Five days ago, French DJ Gesaffelstein and Canadian singer The Weeknd dropped their collaborative new single Lost in the Fire. It's a pretty epic tune; a sultry bedroom anthem like a lot of The Weeknd's songs; save for a few not so great lyrics that have managed to incite anger in LGBT+ women everywhere.
In the song he sings about wanting to hold on to his girl, how she's the only one he wants to make love to despite previously enjoying multiple lovers. It's a noble sentiment in many ways until it gets to verse two.
"You said you might be into girls / Said you're going through a phase", he sings, likely in reference to his girlfriend Bella Hadid, who has in the past been rumoured to have dated models Stella Maxwell and Kendall Jenner (though there was never any proof or confirmation of this).
We are living in a time where female celebrities are finding it easier and easier to open up about their sexualities; stars such as Miley Cyrus, Janelle Monae, Cara Delevingne, Kristen Stewart, Halsey, Kesha, Lady Gaga and Sia among others have all come out as bisexual or pansexual in recent years, to the point where we're almost surprised when somebody confesses they're straight.
While it's doing a lot for bi visibility and normalising bisexuality, it's still being used as an excuse to perpetuate negative stereotypes. One of those stereotypes is viewing bisexuality as a "phase" or as simply bicurious sexual experimentation, rather than as a genuine romantic interest towards the same gender. But that's just the first problem with the lyrics. It only gets worse:
"Well, baby, you can bring a friend / She can ride on top your face / While I f**k you straight", The Weeknd continues.
Here we're struck by two deeply offensive stereotypes: Firstly, that being into men and women means that you're into threesomes and, secondly, that you can indeed be "f**ked straight".
It's virtually impossible for a bisexual women to be open about their sexuality and avoid forward propositions for threesomes from men on a regular basis; almost as impossible as it is for a women to stop being attracted to other women because of a man's genitals. Bisexuality does not go hand in hand with polyamory, nor does it mean you can turn off your sexual attractions whenever you feel like it.
The astounding thing is that people are actually trying to defend the song because the rest of the lyrics are sensitive and romantic. But no amount of sweet-talking can make us want to listen to Lost in the Fire.
Tagged in The Weeknd