Geraldine Ferraro and Madonna: The Crotch Grab

I was at the Toyota dealership having my Prius serviced and they have this swanky new “lounge” to hang out in while you’re oil is getting changed.

They have free wi-fi and computers to cruise the internet. 2 large flat screens TV’s – both showing WE network movies, a soda machine and free coffee. I plopped myself into a chair and started using the internet. You know me – love my Page Six and my TMZ and my US Weekly Magazine.

And there it was: Geraldine Ferraro died today at 75.

And I was having a moment right there in the Toyota dealership.

She was the first woman who ran for the vice presidential campaign and in Seventh Grade that was the most empowering thing to me. I literally thought I could conquer the world because of Geraldine. I felt like I counted.

Especially because I grew up with two older brothers and a father. My sister was never around – she was too busy running away, making up stories about herself and our family. My mom was just trying to make our family work.

 I was on a solo flight with my woman’s lib stuff. Completely solo.

But I was ok with it. It mattered to me. I didn’t need an army. I had me and that was ok. Then Geraldine showed up on my radar and alone I was no more.

It had a huge impact on me. I felt bold, I felt free, I felt deserving. I took my licks from my brothers but now I stood up to them too. I could. If a woman could be the vice president then I could speak my mind And speak my mind I did. Oh how I spoke my mind.

After Geraldine blazed the trail she set me up for the most pivoting discussion with my father I would ever have.

I received Interview magazine for a Christmas gift – this was back in the eighties when Andy Warhol was still running the magazine.

In 1985 Madonna posed on the front cover dressed boyish but in fish net stockings and she was grabbing her crotch.

My father came home from work and DEMANDED that the magazine be thrown in the trash. When he demanded that was it. End of story.

NOT ON MY WATCH… I lived for Interview magazine – it was my gateway to a wild imagination and development in my brain that was beyond comprehension.

When I read or looked at Interview magazine it inspired me to do creative things – wear weird outfits, push the limits.

And here was my father making the demand for my life line to go into the trash compactor. Was he joking? I distinctly remember standing in front of the trash compactor saying NO.

He was taken aback but he was the Dad so he always had a response – he said it was complete trash, it wasn’t art and it was immoral.

My response: Why are you trashing a magazine that shows someone doing something you do every single night on the couch? You always have your hands down your pants. Why can’t girls grab their crotch?

His response: Because that’s not the way it is.

My response: Well it is the way it is now – just look – this is Madonna and she’s doing it right here.

At this point my mom jumped in and said – you know George she’s right.

And I was.

He knew it.

You can’t have a guy be able to grab his crotch then persecute a woman for doing the same thing. I think it was the turning point with my father. He always says – I never really thought about it until I had two daughters – then I started to realize that my daughters can do anything they want to do – they shouldn’t be restricted because they are female. I like to think I had a hand in it.

I continued to push the limits. Continued to ask about the boundaries. Continued to speak my mind. Because if Geraldine Ferraro could run for Vice-president then I could push the boundaries in my own family unit.

 And push them I did. It wasn’t the national spotlight like Geraldine but it was something and I will miss her.


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