a lot that she’s a rape survivor. I always sensed a tragic past that motivates the bizarrerie of her world !

  13. Amelie says:

    She has changed her style up a lot in the past few years. I don’t think her face looks that different but she is wearing a lot less make up than she used to. She also used to hide her face behind crazy sunglasses all the time. In a few of her music videos she has this “stripped down” face where she is wearing little make up. It just looks weird because she is a brunette and she has never looked good as a blonde. Also she lost a ton of weight again.

    • Jayna says:

      She does her lips. Has admitted she has been into filler, admitted being addicted to it for a while before, and maybe still uses it. I don’t know. She uses face tape to pull her face tight and change the shape of her eyes. She had her nose done but refuses to admit to it because she swore she hadn’t.

      • Jayna says:

        But I also watched her New York New York tribute to Frank Sinatra, and her face was weird in the cheek area. It was like she had had bizarre cheek impants up high closer to her eye sockets. Something weird was definitely going on with her face.

  14. Antonio says:

    This is the woman who did a video called “Do What You Want With My Body” starring Terry Richardson and R. Kelly.

    She is completely making up this “rape” story in order to get attention, and before you call me insensitive — I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I hate to see attention seekers exploit this issue. She is campaigning for an Oscar for a song she wrote with Diane Warren. Her “Golden Globe” nomination was a complete joke and obviously paid for, like her other awards.

    • A~ says:

      The fact that you are a survivor of sexual abuse (for which I am sorry) does not qualify you to determine the authenticity of other people’s descriptions of their rapes.

    • BunnyEars says:

      I’m very sorry for what you went through.

      That video doesn’t really prove anything though. People cope with trauma in many different ways. You can’t say she’s faking just because she doesn’t act the way you personally feel a sexual abuse survivor should act.

  15. Naddie says:

    Gaga, 2010 is calling. Please, go back there and STFU.

  16. Otaku fairy says:

    I don’t think she’s implying that she wanted people to not see her body or notice her costumes. She didn’t want to be seen as just an attractive, sexy starlet. Lady Gaga has always seemed to want to be seen as this enlightened, rebellious, talented artistic genius.

  17. Dangles says:

    “Tonight is so important because women provide a wisdom to music that is very unique and special. It is a perspective that no other person can have because we bear life.”

    We bear life? What does that mean?

  18. serena says:

    Um seems like she kinda jacked her face. Her eyes looks more ‘open’ and her lips freshly plumped.. also her look is really cheap, but well, I’m happy she’s back.

  19. so she finally got her nose completely done… and fillers on the lips…. and some eye work… and i would even saw some skin resurfacing for that peaches and cream look that white society seems to love.

    Gaga …..DONT deny…

    what saddens me is her and madonna use to be sooo ethnic looking as in…. like that jewish/italian olive looking… and they have since nordic-terize (made that word up lol) their looks so that they look very northern/western european and its just sad…. i love gaga’s old look