Jello Biafra, Boulder native and former frontman of the punk rock band Dead Kennedys, gives insight into sex as a healthy expression in the UMC on Monday. (CU Independent/Amy Moore-Shipley)
One of the many topics being discussed at this year’s Conference on World Affairs is today’s famous female pop stars and their roles in society as “feminist role models.”
That is exactly what was discussed Tuesday afternoon as a classroom full of students and community members gathered in the Duane Physics building.
The panel included Jello Biafra, Lynne d Johnson, Clare Murphy and Steve Sauer; all of whom were moderated by Steve Eisler.
Biafra, a Boulder native and founder of Alternative Tentacles Records label, kicked off the discussion panel.
“Each of these young women represent desire for beauty, bling, stardom and an extremely thin body,” Biafra said. “If these women have the attention of young America, then why aren’t they advocating any important social or political messages?”
Biafra said that while these young women are in the spotlight, they ought to be using their popularity for the forces of good.
Johnson, who has been deemed the title “Original Hip-hop Feminist,” said that while she admits to not having a clear perception of the feminist agendas belonging to Ke$ha, Perry and Gaga, she does recognize other popular, young, female artists who are on the music scene right now and are advertising their feminism.
Kristie Satzberg, a 20-year-old sociology major, said she attended the panel to gain credit for a class.
“It wasn’t at all what I expected,” Satzberg said. “The panelists kept the subject pretty broad and didn’t really hone in on Ke$ha, Gaga or Katy Perry.”
Panelist Sauer said he didn’t know who Katy Perry or Ke$ha even were before being on the panel.
“I know who Lady Gaga is, and it seems to be that all she’s done is manage to wear outrageous clothing in order to get paparazzi to follow her around,” Sauer said. “A role model should be someone who has strong character attributes that you want to emulate.”
Sauer said he agrees with the rest of the panelists in their notion that there seem to be no substantial reasons why these three pop stars should be so famous and well-liked.
Boulder community member Robin Gossard attended the panel discussion with a close friend from out of town.
“We read about this panel in the program and thought it looked interesting and fun,” Gossard said. “It was especially entertaining to hear the male panelists’ point of views on this subject.”
Gossard’s friend, Deborah Schroeder, said she really enjoyed the last panelist’s speech.
“Clare Murphy made a fantastic point about the ancient Greek goddesses,” Schroeder said. “Those women had it right. They knew that their womanly power was in their curvy features. Now young women are killing themselves to be thin, which is such a shame.”
Biafra ended the panel by congratulating a student group at Boulder High School, called the Boulder Youth Body Alliance, for lobbying a federal eating disorder bill that addresses research, treatment, education and prevention.
Biafra said, “Those kids are the true role models of youth today.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jillian Phillips at Jillian.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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