This week it seems I am obsessed with boobs. They are like buses. I never write about boobs and then in one week two boob posts come along together.
On Monday I wrote a post about Jamie Oliver. I am sure we are all aware of “Oliver Gate”. He landed himself in some very hot water by sharing his wisdom on breastfeeding. You can read my opinions on that here. But before Jamie shared his wisdom on breastfeeding we had Madonna exposing a fan’s boob on stage.
Madonna was criticised by the media but not to the same extent that Jamie Oliver was . I wasn’t happy with what Jamie Oliver said but I am outraged by Madonna’s actions. However whilst every newspaper covered the Jamie Oliver fiasco and wheeled out their columnists to share their opinions on the matter too, we didn’t see the same coverage regarding the Madonna incident.
I am confused why there hasn’t been the same level of coverage regarding Madonna because what she did – is that not sexual assault? Yes I am more than aware that she is an excellent manipulater of the media. She likes to cause outrage and she likes to be provocative. So many times she has hit the headlines with crazy stunts, stunts like kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on stage, brandishing an AK-47 during her 2012 tour and lets not forget the time she rolled around on stage in a white wedding dress during the MTV awards ceremony. She flashed her bum and her former manager told her that she had ruined her career. It was 1984 and it seems that people were a lot easier shocked. Nowadays she really has to push the boundaries to shock us and this is what has made her so popular. This is why she continues to sell millions of records. It’s the secret of her longevity. Madonna likes to cause headlines and again she succeeded with her most outrageous stunt yet. But is that ok? To do whatever it takes in the pursuit of headlines.
Madonna invited a female fan onto the stage during her second evening of performing in Brisbane. With the girl on stage Madonna said, “she’s the kind of girl you just want to slap on the ass” which could be interpreted as Madonna belittling and objectifying the girl. Madonna then yanked down the girl’s top and exposed her breast to the audience. Madonna treats the girl as commodity, using her to shock her audience. She clearly has no regard for the girl’s personality or dignity. Madonna is presenting the girl as an object of sexual desire. The girl is 17 years old. In the UK she wouldn’t be able to drink and she wouldn’t be able to vote yet Madonna is presenting her as a sex object to her mainly adult audience. The young fan in question has argued that she wasn’t bothered by what Madonna did, in fact she went as far to say that she was delighted to be treated in such a way by her idol.
The definition of idol is “a great loved, or admired person….worshiped as god…extreme devotion” Hardly, surprising that the girl in question didn’t see it as offensive then. I am sure if it had been someone that wasn’t her idol then she would have been extremely offended because
what Madonna did was intrusive and it was violating.
I have seen some people criticise Madonna for her actions because of her age and because she is a Mum. Personally, this doesn’t make a difference to me. I would have the same objections for what she did no matter who she was or her age because I object to her sexually aggressive behaviour. Behaviour that has somewhat been excused because it was a woman doing it to a woman. If this was a male star doing it then he would have been vilified by the media. There would have been united disgust. The girl is barely an adult so shouldn’t adults be protecting her and expressing their disgust for this girl?
Madonna is a feminist. She is a strong female with an outspoken voice. She has argued for her right to express herself freely and she has even self-objectified as a form of empowerment. Were Madonna’s actions a symbol of feminist strength? Was Madonna encouraging the girl to self-objectify? If so it failed miserably. This can not be written off as “Madonna being Madonna”. Madonna has crossed a line and she is danger of falling into a moral abyss. But what I find equally troubling is that we live in a society where Jamie Oliver and his ill-judged comments have caused more outrage than Madonna and her sexual assault. Have we as a society become immune to Madonna and her media hogging tactics? Does this say more about us than Madonna? Do we view Madonna as no longer being relevant? Perhaps we all wish she would just go quietly away and then we could remember the old Madonna in her heyday. We can’t deny that Madonna was a fantastic performer and a brilliant feminist. Madonna is Madonna, a woman that seems broken at the moment and a woman that is going through a custody case all under the very public glare of the media.
But this doesn’t excuse her actions. It is never right to degrade, obectify or sexually assualt anyone. No matter who you are.
What are your thoughts on Madonna’s actions, why did she do it and has she made a boob of herself?