Madonna: Dita reloads and amplifies the Gays
By now you’ve probably had the pleasure of seeing Madonna’s video for her latest single “Girl Gone Wild,” and have read that it harkens back to her Erotica and SEX days. She is blonde and chic, channeling Hollywood bombshell glamor, flanked by a cadre of male dancers. And as calculating as Madonna is, all that’s probably intentional. But with the help of visionary dynamic duo Mert and Marcus, the return of Dita is not a sleepy, lazy, recycling of old ideas. Girl Gone Wild is a political punch to mainstream pop that frees gay males from the saccharine castration we’ve been forced to endure in order to be accepted by the mainstream.
What Madonna has always done well is push fringe culture onto the masses, in a sexy way. For a song that seems to be about women, Madonna forgoes depictions of the fairer sex finding release and redemption through vice. Instead she chooses to address the other ladies in the room. The friends of Dorothy lost in a dirty club, half naked, sharing an apple, and a gym membership.
For decades gay men have been calling each other Girl, or Gurl, or even Guirrel (like squirrel). The juxtaposed imagery of well-built men in sheer tights and platform heels dancing to the chorus celebrates that subversive quality Gay culture, or any minority, has long cherished. It’s the inversion of a pejorative that helps build a strong new identity. It also doesn’t hurt when the men dancing like single ladies are Kazaky, who have taken Europe by storm. These “ladies” vogue, strut, and bang to the four-on-the –floor beat produced by Benny Benassi, embracing the transgressive qualities of homosexuality, and flaunt it without much costume or tricky hairdos. It’s just gay men, and a woman, indulging in lust, and music, and more lust.
Other pop stars love the gays, and love being theatrical, but there never seems to be much happening beyond the performance. So like a good politician using a dog whistle to speak to their constituents, Madge sends out a call for the most coveted of consumer demographics (single gay men with disposable incomes) to return to their roots, and her. Transgression is part of our community’s identity, and we’ve forfeited it enough for the sake of social acceptance and musical medleys on television. It’s time the mainstream remembers what makes us so exciting. Ciao Freddy Mercury, we miss you!
We’ve all seen men in stockings in videos before, but in harmless throwaway turns. This time around the stockings can barely contain an active libido enraptured with itself. It’s kinetic versus static imagery that’s so powerful and controversial here. Besides sex sells, and this is terrific looking sex. So if the material mom is telling me it’s ok to go out there and “get mine,” like a girl gone wild, well then gladly, gurl. Gladly.