I would like to take the time to both congratulate and thank Madonna for Wednesday night's concert in Bucharest. I'm a Canadian citizen who has been living and working in Bucharest for the past 4 years (I speak basic Romanian and have been closely studying the country's culture). I was at the concert and quite frankly, I couldn't have cheered any louder for her!! My VOICE still hurts
Madonna, as "The Material Girl", is a Romanian national icon. Many Romanians have hailed and embraced her material girl image under the assumption that it was meant to be interpreted LITERALLY. To many Romanians, the achievement of "material girl or boy status" has been a life long goal. In fact, they have even have a word for it, fite: the ability to buy and show, often implying VIP status. When translated from a more critical perspective, fite can also be defined as: utterly mindless consumerism. The Romanian media, in its efforts to raise its ratings, constantly reinforces fite’s message, using both foreign and home grown examples to support its cause. It relentlessly depicts women as VOICELESS sex symbols, regardless of the fact that the vast majority of its audience hasn’t yet learned to be critical.
Thus, In Romania, it is almost unheard of for a woman to publicly speak out against anything. The fact that one of their female idols had a VOICE....a VOICE that spoke out against the discrimination of two HUGELY unpopular ethnic/social groups (Roma/gypsies and homosexuals), came as a rude awakening. I was in my element BUT Romanian’s felt cheated. Where was the material girl they had PAID to see? What happened to the MTV idol that they have grown up with- the one they have emulated and idealized for so long? Her concert was anticipated to be a homage to their icon …. They came after years of walking her walk, only to be insulted and challenged, imagine their disappointment!
I am both elated and disturbed to read this morning’s headlines. Bad news first...The local paper reads: "Many witnesses maintain that after her show Madonna tested fite by discreetly living it up in a posh VIP Club." (Source: Adevarul de Seara) The Romanian media is continuing to perpetuate the Material Girl image, while missing Madonna’s TRUE BLUE message. A message which I believe is: the assertion of a dominant female perspective, the encouragement of rebellious critical thought, and a call for an end to racial and social discrimination So what’s the good news? The fact that the international community took notice: "Madonna Booed in Bucharest for Defending Gypsies"( Source: omg.yahoo.com). Its wonderful to see that the concert, its message and the response to its message received some international attention.
Yet, I remain saddened by the fact that, in Romania, too much of Madonna's message was lost on naive, uncritical , and unsuspecting ears....Especially given the fact that it so desperately NEEDED to be heard.
If Madonna truly has the energy she promotes herself as having, it would be wonderful if she could direct it towards the SERIOUS challenge of honestly educating Romanians (and any others that may be in a similar prediciment) as to WHAT it is she truly stands for and WHY
MADONNA I CHALLENGE YOU TO BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD! NO ONE ELSE CAN A DO IT FOR YOU, THEY ARE NOT IN YOUR POSITION!
If you're ready to Jump PLEASE contact me! I am currently working on a project that deals DIRECTLY with these issues. Your VOICE would be greatly appreciated