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Liam Payne’s New Song Gets Blasted for Fetishizing Bisexual Women

Did he think he was saying something with this?

Liam Payne nonsense

Liam Payne was always my least favorite member of One Direction, but that doesn’t mean I was expecting quite this level of awful song from him. Let me first explain: In the grand scheme of the post One Direction era, Liam Payne has existed with music I’ve decidedly ignored, but now he is writing songs that openly fetishize bisexual women? Not great, Payne!

A song titled “Both Ways,” on his new album, LP1, focuses on the fact that his girl “like it both ways.” What is that, you ask? Well, that means she’s attracted to both men and women, and it seems to really turn him on. One major point that has been raised by bisexual women and allies is that the song fetishizes bisexuality in a way that is for the benefit of the man who is attracted to watching a woman be attracted to another woman, which you can see for yourself in the lyrics:

I guess, in some weird way, Liam Payne probably thought this was supportive? But it’s not. In fact, it’s furthering a dangerous idea that bisexual women’s sexuality is just something to benefit men. As many have pointed out, though, you can show your support for the LGBTQIA+ community without making it into a fetish thing. Look, for instance, at Harry Styles. Another former member of One Direction, Styles is known for embracing the LGBTQ+ community and standing alongside his fans who identify as such.

Ruth Anne, who helped to write the song, has come out to talk about how she did not mean for the song to be insulting.

Here’s the thing, though: It is. The title is literally “Both Ways.” That’s what it’s about. It may not be outright homophobic or telling someone their sexuality isn’t valid. It is, instead, perpetuating a stereotype and is dangerous, especially for the young fanbase that Liam Payne has. I learned, firsthand, that the young fans of the One Direction boys will take everything their faves say to heart. I watched as a young girl had on a “Pussy Patrol” shirt at a One Direction concert because the boys had said they liked the show The Inbetweeners and, because she loved them, she wore it despite not knowing what that meant.

It’s why I feel like Harry Styles is doing a wonderful job with his level of fame. He’s spreading messages of love and kindness and acceptance, and I don’t think that this is a good look for Liam Payne at all.

(image: John Phillips/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.