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David Bowie and Gender Performance - Admission/Application Essay Example

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David Bowie and Gender Performance

The Hearts Filthy Lesson is a song by David Bowie from his 1995 album by name Outside, and has been deemed number one hit of the album. The musician laments for a tyrannical futurist Ramona for whom he holds strong sexual feeling as he says, “Oh, Ramona, if there was only something between us/If there was only something between us” (Bowie 1). The repetition of phrases in the song represents a repetition of acts in the realm of life which shapes identities like gender and sexuality (Wilshire 42). There is a notable mortage of art-style mutilations and glory object d’art displayed by the song performers and their costumes. The costumes and body decorations of the performers represent gender in the wake of the new cults of tattooing, scarification and piercing among other gender identity life representations. This is evident in the song performance that is set around the idea of ritual art and most on the present options to this kind of quasi-sacrificial blood obsessed art form (Wilshire 44).
The song represents gender as a volatile entity especially when it comes to love. The song implies that one cannot control his or her heart when it comes to love, for example, the speaker in this song loves Romana. There is, however, a dilemma as love is being forced to a person who has had bitter experiences with another woman and in particular his former lover Miranda. It is the speaker’s experience with Miranda which is being referred to as the heart’s filthy lesson, and which is falling upon deaf ears and this is stated by the song in no unclear terms thus, “Its the hearts filthy lesson/Hearts filthy lesson/Hearts filthy lesson/Falls upon deaf ears” (Bowie 1). This way sexuality in the song cannot be taken lightly especially when the speaker seeks advice from Paddy because he believes that this romantic affection for Romana waylays him. Paddy has been wearing ...Show more


In writing her essay on ‘Performative Acts and Gender Constitution’, Judith Butler relied heavily on Simone de Beauvoir’s claims that, “one is not born, but rather, becomes a woman” (Butler 120). It is from this trajectory of ideas that Butler postulates that,…
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David Bowie and Gender Performance essay example
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