Not everyone is enamored with Rita Ora’s new collaborative song Girls — namely lesbian singer Hayley Kiyoko.
The song dropped yesterday with lyrics like ‘I’m 50/50 and I’m never gonna hide it’. Ora explained her own sexuality in regards to the song and the honesty of that lyric.
Cardi B, Charli XCX, and Bebe Rexha are also on the song with Ora.
Kiyoko, whose album Expectations dropped earlier this year, made a statement about the new song on Twitter.
Real talk 🌈 pic.twitter.com/9EbZd5dYZq
— Hayley Kiyoko (@HayleyKiyoko) May 11, 2018
Here’s Kiyoko’s statement in full:
It’s important for us artists to move the cultural needle forward, not backwards. There is a new song that came out today featuring a handful of well-known pop artists that has me overwhelmed with thoughts. I literally have a knot in my stomach right now.
To be clear, I fully support other artists who freely express themselves and applaud male and female artists who are opening up more and more about their sexual identities.
But every so often there comes certain songs with messaging that is downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community. A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women.
I know this wasn’t the intention of the artists on the song, but it’s the lack of consideration behind these lyrics that really get me. 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. I feel I have a responsibility to protect that whenever possible. We can and should do better.
Kiyoko’s sentence about wine is a reference to a lyric in the new song’s chorus: ‘Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls.’
‘That’s the tea’
Some people are criticizing Kiyoko for her statement.
However, others agree.
Especially the part where it's said "we shared a guy" which further pushes the stereotype that women only love other women because they can use it to get guys. And also that bisexuality = polygamy??? Which it doesn't?!?!
— isabella✨ (@dip_n_dotz) May 11, 2018
They also noted the song’s writers and Cardi B’s controversial past comments.
i feel no harm was meant since these must be their experiences but no one who loves themself and is comfortable with their sexuality needs to do these things to kiss girls. girls don't need to be under the influence to be in love with girls and that's that.
— peyt #renewannewithane (@sapphicthirteen) May 11, 2018
Others compared it to Katy Perry’s I Kissed a Girl.
Kiyoko is currently on her Expectations tour. Later this year, she’ll be touring with Panic! At the Disco.