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Who cares if you were born this way?

Posted in Misc, Personal by

Lady Gaga is blowing up the charts again with her new single, “Born This Way”, which “celebrates” a variety of different types of diversity, including race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. I’m going to sidestep the central controversy this song was written to exploit, and instead point out a stupid and dangerous idea that this song promotes:

What difference does it make if you were born this way or if you chose to be this way?

What annoys me about this song is that it overemphasizes the role of nature in diversity, and chooses to celebrate and praise a variety of forms of diversity that are (arguably) pre-determined at birth, like race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. (This also ignores a long list of very not-nice types of “diversity” that are likely just as predetermined at birth, like predisposition to addiction, schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder, and pedophilia.)

Provided that you’re not harming someone else, why should we celebrate diversity in race any more than diversity in fashion styles? Do you only have the right to be proudly different in ways that you were born to be different?

The anthem of “born this way” strikes me more as a whiny excuse from someone trying to explain why they’re different: “Don’t blame me, mister, I was born this way!” This appeal to fatalism offers a haven for the victim, but a cowardly and ultimately fragile one. Cowardly because it attempts to shift the responsibility for identity to random chance instead of personal choice, and fragile because it might turn out that some of those supposedly predetermined traits aren’t quite as inescapable as we thought.

So rather than celebrating “black, white, or beige”, how about we celebrate diversity in all its (non-evil) forms? Except for hipsterism, of course. Hipsters should always be shunned.

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4 Responses to “Who cares if you were born this way?”

  1. I'm proud of my geekyness. I don't know if I was born with it… But it is a trait I'm happy to nurture, like many others that have been more of a decision (and caused by environment and pressure). It is hard to tell: what is really "decision" and not engrained in ourselves since birth?



  2. rawckee says:

    that is some bold aproach you chose to take on this delicates issue (taking current PC in into consideration) and if i may ad 2 cents on the exploitation side of the issue this sounds like an obvious dance floor hit for the summer to come. the song's simple structure and upbeat chorus make it a treat for mixing it live and otherwise.

  3. steve jobs says:

    so how are you defining "non-evil" huh? pretty arbitrary to throw gays into that pile when the vast majority of humanity clearly doesn't agree with you. i think your interpretation is even more fragile than lady gagas crap song.

    • dbraden says:

      If you read it more carefully, you'll notice he's not throwing gays into the "evil pile". He's saying we should celebrate all non-evil forms of diversity. "Non-evil" was added parenthetically to indicate a lack of desire to support diversity of the evil sort. That's all.

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