Does Rita Ora's 'Girls' exploit lesbianism and bisexuality?
via AP

Does Rita Ora's 'Girls' exploit lesbianism and bisexuality?

#ItsGayBait
#ItsFunAndFeminist
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Rita Ora is facing backlash from some of the LGBTQ community after the release of her new single "Girls" featuring Cardi B, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX. Hayley Kiyoko, Kehlani and other critics claim the song is gay bait and "invades" lesbianism and bisexuality in women by inviting the male gaze. Ora apologized for the song's lyrics that suggest she needs alcohol in order to be with women. Others argue Rita was forced out of the closet, and "Girls" represents an LGBTQ experience. Others also say women should be able to explore their sexuality however they like. What do you think?

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#ItsGayBait
45.3%
#ItsFunAndFeminist
54.7%

Spin highlighted the backlash from the song: 

Hayley Kiyoko has spoken out against Rita Ora’s new song with Cardi B, Charli XCX, and Bebe Rexha. Titled “Girls,” the song addresses same-sex love as a thrilling fantasy for the bi-curious female vocalists; in a new interview with People, Ora says that the song was partly inspired by Katy Perry’s 2008 hit “I Kissed A Girl,” another song frequently under fire in the LGBT community for similar reasons.

Critics say the song belittles lesbianism and bisexuality in women, and plays into female sexual experimentation as being for the male gaze. 

Kiyoko's tweeted criticism is below:

Kehlani also called out the song.

Critics agree Rita's new song is offensive to women who are actually bisexual or lesbian. They say their sexuality shouldn't be invaded by straight women "experimenting" and needing substances in order to "explore" with other women.

But others argue that Rita was bullied into officially coming out, and that she shouldn't have to apologize for her experiences with her sexuality. The Independent's Yusuf Tamanna writes:

But looking at the wider picture here, Rita Ora shouldn’t really have had to resort to proving her sexuality to justify the song. Perhaps this is because I’m a fan, but Rita has always presented herself as sexually fluid. She’s even spoken candidly about her rumoured relationship with model Cara Delavigne in the past, which should at least appease some of the naysayers who accuse the singer of being a straight woman fetishising queerness for her own personal gain.
Furthermore, it’s also very telling that Harry Styles, who sparked rumours about his own bisexuality when he released his song “Medicine” with the lyrics “Here to take my medicine, take my medicine/Treat you like a gentleman”, wasn’t given the same lynch mob treatment as Rita and was allowed to glide through the moment unscathed. If anything, he was hailed as a queer hero with all sections of the media writing think pieces and articles praising the singer for his bravery. What exactly is the difference between the two singers besides the glaringly obvious?

Some may have accepted Rita's clarification and apology.

Cardi B also clarified the song isn't meant to offend anyone. Instead, the song is about women having fun with other women. Cardi shared she has had many experiences with women, and there's nothing wrong with being a care-free feminist.

Others argue Rita and Cardi had nothing to apologize for, and the former should not have been forced to come out.

Some call it biphobia. 

Others argue Rita and the rest of the female artists on the track are talking about their own experiences in the song, and others don't have to like it. 

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