Madonna Interview on Ageism and Trump

American woman need more respect, no matter what our age or appearance. Under president Trump, I’m afraid of where our culture is leading with respect to respecting women. American culture is very shallow: Men can be old, ugly, overweight, abandoned by talent, and have nasty personalities, and still be treated like royalty. Besides Trump, I’m thinking of musicians like the ungrateful Bob Dylan, the acerbic man who got a Nobel prize for literature and decided not to go accept it. Donald Trump is another one, a 70-year old man who still thinks he can charm everyone with his “youthful” virility and testoserone. Despite the fact that he has skin like a lizard.

Ageism is an obvious double standard for all women. It seems to be worse if you are a famous woman and feel the need to get work done to keep your appearance youthful. One famous, talented woman who gets a lot of crap for being over 45 is Madonna. Men focus on her appearance, while I have noticed how much smarter she seems as she gets older. One recent interview with Billboard proves my point. This is part of it, where she talks about ageism and our recent election. (Do women really hate women? I think it’s more complicated than that.)

I want to ask you about ageism in the music world. In Hollywood, as you know, it’s rare for women to find great roles as they get older. I imagine it’s even tougher to be a woman of a certain age in pop music. When you go into the studio or mount a tour like Rebel Heart, are you concerned about staying relevant?
Madonna: I don’t care. It’s the rest of society that cares. I don’t ever think about my age until someone says something about it. I feel that I have wisdom, experience, knowledge and a point of view that is important. Can a teenager relate to that? Probably not. But that’s OK. I understand that. “Relevance” is a catchphrase that people throw out because we live in a world full of discrimination. Age is only brought up with regard to women. It’s connected to sexism, chauvinism and misogyny. When Leonardo is 60 years old, no one is going to talk about his relevance. Am I relevant as a female in this society that hates women? Well, to people who are educated and are not chauvinists or misogynists, yes.

Speaking of: How did you feel about the outcome of the election?
Madonna: It felt like someone died. It felt like a combination of the heartbreak and betrayal you feel when someone you love more than anything leaves you, and also a death. I feel that way every morning; I wake up and say, “Oh, wait, Donald Trump is still the president,” and it wasn’t a bad dream that I had. It feels like women betrayed us. The percentage of women who voted for Trump was insanely high.

Why do you think that is?
Madonna: Women hate women. That’s what I think it is. Women’s nature is not to support other women. It’s really sad. Men protect each other, and women protect their men and children. Women turn inward and men are more external. A lot of it has do with jealousy and some sort of tribal inability to accept that one of their kind could lead a nation. Other people just didn’t bother to vote because they didn’t like either candidate, or they didn’t think Trump had a chance in the world. They took their hands off the wheel and then the car crashed.

Were you surprised?
Madonna: Of course. I was devastated, surprised, in shock. I haven’t really had a good night’s sleep since he has been elected. We’re fucked.

Do you know anyone who voted for Trump?
Madonna: Yeah, and I’ve gotten into major arguments.”

Read the rest of the interview here.