When Madonna released her album ‘Music’ in 2001, the one song that captured everyone’s mind was ‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’. This was way before #MeToo happened, and way before women started going out on night walks to occupy public spaces.

I was about 11 years old when I first saw Madonna on my television screen. I didn’t know her name. I didn’t quite get the lyrics. On the newly acquired cable network at home that featured English songs in two channels—I saw her dressed in black latex and leather– crawling, dancing in a box and spreading her legs—something that I later found out is called manspreading.
I liked watching the video. But I could only understand the first two sentences, when she whispered, “Express yourself, don’t repress yourself.” I didn’t know what repress meant, but back then, it sounded like a fascinating word.

Much later, I found out the song was written as an answer to her critics, who had panned her provocative image of the previous two years and her apparent “sexually explicit” work.
Over the years, through her songs, I kept learning new words. And, the words that I already knew changed its meaning, thanks to Madonna.
When Madonna released her album ‘Music’ in 2001, the one song that captured everyone’s mind was ‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’. This was way before #MeToo happened, and way before women started going out on night walks to occupy public spaces.

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