Madonna delivers profound speech about misogyny and sexism at Billboard Women In Music Awards
Madonna gave an almighty speech for female empowerment at the Billboard Women In Music Awards.
Accepting her award for Woman Of The Year at the Billboard Women In Music Awards, the legendary Madonna decided to use her moment of recognition to address some serious issues in the music industry.
She began: “I stand before you as a doormat … Oh, I mean, as a female entertainer.
“Thank you for acknowledging my ability to continue my career for 34 years in the face of blatant sexism and misogyny and constant bullying and relentless abuse.”
She continued: “I was of course inspired by Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde and Aretha Franklin, but my real muse was David Bowie. He embodied male and female spirit and that suited me just fine. He made me think there were no rules.
“But I was wrong. There are no rules — if you’re a boy. There are rules if you’re a girl.
“If you’re a girl, you have to play the game. You’re allowed to be pretty and cute and sexy. But don’t act too smart. Don’t have an opinion that’s out of line with the status quo.”
Madonna went on to condemn the sexualisation of female artists in the music industry.
She said: “You are allowed to be objectified by men and dress like a slut, but don’t own your sluttiness.
“And do not, I repeat do not, share your own sexual fantasies with the world.
“Be what men want you to be, but more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men.
“And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin. You will be criticised and vilified and you will definitely not be played on the radio.”
The singer mentioned how her life became easier when she married Sean Penn in 1985:
“Eventually I was left alone because I married Sean Penn, and not only would he bust a cap in your ass, but I was off the market.”
However, her separation from Penn in 1989 signalled a turn for her public status as a female.
“For a while I was not considered a threat. Years later, divorced and single — sorry Sean — I made my Erotica album and my Sex book was released.
“I remember being the headline of every newspaper and magazine. Everything I read about myself was damning.
“I was called a whore and a witch.
“One headline compared me to Satan. I said, ‘Wait a minute, isn’t Prince running around with fishnets and high heels and lipstick with his butt hanging out?’ Yes, he was. But he was a man.
“This was the first time I truly understood women do not have the same freedom as men.”
The icon ended her speech by addressing all females:
“We have to start appreciating our own worth and each other’s worth, seek out strong women to befriend, to align yourself with, to learn from, to collaborate with, to be inspired by, to support, and enlightened by.
“To the doubters and naysayers and everyone who gave me hell and said I could not, that I would not or I must not – your resistance made me stronger, made me push harder, made me the fighter that I am today.
“It made me the woman that I am today. So thank you.”
This is exactly why we love you, Madge.