According to pop star Madonna, even a woman with platinum records, a multi-million-dollar fortune and a globe-trotting lifestyle can be systematically oppressed.
Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, Madonna claims that, despite her strong outward appearance, she’s struggled with living under the thumb of Patriarchal society. She acknowledges, of course, that she is privileged, but that that hasn’t stopped her from feeling the weight of judgment and expectation.
“I’ve always felt oppressed,” the singer claimed. “I’ve had the shit kicked out of me for my entire career, and a large part of that is because I’m female and also because I refuse to live a conventional life. I’ve created a very unconventional family. I have lovers who are three decades younger than me. This makes people very uncomfortable.”
Her humble brags aside (she has, indeed, had lovers three decades younger than her, it seems), Madonna’s operational strategy has always been to make people uncomfortable and push the boundaries of what is acceptable in polite society. When she made her debut, performing “Like a Virgin” live at the MTV music awards in the early 1980s, it caused a public outcry, and that’s precisely what Madonna wanted.
Of late, Madonna’s regularly shown up in lingerie on red carpets and has been photographed mostly in the nude, either intentionally or by accident.
And while she has been banned by the Philippines and occasionally told to please keep her naked derriere under her skirt unless its appearance is requested, it’s hard to believe the woman who pole danced on a cross during her last tour has been cowering in fear of sexists and misogynists.