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Jun 25 2014
30 Years Of Slut-Shaming Madonna Comments (0)

A stan war over whether Madonna is a slut or a great female role model—when does it end? More interesting is remembering when it began: An archived Usenet discussion that started in May of 1985 reveals how early the pro- and anti- factions entrenched themselves in the Madonna Wars. And it was all the same crap fans hear today, nearly 30 years later.


On May 28, 1985, Chris Koenigsberg got the ball rolling with some Madonna love:

“Well, Madonna is playing in Pittsburgh tonight and I wish I could go but  the tickets sold out for the Arena in a couple of hours. I don't want to talk about the music, I am just glad that some women are becoming mega-superstars on an equal footing with men. And I loved the movie she made too.

“The more successful role-models that young girls have while growing up, the healthier their outlook on life will be, I think. And the more informed choices they'll be able to make later on.”

That led to some prehistoric outraged WTF responses, including choice morsels such as:

“A woman who wears a belt-buckle that says 'Boy Toy' and plays up on adolescent wet dreams to make a buck is hardly my idea of a role model I'd like MY daughter to emulate.  I don't know about yours.  Success is more than just money; I'd rather my daughter emulate Joan Baez or Ronnie Gilbert or Grace Slick (without the early drug dependency problems, thank you).”

and

“Madonna is not a person, therefore she can not be a role model.  She is
something that was created, either by her or someone else, to feel a
perceived gap in the market.  Her voice is okay, and some of the songs
are pretty good pop songs, but a role model?  (Earth to Chris: Is anyone home?
Chris to Earth: Nope)  (Sorry - cheap shot - couldn't resist :-) )

Triplets

“( Now please be aware that I know nothing about the *real* Madonna, she could
be a very intelligent and interesting person, or she could be a bimbo being
manipulated by someone else.  I'm referring to the media Madonna, not the
Madonna that is a real person. )”

and

“My only experience with Madonna is her videos (which, in my humble opinion,
stink).  I don't have a daughter, but if I did I don't think I would want
her to have a 'slut-like' role model.  It's not her 'wierdness' (I love
Cyndi Lauper) but it's the blatent sexuallity.  I thought the whole point
of the 'womens movement' was to get them off of their backs and into the
board rooms?  Teaching young women to be 'sex-kittens' isn't going to do
that.”

Leave it to the Greek guy to point out America's puritanism, even if he wasn't exactly providing a ringing endorsement of Madonna:

“HA! Role Models? You assume that there are role models that are good to
be followed? Like the young smiling yuppie types advertising detergents
in the tube? I am ONLY 25, was raised with the role-types of the
late 60's (everything in Greece is 10 years late until 1982, where we
caught up :-)) and the great music of the 60's and early 70's. I did
not get anyone's stereotype role, and I am glad I did not. Sheepish
people turn my stomach even more than the promoters...

“How much of the stuff we see in net.women (rape, clothing, high-heels,
sexism, etc) originate from trying to attach people to stereotypes?
As far as the outlook is concerned, only excessive consumerism develops,
NOTHING else. (except air-headness, of course....) Down with stereotypes!”

It's a fascinating thread, one that gets better once women start chiming in with stuff like this:

“Uhhhh, not quite. It sounds as if you have your ideas about the women's
movement from the popular press. If you are interested, try reading some
of the feminist magazines and newspapers or well-known feminist books.
You will find that there is a lot more to feminism than the popular media
stereotype of an executive mother. While it is of great benefit to women with
the right talents to be able to move into areas that used to be "men-only"
(and that includes welders and miners as much as executives) the women's
movement also wants recognition and respect for the work women do already.
That is why you sometimes hear proposals of wages for housework or proposals
for pension plans for women doing non-salaried work, etc.
As for sexuality -- naturally there is a tremendous range of feelings about
sexual matters but I think all feminists would like to see the 'double
standard' disappear. When that day comes I expect Madonna won't be any more
of a 'slut' than Mick Jagger. (They can BOTH be sluts!)”

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