Madonna and controversy are inseparable. Since she burst onto the scene like a lace and rubber covered sex bomb in the early eighties, Madonna has never failed to get people talking. And her Majesty, Queen of Pop has been the talk of the town again recently, since her accident at The Brit Awards sparked yet another heated debate. This time about ageism.
Madonna has a way of shining light onto hidden sexual inequality. That’s because when society demonises her, society demonises all of us. When bigots mock and ridicule Madonna, they mock and ridicule all womankind.
Madonna has taken a lot of shit on women’s behalf through the years.
When she was younger, the consensus was that she was too sexy, too free. That she expressed her sexuality in such a forceful, unashamed way made the establishment uncomfortable. And so she highlighted the hippocracy surrounding sexuality. She took all the shit, and the hate, and the name calling that has been spat upon sexually free women for centuries. She bore it all, and then said “screw you” and carried on whipping and grinding her way to the bank. Society assumed that because she made such a massive success of her life, she must be a complete bitch. Because she so obviously enjoyed her sexuality, people called her a whore. She’s had to work twice as hard as everyone else because she refused to conform and play the game. She’s made her own rules, and the establishment doesn’t like that.
And so now Madonna has gotten a little older, and she’s refusing to give up the sexuality that’s so much a part of who she is. Come on – you didn’t really think she was going to hit 50 and start wearing tweed, now did you? Besides, Madge got all that tweed shit out of her system during her marriage to that class-confused pseudo-gangster/country gent (twat), Guy Ritchie.
No, once again, poor Madonna is playing the role of reluctant feminist pioneer cum whipping boy. And this time she’s asking why when women reach a certain age must we let a part of us die in order to maintain the status quo?
Madonna didn’t make it more acceptable for a woman to admit she likes sex; she made us feel braver about fighting our own corner because she had done it first, on the world’s stage, brave and triumphant and all the while looking like a badass.
Madonna didn’t stop people assuming that all successful women must be heartless bitches, but she cleared a path for us to feel good about our success – and be a little less apologetic about it too.
Now Madonna is blazing trails for us as we get older. Because she steadfastly refuses to cast aside the corsets and the fishnets and the acrobatic dance moves, even as she approaches her 60s, the rest of us will all feel better about keeping hold of our own identities and shoving two fingers up to convention (and tweed) as we ourselves age.
So, for those reasons I reckon every strong, freedom loving woman on the planet owes Madonna a huge debt of gratitude.
I’d have a whip round for the world’s biggest muffin basket but come on, you don’t eat muffins if you want to rock a body like that.