Published on Thursday, December 22, 2016 written by Morella Yepez-Millon
The rebel in me has always liked Madonna, and I am not sure that it was only about her music and artistry, which was outstanding. This is interesting to me as I was a prudish young woman. However, Madonna made something in me feel deeply alive. I felt respect and awe for this woman who was able to convey so many examples of uniqueness, bravery, and straight forwardness without taking into consideration what others would think of her. How difficult it must have been to do so! She has just received Billboard’s Award for Women in Music 2016. She is 58 years old.
Her acceptance speech was again daring and controversial, but also illuminated what women go through in their attempt to be themselves. She speaks of how we are forced into a role usually created by men who are typically dominating in society. She escaped that box by creating her own paradigm. What I appreciate in Madonna is the power to be and do as she wished, becoming such a creative figure in the music and graphics industry. Her video and music for “Vogue” is a good example of her artistry.
We know that Madonna belongs to the Mensa Society. We know that intelligence is a “sine qua non” contributing condition for success. However, our personal histories say a lot about who we are and what we will become. Additionally, we understand that our early experiences usually lead the way to the decisions and choices we make in life. We know that Madonna lost her mother when she was 5 years old, and I am sure that this loss exposed her to a possible lack of protection or an absence of strict rules that a Catholic Italian mother would have provided for her.
She said in her acceptance speech that she was once raped at knife point and was robbed so frequently that she stopped locking her apartment door. We can only imagine what she went through and what type of childhood experiences prepared her to accept this deep sense of vulnerability. Clearly she would not be the same Madonna, a strong, brave, and amazing woman and artist, if she had been raised by a Catholic mother who well-intentionally had imposed rules and regulations, taking away intrinsic personality elements which would have resulted in someone completely different but more like her mother. I would say that her mother did give her a highly nurturing start given the fact that the traumatic situations Madonna went through did not result in a sense of defeat or dis-empowerment. Moreover, it gave her a strong sense of self, so that she was enormously resilient and was able to use traumatic experiences as information that she channeled in her hugely popular music which continues to be popular today. My applause for women like her even if in a less traumatic surrounding.
I hope that everyone, male and female, gets to hear what she had to say about what it means to be a woman today in most societies.
Photo source: Wikipedia