I wasn’t initially hooked by Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” the angry breakup anthem to mark the end of her marriage to comedian Russell Brand that she debuted at the Grammys. But it’s grown on me. And I really love her video for it, which takes the idea that women can be tough in the wake of a breakup to a whole new level—all the way to the front lines of combat:
Some people in the audience may be more queasy than I am about the military’s influence on our popular culture. And I harbor precisely no illusions about the idea that the military is some sort of slumber party for women: The Invisible War, a powerful documentary about the epidemic of rape in the armed forces, or Doonesbury’s Melissa arc will disabuse anyone of that notion. But I really appreciate any piece of pop culture that expresses the notion that a fulfilling career is better than a rotten relationship, and that the company of women who bring out the best and most powerful in you is more worthy than the presence of just any man. Our romance-obsessed culture really distorts our sense of our options, of different potential lives.