On April 28 2001, Madonna’s What It Feels Like For A Girl was the Hot Shot Debut (highest new entry) at #38 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play chart. What It Feels Like For A Girl eventually became Madonna’s 25th #1 Dance hit in the U.S.
Despite the club success of the remixes, some fans and critics were displeased with the use of the Above & Beyond remix in the music video, and with the dark nature of the Guy Ritchie-directed clip, preferring the more subtle and restrained attack of the album version. Others felt that the more aggressive and confrontational feel of the remix and video were natural extensions of the emotions and experiences that Madonna was exploring within the song; feelings that were left bubbling beneath surface of the deceptively gentle and subdued album mix.
Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, in retrospect one thing is clear: when revisited through the lens of the current “Me Too” movement, the overarching themes that Madonna explored with the release of What It Feels Like For A Girl were ahead of the curve in terms of social discourse. Although the same could be said for so much of Madonna’s work.
It’s high time for the Constitution to be amended-namely the equal rights amendment-which is where Madonna’s feminist Me Too anthem What It Feels Like for a Girl comes in-Equality is a promise and an idea that we’re all trying to fulfill-and I am happy that Madonna is an activist and What It Feels Like for a Girl is a testament to her activism, talent and humanity.
I kinda, sorta agree with the Billboard article. I liked the video, but it really didn’t do the song any favors. The “controversy” felt forced, and the media seemed to more or less ignore another naughty Madonna video. The video is amazing though, but I think it’s using the wrong song. Madonna and Guy Ritchie felt it was the wrong song too, else they wouldn’t have used a remix that completely changed it. That Above and Beyond mix sounds like a completely different song. I guess they really liked the story idea and visuals, and really wanted to film it.
Maybe one of the most overlooked gems of all. No idea why she has not revisited this a million times in the last decade. It’s gold