The genius of Gaga is to make it seem obvious — more so than even Madonna once did — that feminine sexuality is the perfect shucking knife. And Gaga is explicit in her insistence that, since feminine sexuality is a social construct, anyone, even a man who’s willing to buck gender norms, can wield it.
The goal of “The Second Sex” is to get women, and men, to crave freedom — social, political and psychological — more than the precarious kind of happiness that an unjust world intermittently begrudges to the people who play by its rules. Beauvoir warned that you can’t just will yourself to be free, that is, to abjure relentlessly the temptations to want only what the world wants you to want. For her the job of the philosopher, at least as much as the fiction writer, is to re-describe how things are in a way that competes with the status quo story and leaves us craving social justice and the truly wide berth for self-expression that only it can provide.