'Gang Bang' in Barcelona
Fan Pictures: Barcelona (Part 1)

Thank You, Madonna, for Still Being Madonna

Michelangelo Signorile has published this great piece at www.huffingtonpost.com

Daytime TV host Wendy Williams got herself all worked up over Madonna's flashing of her bare breast two weeks ago during a concert in Istanbul, asking, 'Okay old lady how desperate can we get?' The women on 'The View' also weren't having it, and neither were Star Jones and ad man Donny Deutsch on the 'Today' show. But I think they're all missing the point, and definitely not getting the context.
Yes, Madonna is striking out at the ageist critics who say woman of her age should act a certain way. In that sense she's doing what she's always done, pushing buttons about how women are supposed to behave. Now it's simply about how 50-something-year-old women are to behave. And yes, she has great breasts, on a par with those of many 30-year-olds, so why shouldn't she flaunt them?
But more significant is context, lost on the critics entirely. Madonna didn't show her nipple in New York or Los Angeles or Miami. She did it in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country where many women do not show much of their bodies in public, and where women's rights are under attack by a conservative government, sending many marching into the streets in recent weeks.
Back in the 1980s, when Madonna burst on the scene, the U.S. was in a scary place on the issue of homosexuality. For a generation of gay men, Madonna was our antidote. As our friends died around us during the callous Reagan era, as conservatives like William F. Buckley Jr. called for putting tattoos on people with AIDS, as Senator Jesse Helms was writing laws against us, Madonna was pushing back culturally.
She struck at the Catholic church. She flaunted sexuality. She crashed through stereotypes about gender. She did in those very oppressive years what Lady Gaga does for gays more overtly in this much more gay-accepting time.
So, by assertively flashing her nipple in Istanbul, Madonna was, in the cultural realm, doing something similar for the women of Turkey, perhaps helping to liberate them just a little bit. And what would she follow that up with? A few days later, last week in Rome, she flashed her butt to the crowd. I happened to be in Rome, and I got a chuckle when some in the Italian media actually took note that Madonna's ass was facing the Vatican. Was she mooning the Pope?
Last night I appeared with PR guru Howard Bragman on Joy Behar's new show on Current TV, and Howard made the point that Wendy Williams scored simply by having her name in the same headline with Madonna's.That may be true. But Madonna always scores bigger in these battles, and with her, so do we all.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dee Vine

let's just all forgive them for they know not what they are saying. well written. love this and love the queen as always and forever. hail the queen !

Lola

@Seathebeyond:

Agree with you totally. In fact, it is posters like Gilbert U who make places like this negative as any criticism, even if constructive, is shouted down by people like him.

In fact, it is these obsessives who make me visit this site far less than I ever used to,

Seathebeyond

Because Gilbert...an INDIVIDUAL can still be a fan of someone even if he/she doesn't like everything she does. IMO, the worst kind of fans are the deluded ones who get SO upset when they hear something they don't like about their idol. It's dangerous to be that blind.

I Think I Love You

Nice article. Good point, well made.

Liz

The women's rights explanation makes a certain amount of sense but is still in the realm of is pure speculation. For all we know she could have been intending this as a permanent feature of the show and was discouraged by the public and private reaction.

Isabelle

Thank you for this artcile and thank you Gilbert for your wonderful notes!! I certainly visit this website at least once a day and have been doing so for nearly 10 years!!!

Long live the Queen!!

Gilbert U.

Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you for this well written article. I'm so tired of celebrities dissing on Madonna just to get some media coverage for themselves. Some on this site need to take a Madonna 101 course to remind themselves of all that she's done and she's not stopping being Madonna just because she's in her early 50's. Any why should she?

On another side note, this is a Madonna fan site and if you no longer consider yourself a Madonna fan, then why do you continue to visit this site and fill it with negativity. The majority of us that visit this site on a daily basis come on here to show our love and support for the Queen of Pop. If you've fallen out of love with her, don't agree with what's she's doing with her career, etc. you are entitled to do as you wish. But leave this fan site for those of us that are still True Blue FANS.

InDaSnatch

Wonderful article! Thank you :-)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)