Madonna (entertainer)

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Madonna (entertainer) : biography

August 16, 1958 –

Madonna’s use of shocking sexual imagery has benefited her career and catalyzed public discourse on sexuality and feminism. As Roger Chapman documents in Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices, Volume 1 (2010), she has drawn frequent condemnation from religious organizations, social conservatives and parental watchdog groups for her use of explicit sexual imagery and lyrics, religious symbolism, and otherwise "irreverent" behavior in her live performances. Professor John Fiske noted that the sense of empowerment that Madonna offers is inextricably connected with the pleasure of exerting some control over the meanings of self, of sexuality, and of one’s social relations. According to Andrew O’Hagan many cultural commentators and academics look on Madonna as a heroic opponent of the American establishment’s cultural and political authoritarianism. In Doing Gender in Media, Art and Culture (2009) from the publisher Routledge, the authors noted that the fact that Madonna, as a female celebrity, performer, and pop icon, is able to unsettle standing feminist reflections and debates is far more interesting. The Times stated: "Madonna, whether you like her or not, started a revolution amongst women in music … Her attitudes and opinions on sex, nudity, style and sexuality forced the public to sit up and take notice." Shmuel Boteach, author of Hating Women (2005), felt that Madonna was largely responsible for erasing the line between music and pornography. He stated: "Before Madonna, it was possible for women more famous for their voices than their cleavage to emerge as music superstars. But in the post-Madonna universe, even highly original performers such as Janet Jackson now feel the pressure to expose their bodies on national television to sell albums." According to lesbian feminist Sheila Jeffreys, Madonna represents woman’s occupancy of what Monique Wittig calls the category of sex, as powerful, and appears to gleefully embrace the performance of the sexual corvée allotted to women. Professor Sut Jhally felt that "Madonna is as an almost sacred feminist icon." Professor Camille Paglia from University of the Arts called Madonna a "true feminist" and noted that "she exposes the puritanism and suffocating ideology of American feminism, which is stuck in an adolescent whining mode." According to her, "Madonna has taught young women to be fully female and sexual while still exercising total control over their lives." Madonna defended herself as a feminist in 2008, saying that though she "may be dressing like the typical bimbo", she is in charge of her own life and career.

According to the company Telcel "since her appearance on the music scene in 1983, no artist has called more the attention that Madonna… has pushed the boundaries of the world of music, film and fashion." RTL Television Belgium said that "Madonna is a key figure in the music". Erik Thompson from City Pages stated that "in the early ’80s, Madonna broke down a lot of the industry doors that young entertainers stride through so brashly and confidently these days." According to Fouz-Hernández, female pop performers such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Kylie Minogue, Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, Jennifer Lopez and Pink were like "Madonna’s daughters in the very direct sense that they grew up listening to and admiring Madonna, and decided they wanted to be like her." Howard Kramer, curatorial director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, commented: "Today’s more-flamboyant female pop stars enjoy the freedom to make music and perform the way they do, but they didn’t create that freedom. Madonna did the moving and shaking when she burst onto the pop-music charts in the early ’80s." He further asserted that "Madonna and the career she carved out for herself made possible virtually every other female pop singer to follow… She certainly raised the standards of all of them… She redefined what the parameters were for female performers." Billboard editor M. Tye Comer stated: "Although Madonna had her influences, such as David Bowie, she created her own unmistakable style… She wrote her own ticket; she didn’t have to follow anybody’s formula. She declared who she was … and took possession of her music."