Chappell Roan’s “Good Luck, Babe!” Is an Anthem for Comphet Victims

Chappell Roan "Good Luck, Babe!" © Ryan Clemens
Chappell Roan "Good Luck, Babe!" © Ryan Clemens
In her latest single “Good Luck, Babe!” Midwest Princess Chappell Roan sings about what could have been a love story, that unfortunately never officially started because of compulsory heterosexuality. Let’s talk about it.
Stream: “Good Luck, Babe!” – Chappell Roan


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Coming to the slow realization that you’re queer is not always that easy.

As a child you don’t even realize it, just taking for granted that it’s all normal. This, however, until you see other individuals despising people like you. Mocking them, trying to “convert” them, fetishizing them. So you start asking yourself questions like, who am I?, why am I different?, why did I have to be different? Ultimately, queer people try breaking free from all this and live their lives, no matter how difficult it is. There are those, however, who deny their essence to the very end, consciously or not. They usually end up hurting themselves and the people they love because of compulsory heterosexuality, a theory that Chappell Roan sings about in her latest single “Good Luck, Babe!

Good Luck, Babe! - Chappell Roan
Good Luck, Babe! – Chappell Roan
It’s fine, it’s cool
You can say that we are nothing,
but you know the truth

And guess I’m the fool
With her arms out like an
angel through the car sunroof
I don’t wanna call it off
But you don’t wanna call it love
You only wanna be the one that I call baby

Let’s take a little step back. Are you familiar with The Lesbian Masterdoc? In case you don’t, it’s a Google Doc recently gone viral, written by Angeli Luz. She explains in details the struggles she went through before she finally realized she was a lesbian. And it is here that the term “Compulsory heterosexuality” (also known as “comphet”), created by feminist theorist Adrienne Rich, appears.

Angeli talks about it like this:

“It is the voice in my head that says I must really be het even when I’m in love with a woman. Compulsory heterosexuality is what forces lesbians to struggle through learning the difference between what you’ve been taught you want (being with men) and what you do want (being with women), which is why so many lesbians have dated men at some point.”

This is all there is to it. Comphet is denying the right to happiness to yourself by spending your life looking for a person knowing full well in the back of your mind that it’s not going to truly be your person.

But let’s turn to “Good Luck, Babe!”

You can kiss a hundred boys in bars
Shoot another shot, try to stop the feeling
You can say it’s just the way you are
Make a new excuse, another stupid reason
Good luck, babe (Well, good luck)
Well, good luck, babe (Well, good luck)
You’d have to stop the world just to stop the feeling
Good luck, babe (Well, good luck)
Well, good luck, babe (Well, good luck)
You’d have to stop the world just to stop the feeling
Chappell Roan "Good Luck, Babe!" © Ryan Clemens
Chappell Roan “Good Luck, Babe!” © Ryan Clemens


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Yeah, good luck, because the protagonist of the story we are about to tell needs a lot of it.

Chappell Roan sings about a closeted girl who doesn’t even seem to want to accept that she is a lesbian. She just wants someone to call her baby, she doesn’t want to call it love. She leads Roan on, saying they’re nothing, yet deep inside of her she knows the truth. It’s reminiscent of the protagonist of “Casual,” another magnificent piece by Roan, and a perfect representation of what dating in the hookup culture is becoming like.

I thought you thought of me better
Someone you couldn’t lose
You said, “We’re not together.”
So now when we kiss, I have anger issues
– “Casual,” Chappell Roan



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The protagonist in “Good Luck, Babe!” goes even further than all this.

She is so much in denial that she goes around kissing a lot of guys, hoping that this can change her, and that she won’t have to face the truth. Several people have taken the verse, “You can kiss a hundred boys in bars, shoot another shot just to stop the feeling,” as an implicit declaration of the girl’s bisexuality, but it pains me to say – especially as a bisexual woman – that it is quite the opposite.

There are plenty of girls who, for part of their lives, think they are bisexual, only to realize that their attraction to men was due to compulsory heterosexuality – and, fun fact, many of them realized they were lesbians precisely because of The Lesbian Masterdoc!

A bisexual woman happily experiences her feelings for someone regardless of their gender.

The girl described in “Good Luck, Babe!” would instead kiss a series of guys in the sole hope of forgetting the one woman who made her feel something for once.

I’m cliché, who cares?
It’s a sexually explicit kind of love affair
And I cry, it’s not fair
I just need a little lovin’,
I just need a little air
Think I’m gonna call it off
Even if you call it love
I just wanna love someone who calls me baby
– “Good Luck, Babe!” Chappell Roan
Chappell Roan "Good Luck, Babe!" © Ryan Clemens
Chappell Roan “Good Luck, Babe!” © Ryan Clemens


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Of course, she could also pretend for the rest of her life, become a perfect functioning member of society and quietly take part in a heteronormative system by giving up her queerness, but at what price? The result is only great suffering, the bitter realization that she has never really lived. The becoming “nothing more than his wife,” a concept Chappell Roan already sang about in “Femininomenon”:

So let’s say it’s working out
You pretend to love his mother
Lying to your friends about how he’s such a goddamn good lover
Stuck in the suburbs, you’re folding his laundry
Got what you wanted so stop feeling sorry
– “Femininomenon,” Chappell Roan



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There’s nothing more heartbreaking than undoing yourself in a relationship, losing all aspects of your identity.

Chappell Roan’s music, in “Good Luck, Babe!” and beyond, is meant to be a safe space for lesbians who have had very little representation so far: An embrace of all the victims of comphet.

Something the music industry really, really needed, a pride movement that started long ago with Hayley Kiyoko and is finally expanding with artists like Chappell Roan, Reneé Rapp, Julien Baker, and hopefully many, many more.

When you wake up next to him
in the middle of the night
With your head in your hands,
you’re nothing more than his wife
And when you think about me, all of those years ago
You’re standing face to face with “I told you so”
You know I hate to say it, I told you so
You know I hate to say, but I told you so
You can kiss a hundred boys in bars
Shoot another shot, try to stop the feeling
You can say it’s just the way you are
Make a new excuse, another stupid reason
Good luck, babe (Well, good luck)
Well, good luck, babe (Well, good luck)
You’d have to stop the world just to stop the feeling
Good luck, babe (Well, good luck)
Well, good luck, babe (Well, good luck)
You’d have to stop the world just to stop the feeling…

— —

:: purchase/stream “Good Luck, Babe!” here ::
:: connect with Chappell Roan here ::
Stream: “Good Luck, Babe!” – Chappell Roan


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— — — —

Good Luck, Babe! - Chappell Roan

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? © Ryan Clemens

:: Stream Chappell Roan ::


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