Madonna; Sexual Harassment? A Response

Fifty-something pop veteran and mother of three, Madonna, hit the news again today. Recently, at a Brisbane concert, she pulled down the top of a 17 year old female fan, exposing her left breast to a crowd of thousands and made several questionable sexual statements about the young girl. Understandably, people are outraged that the once Queen of Pop would do something like this, but according to several news sources, teenager Josephine Georgiou says that she isn’t upset by the incident, regarding it as a “funny little slip up”.

Georgiou’s insistence that it’s not a big deal negates the fact that this is, in fact, sexual harassment as she did not give her consent for Madonna to touch her or expose her in anyway. She is also 17 years of age, and in accordance with Australian laws, the circulating video is technically child pornography, whether it was intentional or not. However, if Georgiou is fine with the situation and its repercussions, does it make it a crime?

Madonna is known for her eccentricities and spotlight stealing performances (remember the Britney-Xtina kiss of 2003 and most recently forcing her tongue down Drake’s throat on stage), she has never shied away from the outrageous. Of late, her actions have smacked of attention-seeking. It seems like Madonna is struggling to keep up with the current onslaught of young pop stars, resorting to desperate measures to order to grab headlines. Many, including myself, would say that Georgiou is a victim of her recent offensive attempts to make herself seen. It has become unfailingly obvious that she can no longer compete with those who would once have been her contemporaries.

Personally, I would have to say yes, I do believe that exposing this girl was legally and morally a criminal act. As a grown woman, with a daughter of a similar age, Madonna should know better. I can only imagine how she would feel if Lourdes was treated as such, at the hands of an idol in front of an audience. In 2016, when we are still fighting against sexual harassment, for a woman in such a powerful position to conduct themselves in this manner possibly opens doors for other people to think it might be okay to do the same.

I am not surprised that Georgiou, an aspiring model, would publicly announce she sees no problem with her treatment. What 17 year old girl with dreams of fame would denounce someone with as much influence as Madonna? Although she is obviously comfortable with her body, she is young. For all we know, it may be a front and behind closed doors, she may feel very differently. I hope she has a decent support system, as one day she may see Madonna’s actions for what they appear to be rather than what she thought they were.

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