I have always been a Madonna music fan, regardless of her political/social/gender views. She has been making hits ever since 1983 and according to Rolling Stone Magazine "remains one of the greatest pop acts of all time". There is a song that she did in the early millennium that has been ringing in my ears lately, and the meaning, especially, gets underneath my skin. What It Feels Like For A Girl is a song that Madonna did to supposedly convey the feelings women have about conforming to gender and society norms. To me, this reminds me of the feminist's view of a gender neutral society - making women seem more like men. As a NeW woman, I personally recognize that men and women are both different and have different roles in society. The first lines of the song are spoken by an actress by the name of Charlotte Gainsbourg from the movie, The Cement Garden:
Girls can wear jeans, And cut their hair short, Wear shirts and boots, 'Cause it's OK to be a boy, But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, 'Cause you think that being a girl is degrading, But secretly you'd love to know what it's like, Wouldn't you, What it feels like for a girl.
Being a girl is degrading? I find this very surprising and I truthfully don't believe that the majority of men or women think that being a woman is shameful or humiliating. She also says that girls dressing like boys is okay but not for boys to dress like girls. Have you ever seen a boy wearing tighter jeans? Or long hair? These are some characteristics of a girl but doesn't necessarily degrade them.
Throughout the song, Madonna repeats this verse:
Strong inside but you don't know it, Good little girls they never show it, When you open up your mouth to speak, Could you be a little weak.
It is my opinion that every woman is strong hearted. As strong of a woman as people make Madonna out to be, she actually makes women seem powerless and insecure in this song. Songs like Whitney Houston's "I'm Every Woman" makes me feel great while I'm working out or driving down the road, not Madonna's "What It Feels Like For A Girl", because to me, it feels great to be a girl!