At the midpoint of the most male dominated game of the year every year, (the game more people in America watch than any other game, on the day in which there is more domestic violence reported than any other day of the year. The day when really large men who are hopped up on their own testosterone, run and jump on each other trying to get an odd shaped ball) Madonna got up and rocked the stage.
Madonna and her career have been walking controversy. Even yesterday’s game had a few elements of controversial note- and not all necessarily due to her. Madonna has pushed the bounds of sex and how women could present themselves. I like her for that. She was radical in a time when women’s self presentation was not supposed to be radical. Women didn’t have to be timid, small, and reigned in. Madonna was the opposite of those. She was a big presence, she was intentional, and in her style, she made her own definition for sexy.
About fifteen years or so I was in Mexico city and had the opportunity to go see Madonna play for forty bucks and my friend and I, who also liked Madonna a lot, didn’t go because we didn’t really have the forty bucks. I look back on it now and it’s kind of hard to believe. I mean really- a forty dollar Madonna concert in el D.F. Mexico. Geez! We shouldn’t have missed it.
Madonna was racy and not only because of how she presented in a sexual manner, but because she pushed the expectations of women in the eighties and nineties. If people say she exploited herself, I would say others perhaps exploited her but she showed herself as a woman in America who could do what she wanted, dress how she wanted and didn’t have to be quiet or apologize for it. Madonna had a kick ass attitude in a winner take all kind of way. She didn’t let people define her and what she did. She pushed the bounds of what the culture expected of women and still does.
Madonna is a rule breaker, a non-conformist. She is a creative, bold business woman with talent for music and performance who has spoken loudly about her presence and in that, she has conveyed how important it is for women to be heard and paid attention to. This is the Madonna of the Superbowl halftime. Still there. Still strong. Still a powerful woman and still putting on a good show.
We must continue to be heard and to have our voices present in the conversation about the rights of women. Madonna makes herself heard and seen through her music and creativity.
Grrl Code: Speak and be heard, even if you have to be loud. Sometimes being loud is necessary. All women must be heard and listened to. Encourage women’s voices to be spoken and encourage women’s voices to be heard and listened to.