Thursday 14 July 2016

#AndIDarken - Follow the Feminists - Madonna all the way!

 Today I'm joining the #AndIDarken - Follow The Feminists Blog tour!!! 
And I Darken by Keirsten White is the first book in The Conquerors Saga and explores what would have been if Vlad the Impaler had been a female...
Here's the synopsis from Goodreads.

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.
Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.
Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.
Sounds good, doesn't it!

So back to the blog tour. Before I discuss my feminist icon, I want to say a little about my feminist views. Through out my life, I've never felt the need to state that I'm a feminist. I don't feel like I have to wear it on a T-shirt and shout it from the rooftops. To be honest, author Hayley Long, perfectly described the way I see myself at YALC last year,  when she said,
‘I’ve no more felt the need to tell people I’m a feminist than I’ve needed to tell them I’m a woman. To me, it’s a given. For me, the two are inextricably linked.’
I'm not keen on labels. I don't want to nor feel the need to alienate half the nation. Yes, things need to change in society. Yes, I agree we haven't got where we need to go but no, I don't want to separate myself from the rest of society. I'm probably not explaining myself very well, so yet again, I will let Hayley Long puts it in much better terms. 
"I recognise that labels can be empowering and can bring people together against adversity but I have a concern that they may exclude just as they include. And they suggest a deviation from a default norm. The point I was hoping to make was that I feel comfortable enough to describe myself as a woman and leave the feminist part unsaid. Because that is now surely intrinsic to what it means to be a girl/woman in today’s western culture."
So for me, being a feminist is synonymous with being a woman. 
I was a bit surprised with myself when I agreed to take part in this tour, but when I thought about it I did have a feminist that I had looked upto throughout my life - Madonna. 

I can see a few raised eyebrows from others at my choice. Madonna might not be to everyone's taste when it comes to feminism, with her provocative songs, her barely there costumes and let's not even mention her notorious publication, 'Sex', but to me, she encompassed everything I aspired to. Her strength, her determination and her no nonsense attitude set her apart from the rest.

When I was growing up, Madonna opened my eyes to what I was capable of. I was a complete wannabe.  I wanted to be gorgeous, yet tough and taken notice of. I had the layered clothes with rips in, the lace gloves and my hair tied up in rags easily achieving that bed head hair. And I had the attitude! Something which has stayed with me all my life. 
Madonna showed my generation that it was OK to embrace our sexuality. She taught us that it was perfectly acceptable to look gorgeous and sexy and yet still be in complete control of our lives. Feminists are often described as wanting to be recognised for their talents rather than their looks. Madonna says why can't you be recognised for both? We could wear what we wanted, look absolutely gorgeous and still be ambitious and highly regarded. The way we choose to look doesn't make us who we are! 

Madonna wasn't afraid to take on the heavily male dominated music industry and now in her fifties, she is still filling stadiums and selling millions of albums. She was intent on being attractive as well as ambitious, sensual yet completely in control of her life. The way I look at it, she knew exactly what she wanted in life and worked hard to get it.

Madonna has challenged and kicked taboo butts  through her music and constantly created tabloid headlines with her videos. 

  • Teenage pregnancy - what better way to deal with that than through Papa Don't Preach, a song about an underage Catholic girl who falls in love and gets pregnant by a slightly older man. 

  • Religion and sex - Who can forget when Like a Prayer came out and the video practically got banned everywhere because Madonna appeared to be taking on the Catholic church? Yet it's still one of the biggest selling records of all time. 

  • War in Iraq - more through the video than the song, American Life is described as focusing on war, especially the imminent war on Iraq during that time. Madonna stated that she was just airing her views on war.

Do I need to go on? 
These days, Madonna is taking a stand on a new agenda. She is determined to take on  a society which views women over a certain age as being too old to be sexy, while older men can get with murder.

Quoted from an interview with Refinery29, Madonna said. 
"We live in a very ageist society, which means we live in a sexist society because nobody ever gives men shit for how they behave, however old they are. There is no rulebook. As a man, you can date whoever you want. You can dress however you want. You can do whatever you want in any area that you want. But, if you’re a woman, there are rules, and there are boundaries."      
I'm looking  forward to watching Madonna take on sexist ageism in our society, because I'm positive she is the right person for the job.  She is one of the most iconic females in pop history and definitely a feminist icon in my eyes. 
There are lots more amazing stops on the Follow the Feminist blog tour to celebrate the publication of And I Darken by Kiersten White so make your you check them out. 


1 comment:

  1. I love Madonna. She is an icon. And if it wasn't for her I don't think many of today's acts would be here. She paved the way for many. She is a powerful woman. And her song "like a prayer" has got to be one of the best songs of all time.

    Also, I can't to read this one. It sounds amazing.

    Shubba @ Wee Shubba's World.


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