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Senior Work and Theses 2009

Christine Bachman, Grabbing Madonna’s Crotch:  Queering Gender, Sexuality, Race, Class and Age
Humping the Radio City Music Hall stage in a wedding dress in 1984,grabbing her crotch in a pinstripe suit in1989, offering her open crotch to sexual “deviants” in 1995,and shoving her hands down her pants in 2008, Madonna has thrust herself—and her crotch—into the mainstream music market for twenty-five years. What is the significance of Madonna’s hyper-visible crotch?  My primary interest in Madonna revolves around her “crotch grab,” or in other words, her use of the Phallus and phallic power.  In order to explore the importance of the crotch grab, I have conducted a content analysis of several of Madonna’s most significant music videos, live performances and tours throughout the past two and a half decades. In these performances, the crotch grab becomes an important intersection of meaning, as Madonna uses gender, sexuality, race, class and age to communicate an ever-changing message to the audience.  To think through the significance of the crotch grab, I draw primarily on the theories of Judith Butler, Judith Halberstam, Pierre Bourdieu, Anne McClintock, Lee Edelman, Michel Foucault, and Donna Haraway. In my analysis of Madonna’s crotch grab, I seek to discover whether or not Madonna queers gender, sexuality, race, class and age.


Rayna Rogowsky, Herstory Helping History: ‘The Visions and Struggles of the Battered   Women’s Movement’ in Vermont, 2009.


Zohra Safi, A Union of Coercion and Arrangement — Forced and Arranged Marriages in Afghanistan
Despite international intervention in Afghanistan aimed to improve the quality of life for women, in post-Tali ban Afghanistan basic security of life eludes women and they continue to live under harsh circumstances. One of the most pressing issues that affect women's life has been the practice of forced and early marriages in different parts of the country. My thesis investigates some of the underlying causes of forced and early marriages in Afghanistan based on stories of women interviewed for this study. In addition, it highlights clear distinctions between arranged marriage, which is a centuriesold tradition, and forced marriage that is a byproduct of varying socio-economic and political disparities. In order to combat forced marriage, I suggest that innovative solutions should be generated within the parameters of Afghan culture and religion to elevate women's status in society.

Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

Chellis House Women's Resource Center
56 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753