Gaga: “Til It Happens to You”

Some of the posts on this blog communicate the ways in which forms of inequality intersect and compound effects of any one form of inequality. This happens because inequality produces social stigma and, as a result of that, vulnerabilities, leading to social and political disenfranchisement, targeting, bullying, and criminal victimization.

For instance, gender inequality and inequality relating to sexual orientation or social performance of sexuality create structures of disempowerment that permit acting out on, dehumanization of, hurting, using and discarding anyone marked as a gender “other” — and weak and less socially worthy and, therefore, available for … whatever.

Women fall into this category, as do LGBTQ and gender fluid individuals, people of color, immigrants, anyone who speaks a first language other than English, individuals with physical and psychological disablities, the elderly, frequently children.

Economic inequality can cause dehumanization but it can also result from “othering” and traumatic victimization following from repeated unkindness, ridicule, assault and lead to opting out from fear, hurt, terror at the very thought of what might happen, again, by opting in. As one illustration: women and gender nonconforming students who leave college after being sexual assaulted on campus. Lady Gaga’s recent video project “Til It Happens to You” demonstrates this powerfully.



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