Response to Naomi Wolf 's Ultra Pro-Madonna Guardian Piece Part One
Moviegoer: Response to naomiwolf, 10 February 2012 6:18PM
...I value the sense she (Madonna) gives us that we have the right to try on different identities and I do think the concept of identity has become much less fixed in the last two decades partly because of her...
Can you expand this?"
10 February 2012 6:54PM
"sure. in the eighties you were 'straight' or 'gay' or 'black' or 'white.' or 'male' or 'female'. Today in a lot of places there is a ,much more 'postmodern' or to be less pretentious fluid idea of what identity is and that it shifts -- you might be straight but fall in love with your best friend or you might think you are black but turn out to be really mostly Scottish or you might be one of the four per cent of people born with indeterminate genitals -- etc etc. And we are more open to men who don't 'act like men' in a rigid way or biracial people who question fixed categories etc etc" - Naomi Wolf
Super Amanda: I've been thinking about this and trying to wrap my hard around it. I find it very disturbing that Naomi Wolf, a wealthy white American feminist with a very prominent platform in the media (including the UK media) and academia is giving massive credit to madonna for breaking down racial, class and gender barriers AND creating a more "tolerant" society. This house of cards needs to come down now as it frankly becoming absurd!
1. The US is about 30 years behind the UK in race relations. I grew up in the SF/Bay Area about a generation after Wolf did as an Italian- American who looks Latino or mixed race to many Americans and unlike her I have seen it and DEALT with it first hand. It is a messed up part of the collective American psyche and one of the reasons I moved to the UK. Despite the race problems here, UK people have been defining and redefining racial identities for quite sometime and it is not Madonna's doing to even a vague extent!! She is not even REMOTELY responsible for the fact that a Black identifying person born to Scottish parent or simply born in Scotland can embrace both cultures!! In the US anyone Black embracing their European ancestry is still an almost outlandish and offensive concept. The arcane "one drop rule" is still the defacto law upheld by Whites, Latinos, Blacks and even many Native Americans. I'm not saying that Wolf is like David Duke or Henry Louis Gates who is running around changing peoples' birth certificates from "white" to Black as soon as they (or he) find one Black ancestor, not at all, in fact I actually think Wolf made a good point about Bi-racial people now defining themselves out of fixed categories-but madonna is not part of that!! What I'm saying is that Wolf is displaying an abject ignorance of reality, racial pain, the history of the US color line etc etc when she says Madonna has been part of altering that for the better!!! Madonna has done ZERO for race relations. I repeat -ZERO.
Go to 2:40 if you still need convincing and please watch this.
2. I have never heard madonna talk about or sing about transgender rights or inter-sex people in any capacity. If she has it was quiet. The long road to acceptance is finally opening due to the hard and often deadly work of those who actually were brave enough to step up like the late "John Joan", Wendy Carlos and Tula the model etc etc plus transsexuals who shared their stories with their world as early as the 1960s. Being an ally is great and but that does not mean she should get so many cloying plaudits and even an IOTA of credit for the ground work and the pain that built the transgender movement. Wolf seems to give Madonna FAR too much credit for the work of others. Very sad and scary given the power both of them have.