2

Madonna Defends Pussy Riot, Reminds Us Why We Loved Madonna

When you think of Madonna in 2012, what comes to mind? Muscular arms, leotards, belabored sexual metaphors, questionable adoptions, extreme Anglophilia, and conspicuous consumption? But she wasn’t always this way. Back in the ’80s and early ’90s, she was more concerned with leading a sexual revolution than out-Zumba-ing us all, pissing off conservatives and censors with her graphic videos and catchy blasphemy and outspoken support for the queer community. While there were plenty of trenchant critiques to be made of Madonna even then (see: bell hooks), as a pop star she was at the very least relevant and revolutionary.

It’s been disappointing to watch her slip into apolitical, middle-aged identity crisis in the 21st century — and by now, Madonna’s been like this for so long that it’s easy to forget how powerful she once was. Thankfully, last night at a performance in Moscow, she spoke out about Pussy Riot (have you gotten up to speed on them yet?) and reminded us of everything we loved about her in the first place.

At a show plagued by threats of violence against US citizens, Madonna greeted the audience with “Pussy Riot” printed on her back. In an uncharacteristically low-key moment, she said, “I just want to say a few words about Pussy Riot.” From there, she went on to express her wish for everyone in the world to have the same right to free speech that she does, as an American. “I know there are many sides to every story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government, but I think these three girls — Masha, Katya, Nadya — I think that they have done something courageous. I think they have paid the price for this act, and I pray for their freedom.” She closed by reminding her fans that anyone who loves her music should care about Pussy Riot’s freedom. For part of the evening, she wore one of Pussy Riot’s signature balaclavas. You can watch the entire speech in the video below.

This is the Madonna we’ve missed for so long, who used her platform as a pop star to challenge censorship and closed-mindedness. This is the elderstateswoman of pop we’ve waited so long for, defending the next generation of boundary-breaking musical revolutionaries. It’s encouraging to know she still has it in her. More of this, please, Madonna.

[via Billboard]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,999 other followers