With constant costume changes, backup dancers, and provocative visuals, Gaga's music videos are often described as short films. "Being provocative is not just about getting people's attention. It's about saying something that really affects people in a real way, in a positive way," she professes. Exploring bondage and sadomasochism in addition to highlighting prevalent feminist themes, "the three central themes that shape Lady Gaga's music videos are sex, violence, and power." "Vaudevillian and carnal, Lady Gaga has got the knack of sending rape-like fantasies—in songs and videos that double as catch club hits—to the top of the charts," wrote one critic. "Whether it is physical violence or sexual exploitation, these videos offer vivid depictions of male power over women's bodies," wrote another. While she labels herself "a little bit of a feminist" (she rejects man-hating feminism) and asserts that she is "sexually empowering women," Gaga strives to empower young women to stand up for what they believe in. She also attempts to liberate her fans so they can feel "less alone." "She not only reiterates her assertion of total originality," professed pop critic Ann Powers, "but also finesses it until it's both a philosophical stance about how constructing a persona from pop-cultural sources can be an expression of a person's truth—a la those drag queens Gaga sincerely admires—and a bit of a feminist act." In summation of her videos, Rolling Stone used the rhetoric: "does anyone look to a Lady Gaga video for restraint?
While Rolling Stone named Gaga the "Queen of Pop" in 2011, public reception of Gaga's music, fashion sense and persona are mixed. Her status as a role model, self-esteem booster for her fans, trailblazer and fashion icon who breathes new life into the industry is by turns affirmed and denied. Gaga's albums have received mostly positive reviews and critics have pointed out her unique place in pop music, the need for new movements in popular culture, the attention Gaga brings to modern social issues, and the inherently subjective nature of her art. In view of her influence on modern culture and her rise to global fame, sociologist Mathieu Deflem of the University of South Carolina has organized a course titled "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame" since spring 2011 with the objective of unravelling "some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga." When Gaga briefly met with US president Barack Obama at a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser, he described the interaction as "intimidating" as she was dressed in 16-inch heels making her undoubtedly the tallest woman in the room