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Rita Ora is getting some criticism from LGBT artists over her new song 'Girls'

The song’s lyrics have come into question.

RITA ORA DROPPED her much hyped collab with Cardi B, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX this week, called ‘Girls’.

Source: Rita Ora/YouTube

The song’s features the lyrics:

I am excited, I’m open-minded / I’m 50/50, and I’m never gonna hide it / You should know.”
Sometimes I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls / Red wine I just wanna kiss girls, girls girls.”

Ora used the release of the song as an opportunity to come out as bisexual. In an interview with People Magazine, she said:

I definitely said it because I can — and it was one of those things where, if I was 50/50 … I’m not saying I’m “70/30.” … “I’m 50/50, and I’m not gonna hide it.” I’m not hiding what I am, who I am, if I wanna do this, if I wanna do that. That’s just how it’s gonna be.
For me and my career, this is definitely the most open-booked I’ve ever been, if that’s a word. I’m definitely an open book with this record, and I’m really proud of the support I’ve got with my fellow collaborators.”

Fair play to her. However, this contradicts a previous interview she did with Hashtag Legend last year about the song, in which she says that the song is actually about female empowerment, and not her coming out.

There’s a song called Girls which, at the first listen, you’ll be, like, ‘Oh, wow. She’s definitely letting us know that she likes girls.’ But it’s not that. It is called Girls because I have features with my actual friends on it, like Charli XCX, who is one of my bestest friends.
The song is basically about females complimenting other females and supporting each other. Feminist isn’t a scary word but sometimes people are afraid to use it because it’s been used in, like, a very aggressive context. But it’s not really about that.
When Katy Perry sang I Kissed a Girl, it wasn’t necessarily her saying, “Guys, I’m a lesbian”. It was more about feeling empowered to be outspoken and free to choose and pick, and say things. That’s what Girls is about and it’s really exciting. I’m not the only one doing it. A lot of people have been doing it throughout the years. I’m just joining the pack.”

As well as that, she’s catching some flack from her fellow LGBT artists, like Hayley Kiyoko.


A post shared by H A Y L E Y K I Y O K O (@hayleykiyoko) on

Kiyoko, an openly gay pop singer, said the song “does more harm than good” for the LGBTQI+ community, saying that the track “fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women”.

“There is a new song that came out today featuring a handful of well-known pop artists that has me overwhelmed with thoughts,” Kiyoko wrote on her Instagram.

After clarifying that she supports artists “who are opening up more and more about their sexual identities,” she claims that “every so often there come certain songs with messaging that is just downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community.

A song like ["Girls”] just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women.”

Elsewhere in the statement, Kiyoko also addressed the lyrics in the chorus of “Girls.”

I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life. This type of message is dangerous because it completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community.
We can and should do better.”

Kehlani, an openly bisexual artist who has previously collaborated with Cardi B, also lent her voice to the discussion on Twitter.

Hate to be THAT guy but there were many awkward slurs, quotes, and moments that were like ‘word? word.’”

In another tweet, she wrote: “Don’t make this personal. i have an incredible song out with one of the artists, and would love to work with the other three as well. & have met them all and respect them. there. were. harmful. lyrics. period.”

Cardi B has also been criticised for her verse which has been called “disingenuous”. Before achieving mainstream fame, the rapper was accused of making transphobic comments on her social media pages. On top of that, her fiancé Offset wrote and rapped the line: “I cannot vibe with queers,” during a guest spot he had on YFN Lucci’s track ’Boss Life’.

He later denied that the line was homophobic via Instagram by referencing the dictionary definition of the word ― “lingo that means strange or odd” ― or  “lame people who film you, post it and stalk you.”

He further denied being homophobic on the grounds that his  “passion for fashion” has lead him to “a lot of gay people” who he has “mad respect for.”

I didn’t write the line about gay people. I have said before since these issues before that I got love for all people. My passion for fashion has lead me to a lot of gay people around me who I have mad respect for and we are very cool so I’m not in a place where I’m hating like that. When I wrote that I was thinking of words that could rhyme with the others (here, lear, solitaire, bear) and I saw this definition about her having a queer feeling she was being watched and it fit what I was thinking about a stalker creepy paparazzi situation. To me that “queer” I don’t mean someone who’s gay. I mean lame people who film you, post it and stalk you. Lingo that means strange or odd. I M S O R R Y I A P O L O G I Z E I’m offended I offended anybody

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What do you think? Is their criticism valid? Does the track contribute to the ongoing fetishisation of bi-women? Or is it just a harmless tune?

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