Madonna Shuts Down Sexist Social Expectations on Women

Society says that once a woman becomes a wife, has kids or reaches a certain age then they are no longer allowed to express their sexuality. Women who breach this outdated social norm are slut-shamed, condemned, criticised and judged for the way they dress, act and speak.

They say ‘Is that dress really appropriate for a mom to wear? What kind of example are you setting for your daughter?’ They say ‘you’re 60, you should cover up.’ They say ‘how does he [the husband] allow his wife to dress like that let alone go out in public.’ They say ‘you’re a bad role model for young women.’ They say ‘you have no self-respect.’

 

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Source- Instagram: Madonna

 

Well, the star who needs no introduction. The one and only Madonna recently posted a number of semi-nude photos onto her Instagram under the caption “Still Acting my Age!!!” accompanied by some choice words:

“How do i know I’m still acting my Age? Because its MY age and its MY life and all of you Women Hating Bigots need to sit down and try to understand why you feel the need to limit me with your fear of what you aren’t familiar with. You know what happens to Bigots? NOTHING! Nothing happens to people who. Think in a limited way. Facts… ” wrote Madonna.

Yaassss girl Yasssss!

Thank you for living your life how you want and not how society says you must. Thank you for fighting against this sexist expiry date that dictates when a woman can or cannot express their sexuality. Thank you for fighting to dismantle the sexist social expectations placed upon women.

But at a time where women need the support of other women to fight the patriarchy and these sexist social expectations- unfortunately, in many cases it’s other girls who are doing the hating. Let’s be real. Girl on girl hate exists. And it sucks.

Girl on girl hate, however unfortunate, is unsurprising. We live in a culture where girls are constantly pinned against each other as rivals. It’s always a ‘Who Wore it Better’ between two women, instead of a ‘They Both Slayed.’ As prominent novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie pointed out in her personal essay We Should All Be Feminists and in Beyoncé’s song ‘Flawless’:

“We raise girls to see each other as competitors —
not for jobs or for accomplishments,
which I think can be a good thing,
but for the attention of men.
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
in the way that boys are.”

So, it really is unsurprising that girl on girl hate exists. Seriously though, why does society, men and other women, think it’s okay to police what women do with their bodies? The same doesn’t happen for men, so why women?

What is it about a woman embracing herself that is so disgraceful and so difficult for society to understand? Isn’t there enough self-hate already? So many people are struggling with learning to love themselves, with body dysmorphia, eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. Yet when a woman shows an ounce of body positivity, confidence and actually embraces herself, society is so ready to bring her down and keep her down.

Another woman who has spoken out about society trying to dictate her sexuality is Kim Kardashian West. Just one scroll through the comments on one of Kim’s photos and you can see the hate for yourself. And you’ve got to hand it to her, despite all the hate, she’s still fighting the good fight for female empowerment and women’s sexual liberation. Earlier this year, on International Women’s Day, Kim posted an essay and hit us all with some truth bombs. She wrote:

 

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Source- Instagram: Kim Kardashian West

 

“I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me. And I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world.”

How are these women bad role models? They teach young girls: that there is no shame in expressing themselves. That there is no shame in their sexuality. That they shouldn’t be ashamed of their bodies. That there is no shame in loving themselves and being confident. That they should live their lives on their terms rather than trying not to offend the delicate sensibilities of some people. That they shouldn’t be afraid of being judged by not conforming to sexist expectations of how a woman should dress, act and speak. To me, that’s the message, the fight and the resolve of a powerful role model.

If we believe in personal autonomy, then there shouldn’t be ANY limit on expressing one’s sexuality. Regardless of whether you’re a wife, mother or an older woman, ALL women should be allowed to decide on their own terms what they want to do with their bodies, free from judgement. If that means wearing a ‘burqini’ on the beach, wearing a sheer outfit or being completely covered, turtle-neck and all- Then more power to you.

So how do we change these sexist social expectations on women? Well for a start we need a lot less girl on girl hate and a lot more #GirlLove. Lilly Singh, the popular YouTuber, also known as IISuperwomanII, launched a campaign earlier this year to give the world more of what it needs #GirlLove, a campaign that is ‘Dedicated to ending and reversing the culture of girl-on-girl hatred.’ Check out her video on YouTube titled ‘Goodbye Hate, Hello #GirlLove!’

But for now, keep fighting the good fight against ‘Women Hating Bigots’ and fighting for more #GirlLove.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Madonna Shuts Down Sexist Social Expectations on Women

  1. I don’t have a problem with women baring their bodies and going outdoors at all. As for the bare skin, even bikini models get tired of that and cover up when they’re not at an assignment. Where I get irritated is when I see hardworking people give away what little extra they have to empower and enrich others who bare their bodies while doing nothing all day. Obviously, if you’re selling affordable makeup or clothes, you’ll have to spend the entire day trying them on. Not a problem. Again, no problems with skimpy clothes at any age. But what kind of legacy is, “Look, I’ve got my boobs out again” unless there is an actual social issue being addressed by the baring of the boobs?

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    • I’m having a lot of trouble seeing Kim Kardashian as a role model of any kind for girls. What has she done to improve the world? Madonna has created music and performed it– she’s been an artist– like her or not, she’s done something real. Kardashian, as far as I know, is a professional celebrity and that’s all.

      Liked by 2 people

      • We’re on the same page – exactly. I appreciated the Madonna reference so much. She’s a professional and look at the many people she employs. The standards for stage performances are very high thanks to her. I grew up seeing women in stage (ballet/modern dance) and theatre and I know that it’s not true that women over 55 must give themselves wrinkles, wear doilies and dial back the sex appeal. Great post!!

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  2. Completely agree. I find it twisted that people are okay with sexualizing young naive girls, while grown women are supposed to be castrated (or whatever the female equivalent would be).

    Mothers, by definition, are mature women who had babies (the whole reason for sexuality in the first place).

    I think we should be more worried about toddler beauty pageants.

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  3. This is a great piece, and it’s a topic that isn’t addressed enough. I completely agree with the above comment too. It’s okay for 15 year old models, actresses, singers etc to be overly sexualised in the media and applauded for it but women late twenties and upwards are shamed for showing their body.

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