Madonna at 60: Still Exposing The Double Standards Of Western Society

It was 1991, and not only had she just staged a juggernaut, global stadium tour, she was also lined up for a supporting role in the film A League Of Their Own, in addition to being the focus of the documentary film, Madonna: Truth Or Dare (or, In Bed With Madonna, as it was known outside of North America). I recall the constant news coverage of her daily jogs through London’s Hyde Park — the sight of a petite woman surrounded by a throng of huge security guards, in turn surrounded by throngs of jubilant fans.

While it would not be inaccurate to say that this period was the height of her influence in terms of pop culture saturation, Madonna has never disappeared from view and, for that reason, those vast swathes of society have never stopped wringing their hands over her.

But, against whose standard is the art of Madonna considered “controversial”? How can purveyors of gossip-for-profit blithely dismiss her work as desperate “attention-seeking,” while simultaneously collecting the dollars generated by the headline clicks? Why should it be a problem for us all if certain sections of society find that her material causes “shock”?

Is it shocking or is it art??