The Big “M”

Petra and Belle

The vibe was amazing. For two hours we waited and watched the lighting change around two giant ‘M’s that were erected around the stage. Every time the spotlight hit the giant clock, the crowd cheered. We were here to see Madonna rise and shine in the giant open air Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

My dear friend and cover girl of “Feeling it!”, Belle, is about half my age so she is a new Madonna fan, whereas I have been a fan for two decades now. I still have the original “Sex” book that Madonna brought out ahead of her time – a picture book of erotica for women. I like strong women who do their own thing and allow themselves to change and grow. My favourite part of the show was when Madonna sang “She is not me” a song about copycats and began dismantling representations of her former self on stage. No more “like a virgin” or “material girl” Madonna. Only the Madonna of now, highly energetic skipping in work-out gear or soft and feminine, a gipsy heroine, exists in the presence.

Big M

To me there is nothing worse than being labelled as one type of person and expected to be the same forever. No reinventions possible. It is stifling. The press always sees the fact that I was active in the anti-porn movement in the eighties as a contradiction to producing twenty years later porn form a female perspective. In reality what I do these day has organically from what I did in the eighties. Offering positive alternatives, rather than just being against something is what I want to do right now. Knowing what exactly you want comes with maturity. I know more what I want and feel more empowered to achieve it in my forties, than when I was in my twenties. But then we are expected to calm down with age and disappear into the background – but it’s not going to happen. More and more “middle-aged” women make sure that they are heard and seen.

This is what has annoyed me most about the press Madonna received in the last few months: 90% was negative, suggesting that having just turned 50, she should “retire gracefully”. She was called an “obscene cradle snatcher” just for dancing with Justin Timberlake. Sexual charisma and chemistry for women over 40 seems to be a big taboo and Madonna is trying to break it by dancing, singing and not giving a shit. Good for her.

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