If you’ve never heard Madonna’s son “What it Feels Like for a Girl” then you absolutely need to check it out. It popped up on my playlist the other day, and it’s been in my head ever since.

It came out in 2000, as part of her Music album, (one of my all time favorites of hers) and it raised a lot of controversy because of the music video she’d made to go along with it. 

The biggest aspect was because it was such a violent video. It showed car chases, theft, blowing up gas stations, and belligerency to police among it’s many features.

And, it showed a girl, getting her grandmother from the “Old Kuntz Home” (The name in the video) and taking her for a wild joyride. A girl who had seen things, with the Kevlar vest and scarring to prove it. Granny was just as decked out, with her shin braces. 

While one can debate back and forth the meaning of the controversial video some 17 years later, the song hold so much more meaning for me. 

Because of what it says…

What it feels like to be a girl in the world. It’s true, it’s honest, it’s exactly how every woman I’ve ever met has felt. Maybe not her entire life. Maybe only for moments. And maybe not.

Strong inside but you don’t know it
Good little girls they never show it
When you open up your mouth to speak
Could you be a little weak

With the #MeToo movement and all the controversy that has stirred in the last few years about sexual misconduct featuring men in powerful positions over women, this song is more meaningful than ever.

Before social media was a thing, Madonna was saying what many of us felt, but didn’t have a voice to express. We had to turn to musicians or maybe television stars in their interviews with gossip magazines, hoping that maybe the females would touch just a little bit on this. 

They rarely did.

Madonna always has pushed boundaries about what’s acceptable to talk about, and I like to think she’s helped mold a new mentality among women–a strength that it’s okay to be strong, to say your peace. To express your sexual fantasies. 

I can only imagine what she’s endured in her life, pushing against everything she’s done, and it’s only made her scream louder, to get someone to listen. Questioning her motives, and wondering why she was yelling so hard. 

But we still weren’t listening.

How many of you have heard all the things? “Oh, Madonna’s horrible. She’s a slut. A whore. She’s so gross and nasty. How dare she–” I’ve heard them all. I am in a conservative area, and mentioning I like Madonna brings all sorts of wrath of horror upon me from people. 

No one listened to her songs. Just her antics. And the more society scoffed, the louder she screamed. And what was she talking about? Sex. Her desires. Her wants. And her needs. And not caring if her needs didn’t also fulfill some man’s needs. 

That was the point. 

Because all her career, she’d been told “No, you have to do it this way. You can’t do it that way. You’re a girl. Therefore you’re a bitch if you demand to get what a man/or someone else has. You can’t have dreams and goals. That makes you ambitious, and good girls aren’t ambitious.” 

I think a lot of women can relate to that. 

So she screamed. And occasionally wrote songs about it too. 

Hurt that’s not supposed to show
And tears that fall when no one knows
When you’re trying hard to be your best
Could you be a little less

One of the benefits of social media now, we can all stand up, we can say “me too! I feel that way too! I had that happen to me too!” It allows women, who have been isolated by their experiences, by what they’ve been told is wrong or their fault to unite, and remind the world that girls are important too.  

Because we are. We are just as smart, just as strong, and just as powerful as you are. Twice as much, for we have always had to pretend we weren’t. 

But we don’t have to pretend anymore. 


To hear the song:

On Amazon Prime: http://amzn.to/2DzimR0 (free with your Prime Subscription)

On YouTube — the controversial video https://youtu.be/qYwgG2oyUbA

The Full lyrics to What it Feels Like for a Girl are below: 

What it feels like for a girl:

[Spoken Sample – Charlotte Gainsbourg]
Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
Because it’s OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
Because you think that being a girl is degrading
But secretly you’d love to know what it’s like
Wouldn’t you
What it feels like for a girl

[Verse 1]
Silky smooth
Lips as sweet as candy, baby
Tight blue jeans
Skin that shows in patches
Strong inside but you don’t know it
Good little girls they never show it
When you open up your mouth to speak
Could you be a little weak

[Chorus]
Do you know what it feels like for a girl
Do you know what it feels like in this world
For a girl

Hair that twirls on finger tips so gently, baby
Hands that rest on jutting hips repenting
Hurt that’s not supposed to show
And tears that fall when no one knows
When you’re trying hard to be your best
Could you be a little less

[Chorus]
Do you know what it feels like for a girl
Do you know what it feels like in this world
For a girl

[Verse 3]
Strong inside but you don’t know it
Good little girls they never show it
When you open up your mouth to speak
Could you be a little weak

[Chorus]
Do you know what it feels like for a girl
Do you know what it feels like in this world
For a girl

[Outro]
In this world
Do you know
Do you know
Do you know what it feels like for a girl
What it feels like in this world

 

***Also, please don’t bother if you’re going to comment about how much you hate Madonna. If that’s the first thing that comes to mind after reading this post, then you missed the point. 

What it Feels Like