While I doubt there are many people nowadays who don’t know about Lady Gaga, her cult following is something that is worth noting in the context of modern female leaders. Not all female leaders affect social change through ordinary channels, such as politics and involvement in NGOs – and Lady Gaga is proof of this. Whilst I can’t say I really enjoy her music, the social message that it brings has been instrumental in the discussion and awareness of engrained gender norms in society.

Lady Gaga in her music video “Born This Way”.

It is accepted as a general theory in academic sociology and gender studies that stereotypical gender roles can detriment women, who often find it difficult to make meaningful choices about their careers and families. Even in developed Western countries, it is sometimes still expected that the woman is the one who should stay at home and raise kids, and often, women will be viewed in a lower esteem for taking leadership opportunities, because they are seen as not prioritising their family.

Through both her music and appearances in the media, Lady Gaga has been able to challenge these gender roles publically, often in dramatic, attending-grabbing ways. Everything about her, from the way she dresses to the lyrics of her songs, has encapsulated an aggressive female dominance that generally goes against the perception that society has of women, especially in show-business.

Lady Gaga has also been pivotal in raising awareness of other pressing issues in society, such as same-sex marriage rights, violence again women and many other important causes. She has done this by maximising her public profile and establishing herself as more than just a performing artist. It is her cult personality, passion for social change and ability to facilitate a discussion of ideas in the media that makes her a female leader that people should know about.


Lady Gaga Discusses Activism, Outing And Reading Her Male Alter Ego, Jo Calderone, As A Transgender Man.