Design by Anna Boenish

Design by Anna Boenish

Shawna Leader/The AS Review

You’ve probably heard the song “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry. It’s played in clubs, on the radio and on iPods. On Thursday, the AS Women’s Center will host a panel to discuss the impact the song has on lesbian and bisexual identities.

The panel will begin at 7 p.m. in Communications 115 and is free.

Similar to the “Twilight” discussion panel the Women’s Center held last quarter, this panel will feature three speakers and be followed by a question and answer session.

The speakers are Trish Bendix, the music editor of the blog afterEllen.com, which comments on portrayals of lesbian and bisexual women in the media; Carol Guess, a Western LGBT professor specializing in contemporary lesbian culture; and Arielle Roy, a graduate of Fairhaven who will discuss pop culture representations and stereotypes of lesbian and bisexual women.

The event will “deconstruct how a song … has affected and can affect people and what it means for bisexual and lesbian women,” Shawna Held, Women’s Center assistant coordinator, said.

The song is a negative representation, and makes a commodity out of, lesbian and bisexual identities, Held said. Perry herself is not a lesbian or bisexual, but instead used the identity to achieve fame, she said.

“[The song] launched her into stardom, but at what cost?” Held said.

Held also pointed out that positive representations of lesbians and bisexual women in the media are not as popular.

While the Women’s Center chose “I Kissed a Girl” because of its popularity and pervasiveness, the discussion will cover the portrayals of lesbians and bisexual women in the media in general, Held said.

“Pop culture affects us all … this song affects people, even if you’ve never heard it or thought about it,” Held said.

In the spring, the Women’s Center will host its final Feminist Response to Pop Culture; the subject is yet to be announced.