Have you all seen the most recent Lady Gaga video, "Telephone"? In general, Lady Gaga has created quite a stir among feminists--Is Lady Gaga a feminist or isn't she?--and this video is no exception. Since a big chunk of the video takes place in prison, it seems fitting to use it to think about the feminist (im)possibilities of Lady Gaga in relation to prison and the PIC. In Are Prisons Obsolete, Angela Davis discusses how prisons loom large in our everyday lives, even as we work hard to keep them invisible, through our constant and repeated exposure to media images of the prison--in films, television shows...and videos. She writes:
But even those who do not consciously decide to watch a documentary or dramatic program on the topic of prisons inevitably consume prison images, whether they choose to or not, by the simple fact of watching movies or TV....The prison is one of the most important features of our image environment. This has caused us to take the existence of prisons for granted. The prison has become a key ingredient of our common sense. It is there, all around us. We do not question whether is should exist (18-19).How is the prison represented in this video? What is Lady Gaga doing with (and to) the prison here? Is she reinforcing the idea of the prison as natural and as something that we should take for granted? Or is she de-naturalizing it (or is she doing both)? What ideologies does she reinforce in this video? Which ones does she subvert?
Now that you have watched the video, check out these feminist responses: