Thursday, 14 June 2012

Good Girl vs Bad Girl

I was reading a review of Madonna’s latest CD, MDNA, and the reviewer was complaining about the unbelievability of her song Girls Gone Wild.  The song begins with a prayer to God: 

Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee
And I detest all my sins
Because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell.
But most of all because I love Thee
And I want so badly to be good.

And follows up with lyrics like:

Girls they just want to have some fun
Get fired up like the smokin’ gun

And

I’m about to go astray
My inhibition’s gone away
I feel like sinning

And

Good girls don’t misbehave
But I’m a bad girl anyway.

The reviewer was complaining that the juxtaposition of the prayer was obviously only intended to shock since the lyrics don’t show any real repentance.  She’s reveling in being a “bad girl” not trying to reform into a “good girl” in any meaningful way.

But is it really impossible to enjoy both being a bad girl and a good girl?  Especially if we define “good” and “bad” specifically in terms of sexual freedom.

Good girls get the privileges of respectability and societal approval and protection.  Bad girls get the freedom to act on their desires and impulses.  Why shouldn’t we want both?  Why shouldn’t we enjoy both?

Call it a conspiracy or just a convenience for society, but there have been people wanting to label women as either the good girl or the bad girl for a long time.  The concept of having the best of both worlds has been lost to us for a very long time.

When society decided it had a vested interest in controlling women’s sexuality, it had to contain our natural instincts and interests.  It did that by calling them evil and telling us that “good” girls neither acted that way nor wanted to.  It split women into the good Madonna-virgins and the bad whores.

It bothers me that there’s still an underlying belief that women fit into either the good or bad category.  A pop song may not change the world, but at least its exploring the concept.  Much more interesting than sticking with something which got old and tired a thousand years ago.

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