A Bisexual's Opinion on Janelle Monae's Latest Music Video

On Feb. 22, singer, actress and all-around Renaissance woman Janelle Monae released two singles off her latest album “Dirty Computer” and came to collect America’s edges in the process.

And collect she did.

Monae has been on the music scene for quite some time, and is well known for her hit single “Tightrope," her message of female empowerment in most of her songs and her trademark tuxedo. However, she hasn't released any music since her 2013 album "Electric Lady" until now. Dropping two songs and accompanying videos, one a neon filled, 80's inspired bisexual anthem and the other a militaristic, female empowerment bop dripping in "Black Panther" imagery. And judging by the article's title, I'm sure you can guess which one I'm writing about. 

I am no music critic. I can tell you sh*t about the instrumentals, rhythm or lyrics from a musical standpoint. But I am a bisexual, (a biromantic asexual if we really want to split hairs) and as a bisexual, I cannot be more in love with this song. So let me tell you how "Make Me Feel" made me feel when I took my first listen.  

Bisexuals don't necessarily get a lot in terms of media representation, seemingly less so in terms of music. Sure, we have plenty of bisexual pop stars and music icons. But in terms of songs about bisexuality, not a lot come to mind. The closest I think we've had in recent memory was Demi Lovato's "Cool For the Summer" which, while the song still slaps, it carries it's own problematic overtones. 

When Lovato's song was released, it made a lot of headlines for being biphobic. Same with Katy Perry's classic "I Kissed A Girl." Both songs play up the whole, "Look at me being so naughty," stereotype that's so commonly associated with bisexuals. 

So, while it's true that neither of these songs directly associate themselves with bisexuality, they still add to the "promiscuous bisexual" that many bisexual women and femmes must deal with. In "Make Me Feel," while there's certainly a lot of sexual imagery in the music video, Monae doesn't play up the whole "drunken party girl" angle. The song, in my opinion, comes across as a bisexual woman singing about an equal parts emotional and sexual experience as opposed to a straight girl experimenting. 

This song understands that the solution isn't dressing up bisexual women in habits or excluding bisexuals from songs, but acknowledging and validating bisexuality as a real thing. 

 

In this song, Monae knows exactly what she wants. A man or lady, speaking from a very binary perspective, to get freaky with. And. I. Am. Here. For. It. Gone is the nonsense of "we're just hooking up for the summer" or "just wanting to try you out this one time." Monae acknowledges that this experience she is having is real, ladies and gentlemen. Not experimentation. Not a phase. Real bona fide bisexual experiences. 

To me, it's refreshing to hear a song about a woman who's not only in control of her own sexuality, but isn't playing up inaccurate stereotypes in the process. "Dirty Computer" drops on April 27, 2018 and it cannot come fast enough. 

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5