"Present within myth and history as the antagonist, the monster has taken new life in contemporary writing; the monster now acts as an enemy of normative structures. With Lady Gaga, the normative structure she challenges is that of traditional gender roles within the music world. This is a world filled with performers who construct themselves on accepted, past models. Creed suggests that all female stereotypes are built upon discourse surrounding sexuality, even those that are apparently ‘outside’ the traditional models, i.e. ‘the monster’ as opposed to the virgin. (Creed, 1993, p.3). Therefore Lady Gaga, as a Mother Monster is still constructed using the same sexuality discourse as say, Madonna for instance. But, it is the female monster, not the virgin, who is more threatening to the everyday, since they are “offensive to…quaint, but deeply sexist notions of chivalry” (Creed, 1993, p.3).
The monster acts as the ‘enemy’, it is what we seek to destroy and eliminate in order to keep normality. “We have made monsters out of others in order to kill them without fear” (Jaffe, 201014). When the other is no longer human, instead becoming the monster, the morality of ‘killing’ is made easier, since they no longer must be understood; the classic story of Medusa from Greek mythology. But much like Medusa and the ‘value’ of her petrifying stare as a strategic weapon, the monster can be appropriated to be something more than an enemy or as the outcast. “The monster is not simply a living being of diminished value; it is a living being whose value is that of a foil” (Canguilhem, 2005, p.188). Rather than be erased in the ‘grand narrative’, the monster becomes part of the freak show. A valuable commodity in a world constructed on normative identities, as well as capitalism."
Extract from my dissertation, 'Mother Monster – Lady Gaga, Performativity and the Abject'. (2011)