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Rita Ora song accused of exploiting bisexuality by LGBTQ artists

May 11, 2018
Rita OraImage copyrightGetty Images

A Rita Ora track featuring Cardi B, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX has been accused of exploiting bisexuality by several LGBTQ musicians.

The chorus of Girls goes: “Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls”.

Singers including Kehlani, Hayley Kiyoko and Shura argue the song belittles same-sex relationships.

Rita Ora song accused of exploiting bisexuality by LGBTQ artistsRita Ora song accused of exploiting bisexuality by LGBTQ artists

Newsbeat has asked Rita Ora’s management for a comment, but they’ve not responded yet.

Image copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Rita Ora at Coachella festival

Rita has, however, given an interview to People Magazine in which she said she wants the song to be a bisexual anthem – but when asked whether she considers herself bisexual, she was less clear.

“If people look at it like that, it’s very narrow-minded and I don’t think that’s what this record is. I don’t think that that even matters”, she said.

Singer and actress Hayley Kiyoko was one of the first to speak out against the track.

“Every so often there come certain songs with messaging that is just downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community”, she wrote on Instagram.

“A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalising the idea of women loving women.”

Image copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Hayley Kiyoko says the track belittles and invalidates bisexuals

She went on to add: “I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life.

“This type of message is dangerous because it completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community.”

Kehlani, who herself has a song with Cardi B (one of the artists featured in Girls), later tweeted about the same thing.

Twitter post by @Kehlani: every artist on the song is fantastic, and very much loved and supported by me... by all of us. but this isn’t about talent. it’s about choice.Image Copyright @Kehlani@Kehlani

Twitter post by @Kehlani: hate to be THAT guy but there were many awkward slurs, quotes, and moments that were like “word? word”Image Copyright @Kehlani@Kehlani

British singer Shura summed her feelings up with an emoji.

Twitter post by @weareshura: Girls. 😑Image Copyright @weareshura@weareshura

But there are plenty of fans who like the song.

Twitter post by @BisHilarious: Rita Ora, if you think blatantly pandering to queer women with the song “Girls” means we will stop making fun of you and finally give you a chance...well...you’re absolutely rightImage Copyright @BisHilarious@BisHilarious

“My concern is that if this is her trying to do it because it’s a bit sexy or a bit fun then it sort of sounds like it’s undermining bisexuality as a serious thing,” Sam Neath from Bi Pride UK has told Newsbeat.

Image caption Sam Neath is from the group Bi Pride UK, which campaigns for bisexual issues

“Being bisexual – when I’m with a girl you get a lot of attention from men who assume you’re just doing it to attract them.

“Rather than actually accepting that it’s a true genuine feeling to someone of the same gender, this song seems to completely undermine that and says we just do it for fun and to attract other men.”

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