Singer Adam Lambert caused a flap this week when he kissed a male keyboardist and thrust a female dancer’s face into his crotch during his live “American Music Awards” performance Sunday night.
The moves, which were reportedly unscripted, were edited from the West Coast broadcast.
After the performance, Lambert said, “There’s a big double standard. Female pop artists have been doing things provocative like that for years, and the fact that I’m a male, and I’ll be edited and discriminated against, could be a problem.”
For a little back story, Lambert came in second on the last season of “American Idol,” with some asserting his sexual orientation derailed his quest.
After the competition, he came out publicly, has been photographed for Rolling Stone with a snake and a soda (both rather suggestively), as well as a naked woman for Details, and commented that he doesn’t want to have a “beard.”
Lambert also said he’s been criticized for being too gay when he’s just being “sexual.”
“Male sexuality is frightening to America [but] female sexuality is all over the place.”
Let’s consider this for a moment.
Feminists have long contended that women’s bodies are routinely used for titillation.
But using female bodies to sell a product/service/etc. isn’t an expression of “female sexuality,” it’s objectifying women. Which, arguably, was also a part of Lambert’s AMA performance. (He didn’t want oral sex from that woman; he just wanted oral sex.)
And women aren’t the only rock stars who have flaunted their bodies (and sometimes their sexuality) to shock and sell records. (Thank you, Madonna, Britney, Christina, Pink, et al.)
Men, too, have used their sex appeal to cause a ruckus: Think Elvis Presley, Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger, George Michael. Were the men less objectified? Perhaps.
So here’s the next question. Is Lambert’s edgy sexuality (not sexual orientation) the very reason he was picked to close out the AMAs? Because, it should be noted, he just released his first record on Tuesday. And a year ago, he wasn’t a household name.
And most likely, it was his edgy sexuality — and appeal to teenage girls (and boys) — that drove his “American Idol” success. (Lots of people can sing; it takes a performer to compete on “Idol.”)
While Lambert is right that there is a double standard for men and women — not to mention gays and nongays — he may want to think about how and why it got there as he attempts to challenge it.