I was a child of the 60s, ready for the winds of change, but I found the road to women’s liberation was not an easy one. It would remain for another generation of girls to readily find the strong female role models who could show them how to fully express themselves. A new book, Madonna and Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop, edited by Laura Barcella (http://www.madonnaandmebook.com/index.html) is a powerful collection of stories that made me rethink this Diva’s power as an enduring feminist icon.
I learned about the book when my friend economist Mary Barcella alerted me months ago that it was coming out in March. Her daughter Laura had convinced a number of other successful writers to join her in a collection of stories about Madonna’s influence on their lives. I’ve met Laura and I knew this would be no star-struck ode. She’s a strong-minded freelance writer based in San Francisco who specializes in pop culture, lifestyles, feminism, and music. I sensed this collection would offer a great insight into the mindset of today’s serious young women.
It also challenged my own ambivalence about Madonna. By the time the Material Girl appeared on the pop music scene in the early ’80s, I was a young professional in the New York book publishing world, excited by all the possibilities unfolding for women. I was intrigued by Madonna, especially since she came from my home state of Michigan, but the feminist, trailblazing women I most admired then were more likely to be novelists, journalists and business or political leaders, rather than rock stars. Just a month ago, I admit I didn’t know what to expect from Madonna’s half-time performance at the Super Bowl, which proved her lasting star power by drawing almost as much attention as the upset by the New York Giants. Madonna is clearly an on-going cultural force to be reckoned with — on an international level, no less. She wears her 50s well.
This collection reveals the impact Madonna had on so many young girls, showing how her bold music and “life without regrets” helped them escape what is often an agonizingly painful trip through their school years and even beyond. You can read an excerpt written by Laura Barcella on “How the Queen of Pop Saved Me from Choosing the Wrong Guy” on the Huffington Post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-barcella/madonna-and-me-queen-of-pop_b_1323630.html