Madonna: ‘Gay rights are way more advanced than women’s rights’


Madonna has a really good new interview with Out Magazine, and it’s actually one of the best pieces I’ve read in a while. Shocking, I know. For some reason, I’ve been liking Madonna’s interviews in particular lately, and this Out piece might be her best one. It’s not just what she says – although the conversation goes from Joan of Arc to women’s rights to Detroit – but the analysis of Madonna’s decades-long relationship with the LGBT community. If you have ten minutes, it’s definitely worth the read. Some highlights:

Madonna on the theories that Joan of Arc was gay: “Why was she gay? Come on! OK, she dressed like a boy and she cut off her hair. That’s what the church tried to say. Also that the dauphin who supported her, that he was gay. According to historians, the dauphin is the one who supplied her with the army, the cavalry, whatever, to take on England. Did they thank her for that? Of course not. They went, ‘Wait a minute, how could a girl do that? There must be something wrong with her.’ ”

She relates to Joan of Arc: “I can relate. Sometimes I’m getting burned at the stake metaphorically. Though not right this second.”

On gay rights being ahead of women’s rights: “Gay rights are way more advanced than women’s rights. People are a lot more open-minded to the gay community than they are to women, period… It’s moved along for the gay community, for the African-American community, but women are still just trading on their ass. To me, the last great frontier is women…. Women are still the most marginalized group. You’re still categorized—you’re still either a virgin or a whore. If you’re a certain age, you’re not allowed to express your sexuality, be single, or date younger men.”

On wishing that she were gay: “I didn’t feel like straight men understood me. They just wanted to have sex with me. Gay men understood me, and I felt comfortable around them. There was only that one problem, which is that they didn’t want to have sex with me! So…conundrum! I was like, ‘How am I ever going to get a date? Maybe if I cut my hair and I lose a lot of weight, someone will mistake me for a guy and ask me out.”

[From Out Magazine]

It seems like Madonna didn’t so much wish she was gay as she wished she was a gay man. Look at her career, look her approach to her career and her life: she’s less a straight woman and more of a gay man. I also think it’s interesting that the “Queen Bee” of gay culture is telling gay men – in one of the biggest LGBT publications in the country – that they still have it easier than the average woman. That male privilege extends to gay men too, and women still have to “trade on their ass.” She’s not wrong, you know?


Photos courtesy of WENN, Madonna’s Instagram.

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129 Responses to “Madonna: ‘Gay rights are way more advanced than women’s rights’”

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  1. Tiffany says:

    Damn it Madonna, you win. I will start listening to your music again.

    • Cecada says:

      I’m not quite there yet but she’s starting to get under my skin again. There are so few women celebs who are willing to just speak truth without any filter.

      • NGBoston says:

        Well she is on point with these comments. Women are still the most marginalized…even in this day and age.

        Imagine that!

      • NKN says:

        I don’t think her words are “truth,” but simply her opinion. As a black woman, I’m not too fond of her playing the “Oppression Olympics” in this interview. I am discriminated against because I’m black and because I’m a woman, and while I can’t separate these two parts of my identity, most of the persistently traumatic experiences I’ve had as a marginalized person are race-related. And from a strictly socioeconomic perspective, Madge’s words aren’t true. White women are more privileged in U.S. society than men of color and women of color and LGBT people of color. White women may not be as privileged as white hetero or white gay men, but they’re more privileged than any other minority in this country from a socioeconomic point of view. Many people also overlook that white women have been the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action.

      • denisemich says:

        @NKN. I am also a black woman and disagree. We are marginalized because we are women and then discriminated against because we are black.

        Men especially in business decide your status based on how attractive they find you and then if you are smart.

        If you are attractive + smart they ALWAYS try to have an affair to marginalize or opportune your ideas.

        But always a man regardless of color (black, middle-eastern, asian) is listened to before you.

      • Tristan says:

        Whilst gay rights IN THE CIVILISED WEST have certainly impoved significantly over the past decade, one can’t exactly say that they are the same as those of straight people. LGBT perople still get queer-bashed & discriminated against with depressing regularity even in the USA & Europe.

        As far as most of the rest of the world is concerned, especially Africa, Asia & the Middle East, if anything the hate & repression is getting worse in leaps & bounds. LGBT people are being systematically imprisoned, tortured & brutally killed for their sexuality. ISIS for example are hunting down any person who’s sexuality is suspect, torturing them & throwing them off roofs of tall buildings.

        We have seen Putin’s hortible “gay propaganda” law being used to brutalise LGBT. In Russia HIV+ LGBT people have to claim they got that way thru shooting up drugs, as it is more socially acceptible to be an addict than LGBT.

        In several countries in Africa, not only is it a crime subject to life imprisonment to be gay, but it is also a crime for a straight person not to report a person suspected of being gay to the authorities. In addition, all the monstrous Islamist fanatics, like Boko Haram & Al Shabab have declared open season on any suspect person.

        In India, parliament recently voted to reintroduce long term punishment & imprisonment for gay men. It is one of many other less developed countries to have implemented such measures.

        As a gay man, I appreciate all the work & effort that Madonna has dedicated to the gay community, however, it feels a bit premature to claim that LGBT people have the same rights as everyone else. One has to point out that in many of the countries where LGBT people are getting a raw deal, the treatment meted out to women is pretty horrible as well

      • Cecada says:

        To NKN:
        The truth I mentioned is entirely relative. For a typically overblown celebrity in showbiz, it’s about as close to “truth” as it can get. That entire industry is not exactly known for being progressive about ANYTHING. Most young pop tartlets would cringe at the feminist question, say something non-threatening through empty eyes, then dutifully jiggle thier tits on cue.. at least with Madges, she’s ballsy enough to GO THERE (and then of course jiggle her fake tits…like I said, it’s a relative thing). I only meant to give her credit for that. Did not intend to offend anybody.

      • Gretchen says:

        @Tristan While I get what you’re saying and agree with much of it, I balk a bit at your use of the term “civilised”. Primarily because the idea of the superiority of the “civilised west” has historically been used to justify interference with the “other” in the form of missionaries, colonial projects etc. It is a benchmark measured and enforced by the economically and militarily dominant to impose, control, enslave and suppress. There are and used to be plenty of “uncivilised” cultures with much more open traditions in regards to gender and sexuality, and much harm has been done in this world under the guise of civilising it.

        I know it’s a semantic argument, but I’m always wary of language that creates binaries of civilisation vs barbarism that has traditionally (and still is) drawn largely on racial/religious and ethnic lines.

      • NKN says:

        @denisemich I can’t measure your personal experiences or anyone else’s. That’s why I said from a strictly socioeconomic point of view, white women are more privileged than all people of color, including LGBT people of color and men of color. LGBT people of color are more likely to live in poverty than white women. And when I say socioeconomic, I mean access to employment, education, healthcare, life expectancy, etc. White women in the U.S. come out on top in all of these areas. If we’re talking about women of color, yes, they are at the bottom of the so-called totem pole in the U.S., but Madonna phrased her comments in a way to suggest she was talking specifically about white women in the U.S. If she were talking about women globally, I still wouldn’t say that they have it worse than LGBT people globally. Both groups are persecuted, and I don’t think it does much good to argue who has it worse. I think it’s divisive and helps no one. The best thing we can do is to acknowledge the intersectionality of discrimination and fight against injustice whenever we see it in the vein of “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

      • fritanga says:

        Gay rights in this country have advanced more than women’s rights because of the simple fact that the gay rights movement is dominated by WHITE MEN. Get real here.

        Oh – and Madonna is still an idiot.

    • denisemich says:

      I have always and will always love Madonna. Is she right about Women’s Rights, hell yeah! But it is our fault as women, we buy into what a woman should be defined by men.

      Many women don’t support women who are strong , hyper sexual and controversial. Look at the nasty comments about Kim K all the time on this site alone.

      Look at the bull about emails and Hillary Clinton. Look at her last campaign. Why is that a story? Why is that even an issue?

      America is a country where any man, regardless of color or sexuality, is better than a woman.

      • nic919 says:

        Sure a lot of women by into the patriarchy, but your example of Kim K is not a good one because she is a direct example of “trading on her ass” and modifying herself physically to attract the male gaze. The negative reactions to her by other women are because she is not doing anything but play the game to please men.

        But you are spot on about Hilary Clinton. She has had her looks attacked even though she has run for political office, and let’s take a look at the men in elected office who never get criticized that way. And the Clinton v. Obama race showed just how much harder it is for a woman to be president as opposed to a black man. He is still a man so it doesn’t affect the stereotypes as much.
        (Hilary did support the Iraq war, so she wasn’t a perfect candidate, but there were so many attacks on her that had nothing to do with her stance on issues).

      • denisemich says:

        @nic919 your statements are part of the problem but I am not sure if you are a woman.
        If you are it proves that women don’t naturally respect each other. Kim K is plastic but I am sure that is not all that she is. Women allow jealousy to deride our accomplishments. We don’t have to be perfect to be respected at least by each other.

      • tatdaisy says:

        Women don’t need to naturally respect each other (beyond the basic respect of their personhood and autonomy) to further their own rights. Men don’t naturally respect every other man in his accomplishments simply for being a man. They support accomplishments they consider worth respecting. It’s a recurring fallacy of 3rd wave feminism that supporting women/women’s rights means supporting the choices they make. I.e. I, as a woman, will happily fight for a woman’s right to make any choice she deems best for her life and body, but I am under no obligation to support the choices themselves.

        Kim Kardashian is criticized for making choices that reflect her narcissism and deference to the men in her life (Kanye practically dresses her for fuck’s sake). I respect her right to have whatever life she wants, but to say that rolling one’s eyes at the umpteenth instagram selfie or newest plastic surgery is a symptom of a jealousy or derision of my gender (or a threat to women’s rights) is at best disingenuous. A better example of what you’re discussing (in my opinion) would be the god-awful mommy wars. That shit is straight up sexist, patriarchal garbage perpetuated by women who are taught to feel inadequate and insecure about not being June Cleaver and CEO simultaneously.

      • md1979 says:

        @tatdaisy – fully agree with this: “I, as a woman, will happily fight for a woman’s right to make any choice she deems best for her life and body, but I am under no obligation to support the choices themselves.” It’s the same concept as defending freedom of speech. I might not agree with anything you have to say, and I’m under NO obligation to agree, but I’ll defend your right to say it.

        I believe @denisemich is confusing criticizing Kim K’s choices with criticizing her right to make them. She’s not criticized because she’s “strong , hyper sexual and controversial” but because she’s shallow, vacuous, materialistic, emotionally dead, morally bankrupt, insipid and because she does play to a typical male ideal of what’s attractive (doll-like proportions and personality, that p0rn-star baby voice, etc).

        If Kim K was being criticized for being driven, ambitious, hard-working or aggressive (and I believe she is all of these things) THEN I would defend her, as that would be a criticism based on her embodying typical male-behaviors and traits.

      • Angel says:

        @tatdaisy I may love you.

      • NKN says:

        The Hillary Clinton run for presidency is so much more complicated than white woman vs. black man. That’s mainly because Clinton was seen as “tainted” due to her link to President Bill Clinton and her vote on Iraq. Further complicating matters is that both she and Obama are Democrats and black people overwhelmingly vote Democrat, and black women and men alike identified more with Obama than with Hillary Clinton. Going back to Sojourner Truth’s day, black women don’t necessarily view white women as having their back or representing their interests, which is one reason an Obama presidency meant more symbolically and historically to black women than a Hillary Clinton presidency would have.

  2. Sandy123 says:

    In that regard, no she’s not wrong.

  3. AntiSocialButterfly says:

    Oh, Madonna.

  4. Cindy says:

    I do agree with what she said about women’s rights. Still not a fan though.

  5. Tough Cookie says:

    Enough with the dumb sex kitten poses already.

  6. LaurenLauren says:

    When I was in college I had a period where I wasn’t sure about my sexuality, because regular straight men didn’t appeal to me… So I though I might be lesbian. Turned out I felt attracted to some of the gay men in the groups I socialized with. I just figured out the alpha male “men’s man” is not my thing. So yeah I relate to Madonna. She’s also very right about women being the most marginalized group. And the worst thing is, if you say something that sounds feminist in the Western world, people will be like “quit the whining, you don’t have it all that bad”.

    • NGBoston says:

      Yes, Laurenlauren— I agree and understand with what you are saying.

      While physically- I am attracted to masculine macho men….most times— their mind set is a negative one.

      So, that is when I promptly adjust my faux set, and take them to school. Nothing like speaking up and handing a macho a**hole their own ass….even if it is just verbally speaking.

    • MC2 says:

      Date nerdy men- they are the best!

      • NGBoston says:

        @MC2… Ah, yes…I concur ! And so that is why I married a Techno-Geek who just so happens to have 17″ biceps since he works out like a maniac and is also a former Professional Body Builder.

        =). Sign Me,
        A True Full On Geek/Nerd Lover

  7. Santolina says:

    She’s not wrong, but sadly she’s played into the “virgin/whore” dichotomy and non-acceptance of aging one too many times for her to be sounding like a savior for women’s rights and the dignity older woman. Let’s see her put her money where her mouth is. Start a foundation. Give back. Make a difference. Write songs that say something. Start dressing and acting with self-respect.

    Oh and BTW, Madonna, you experimented with your bisexuality and then played the denial game. Time to come clean for Sandra Bernhardt and LGBT people everywhere.

    • NGBoston says:

      You make valid points. But this is how Madonna has made her millions.

      Give her credit for at least being a brilliant marketing and branding Queen. For anyone to survive In the brutal business she has been in for decades– she has got to be doing something right.

      I thought she had admitted to her lesbian dalliances? She was simply experimenting and her “rebel heart” was looking for love and attention.

      Of course, we all know Madge is a typical ego centric but hypocrite about LBGT Rights? Hmong…I have to think about that one but not sure if I agree. She has always been a strong advocate for LBGT Rights…even when it was not the politically correct thing to do when her career first began IIRC.

      • Santolina says:

        Yes, for students of marketing and branding, she has a lot to teach. Is that her message? I don’t think so. She wants to champion women’s equality but unless she can be authentic about accepting herself she comes across as playing into all the old stereotypes. I agree with you that she was more courageous at the beginning of her career and then she got kind of cowardly and comfortable with her fame. In the game of Truth or Dare, it was more about Dare. Now, it needs to be more about Truth.

    • moirrey says:

      I’m no Madonna fan, but please do explain when and how she has ever implied lack of respect for herself. I’d love to hear it.

      Honestly, it sounds more like you’re talking from the position that society – mostly men – have unfortunately drilled into our heads: any woman who violates the expected behaviour/dress code/repressed sexuality we’ve come to expect from women is automatically lacking “self respect” and clearly has some kind of problem. I disagree. Perception is created in the brain. Maybe the problem we all have with Madonna isn’t what she says or does, but rather how we interpret it?

      • Santolina says:

        I never needed Madonna stroking herself on stage to teach me about my sexuality. Maybe others did, I don’t know. She’s always been about rebelling against her own repressive childhood. The self-respect I’m talking about is bigger than rebellion. It’s about accepting oneself. In Madonna’s case, she needs to demonstrate to young women that there’s something other than tits-and-ass and plastic surgery to feel good about.

      • jammypants says:

        yea but you said “Start dressing and acting with self-respect” which pretty much reinforces what Moirrey was saying.

        “In Madonna’s case, she needs to demonstrate to young women that there’s something other than tits-and-ass and plastic surgery to feel good about.”

        She doesn’t have to demonstrate anything to anyone. She can do whatever she wants with her body. If plastic surgery makes her feel good about herself, then so be it. WHY are we so bent on other women’s appearances and how they should “act” at a certain age? We perpetuate these social constructs because WE have been “drilled” as Moirrey puts it to think and perceive things this way. To me, that is unnatural, not the other way around. Not everyone fits neatly in society’s pretty little bows in order to be considered a model citizen. That is why people have mental health issues. Why some are violent. Why some commit suicide. Because they are made to feel by society that they don’t fit in. It’s so ridiculous to tell other people who they should be.

        As for people like Madonna, we put the burden of “role model” on them when it should start at home or with the individual. Madonna is accountable for whatever crap she does to her body, not us. And people who are influenced by her image are still responsible for their OWN decision making. How about WE change that perception?

      • Santolina says:

        Whether she wants to be or not, she’s an influencer. Just like sports figures and other celebrities and leaders, young people hear and see them. What I notice is that she’s playing into the stereotypes she purports to oppose. She doesn’t say much about what she would do to change them, and so I (as a parent) wonder what message young people are picking up from her.

    • Crumpet says:

      Yes, she has ‘traded on her ass’ extremely well. It in no way invalidates what she is saying. I actually had no idea she was this intelligent.

      • Santolina says:

        As you say, she has “traded on her ass” almost exclusively. If that doesn’t invalidate what she’s complaining about in terms of playing into these tired old stereotypes limiting and disempowering women, then what does? What is she proposing as an alternative?

  8. GingerCrunch says:

    So…conundrum for ME! She’s on Howard Stern this afternoon. I’m a devoted Howard fan, but I can’t stomach her anymore. What to do??? Guess I’ll listen, but I have the feeling there will be major ass-kissing going on. Though, I can always flip to the 70’s channel, where I know I won’t hear her. Just thinking out loud.

  9. Lilacflowers says:

    Dear Madonna, on your point about how women have to trade on their ass. Why don’t you try producing and selling a product without trading on YOUR ass? You have enough experience, money, and clout in your industry that you should be able to try that. Perhaps if more women who have achieved some level of success tried to promote themselves without selling themselves as over-sexualized dolls, there might be some changes.

    • Stoner says:

      This x a million.

      She needs to go away.

    • NGBoston says:

      Me thinks you need to review her Ray of Light Album/CD.

      Some of her best, most introspective work. And, again— yes she uses sex to sell her ass/product/image— and what of it?

      I agree sometimes I feel she should cover up a little more.. But damn it— how many women look as good as she does at her age? If it offends anyone…just don’t look.

      Love her…always have…always will. There are times one wishes she would just go away….but you know what….she is one tough, smart, sassy, cool broad. You Go, Madge!

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I’m not sure she knows how. This has been her thing from the beginning. She’s basically been selling herself to us as pure sex for decades. There were phases when it was less out there, less obvious. But she’s created an image that tells us Madonna = sex and she keeps going back to it. And maybe that is her point. She had to do that to become this successful? I don’t know how much choice she really had here, she’s not exactly Adele. Maybe she chose to “trade on her ass”, maybe she had to in order to become this big a star.

      What really gets on my nerves is the comparing and contrasting of who has it worse. African American vs. women is not a thing because what about African American women??? Same with LGBT community vs. women’s rights. It doesn’t work and shouldn’t be the starting point of a discussion about equality.

      • enike says:

        littlemissnaughty: it is not Madonna´s fault, that you only see the sex part of what she is selling to us

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Are you serious? Did you read my comment? What are you even talking about? It is one aspect of her image. A large one. One she created and cultivated over decades. So, again, what do you even mean?

  10. Tracy says:

    If she hates it that women have to still “trade on their ass”, why does MDonna keep trading on her own ass for publicity? Flashing her bare ass at a recent award show. Ick.

  11. paola says:

    I actually have to agree with her.
    The only problem i have with this is that she points out the fact women have less right only in the dating/sex area.
    it shouldn’t be only anout that.
    I live in a country where women are always considered less important, less capable and less intelligent than men and where a man’s opinion is always more important than a woman’s one.
    It’s not aboung being a wh0re or a nun. It’s about equal rights despite the gender, the race and the sexual orientation in the bed or at the office.

  12. INeedANap says:

    I think she has a point, mostly because gay people can be male. I’ve noticed whenever people talk about gay rights in general and gay marriage specifically, they almost always reference “two guys” or “two dudes,” and never “two women.”

    This is what we talk about when we discuss intersectionality, or lack thereof.

    • Lee1 says:

      This so much. And it’s such a problem within the LGBT community as well. Every time there’s some sort of OUT 100 list or something, it’s about 80% gay dudes.

      I’m a woman and I’m gay. I may make less money than a man because of my gender but I also have no federal job protections in the US because of who I’m married to. Yet I’m still highly advantaged compared to a queer woman of color. I wish we would stop trying to rank oppressions on some sort of nonsensical hierarchy and talk about how we have a lot of work still to do on plenty of fronts.

  13. lila fowler says:

    Now that her music career is sputtering to an end, I would hope that she’d devote more of her time to stuff like this (speaking out for womens rights and issues).

    • Santolina says:

      Yes, and for that to happen she needs to admit that her pop music career is sputtering to an end and graciously step aside. When she steps aside, the message (whatever she decides to endorse) can come through. Will her enormous EGO be able to stand taking a back seat for a worthwhile cause? That’s her challenge , IMO.

  14. Alexis says:

    She’s right, you know.

  15. PunkyMomma says:

    She makes some valid points, but I’m so tired of her. I agree on the “trading of her ass” remark, but Jeez, Madge, I’m so over seeing you showing yours to whomever happens to be in your neighborhood. If you want the dynamic to change, I suggest you start by covering your own ass.

    • n.h. says:

      Exactly. I’m old enough to remember when she first came on the national scene (via MTV). Her entire schtick was to be super-slutty and nobody else was doing that at the time. Nobody. She instituted that herself and 1000s of female entertainers went on to adopt her ways. She got worldwide male attention because she was a healthy, clean upper-middle-class girl pretending to be a “ho” –with her very expensive haircuts & coloring — and she sold it to girls by so much as saying “look, I’m selling myself and getting rich so it’s OK”. At the time, in my own demographic? No, we did not respect her for it. We could see what she was doing — she was promoting sexism and ageism singlehandedly. She was making it really mainstream for women to HAVE to be sexual objects-and-actors in addition to having musical talents and making the pursuit of money the ultimate justification. So I say f*** her. Note how the things that bother her now about the status of women are that she’s considered too old to show her *ss or date boys. Selfish, much!? She doesn’t want to change the status quo or make anything better, she just wants all the same rights as men to be a thoughtless pig*. Nice.
      *(no reference to the Baldwins here, lol!)

    • MaiGirl says:

      Also, I think it is awfully convenient that she is only talking about issues that affect her directly: societal issues regarding age and sexuality. And yes, her having traded on her ass this whole time, and still attempting to do so (poorly) pretty much invalidates her “because FEMINISM” arguments, even though I agree with the fact that women do have a long way to go towards equality.

  16. msw says:

    Ugh. It isn’t a competition.

    And a conundrum my ass. She talks about being objectified while objectifying gay men. Then talks about having to trade on her ass when she spearheaded the career trajectory of almost all female singers on hypersexualization. Classic.

    • NGBoston says:

      Face the sad, cruel facts. Hypersexualization sells.

      I despise the degree to which it has risen especially in Rap/Hip Hop Music. So much of what you wrote is a valid argument.

      I would like to see Madge’s ass less—and hear her voice more for equal rights for women.

      She had many valid things to say in this interview— but what can she do to better advocate for this worthy cause she believes in?

      To me anyway…Actions truly speak much louder than words.

    • n.h. says:

      msw: EXACTLY! +++++++++ 1000s!

  17. epiphany says:

    Can’t stand her, but she’s right. She’s obnoxious, but no one can ever accuse her of being stupid. The late, great Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm always maintained she suffered way more discrimination because she was a woman than she ever did because she was black.

    • Stoner says:

      I’ll accuse her of being stupid – stupid enough to believe that anyone falls for any of her worn-out and near farcical schticks anymore. Madonna will jump on any train and swear she was the engineer the entire time.

      That being said, I am so tired of the “I’M MORE OPPRESSED THAN YOU” narrative. Why can’t you just talk about your own issues without minimizing the plights of others?

      • wolfpup says:

        On the other hand, the *first* oppression has been of women, and has been historically justified by religion, and consequent societal agreement as to roles, and valuations. If we were able to overthrow this tyranny, which is embedded in our society by religious theory (Adam/Eve), – perhaps other oppression would fail as well. Women are a very large group! We do have the power to accomplish this.

    • NGBoston says:

      True about Shirley Chisholm.

      I can also agree that “obnoxious” is a valid adjective which can be used to describe Madonna at times. Again, this is part of her brilliance to me. She purposely has been this way for decades to remain relevant.

      Underneath it all, I truly believe she never really got over the death of her lovely mother at such a young age, And, look at her choice of Men? Sean Penn? Come on— Madonna just really wants to be loved at the end of the day —just like anybody else. I wished Guy Ritchie and she had worked things out….we all know she resorts now to the boy toys for several reasons which she recently was pretty candid about in a series of interviews….

      I honestly believe— while she can surround her self with every luxury a millionaire can afford— it cannot buy her what she longs for the most…..someone to truly love her for who and what she is.

      That fact, as we all know is one unbelievable difficult task to accomplish. Through her own admittance– she is not easy and a piece of work. She is typical “Type A”. Very controlling, can be demanding, perfectionist. It’s usually Madge’s way or the highway. She needs to work on that …don’t see it happening though.

      Oh, lastly– FWIW–I think she is a great Mom herself and doesn’t get enough credit for that. Look at each and every one of her children. The proof is in the pudding.

  18. Adrien says:

    She went full-Arquette.

  19. Gabby says:

    Sometimes she is so annoying and a try-hard that I forget she is interesting and intelligent too!

    This is true. she didnt say it like the fight for gay rights or African-American rights was over, she just pointed out that the are going places, people are being educated and sentitive about them, and respecting more and more. There are still a lot to be done, racism still exists, and prejudice as well.

    But for women, the fight is just beginning. No matter if we are white, black, latina, asian, we still make much less money than men, we are overlooked for promotions, we are uderestimated in the work place, and we are the ones expected to come home at the end of the day, take care of the house, the husband, the kids, the dog, etc. Even now, the word FEMINIST became a taboo, like its a bad thing, and people (women included) dont even bother to learn the meaning of it.

    Patricia Arquette maybe expressed herself wrong in the heat of the moment, backstage at the Oscars, but she was right, women need to say that outloud and fight for our rights.

    • Stoner says:

      I think the Suffragette movement would disagree with you that the fight for women’s right is just beginning, not to mention the women who marched and participated in the women’s rights movements of the 60’s and 70’s.

      • NGBoston says:

        Stoner– like the old Virginia Slims Cigg Ad slogan used to say:

        We’ve come a long way, Baby.

        Truth is…the journey is far from over. We still have a long way to go. I live in the damn US and we have yet to elect a female President! Ugh.

        This is just one of many examples. And I don’t intend to vote for HRC either just bc she is a female either. Sorry to get off topic….just saying,,,,,

  20. Eleonor says:

    I am not a fan of hers I like some of her songs, and I know nowdays she is this crazy caricature of herself, BUT I’ve always thought she is intelligent: you can’t be around for 30 and more years if you are not smart enough, this interview does not surprise me.
    “You’re still categorized—you’re still either a virgin or a whore. If you’re a certain age, you’re not allowed to express your sexuality, be single, or date younger men”
    She has learned this lesson on her skin…and if you think she is Madonna…that’s a really powerful statement.

    • wolfpup says:

      That she learned her lessons on her skin, is what I find so interesting. He experience of aging will be helpful to all of us, as I’m sure she we speak the truth about it.

  21. bettyrose says:

    She’s right, and at least we’re finally talking about this. Maybe Madonna and I haven’t been close in 30 years, but I will belt out some Who’s that Girl for ya right now. Seriously. Right. Now.

  22. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Certainly women are marginalized and have a long way to go towards equality, but I’m not sure it’s fair to say gay men have it better, or smart to make it into a contest. Maybe if you live in a metropolitan area and work in a non-conservative field, it’s easy to be a gay man. But I think there are still plenty of closeted gays in different environments who would suffer consequences simply by exposing who they really are. They can’t get married in all 50 states. My nephew is gay, and we have a huge family – he is loved by many and treated politely by everyone, but there’s a part of the family that never acknowledges that he’s gay. Sort of a don’t ask, don’t tell. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what she’s saying, but I’m not sure it matters who “is further along.” The common goal should be for everyone to have equality.

    • bettyrose says:

      There is so much truth to your post.

    • Pinky says:

      Well, the fact is that gay women face these same problems that you list GNAT but the conversation on gay rights is apparently locked on gay men. They also face higher risks of rape. But the LGBT movement is locked on fighting for gay men to acquire the same privillege as straight men rather than dismantling that privillege all together. its so bad that my even referring to the cause with L first offends a size able segment. “GLBT” because as was explained to me afew years ago when I interned at a gay rights org, gay men are still men and they come first or something to that effect.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        You are so, so right, Pinky. I only referred to gay men exclusively because she did, or I thought she did, and that was thoughtless and insensitive of me. Gay women not only face the same issues as gay men, they face the same issues as all women. Please accept my apology.

    • NGBoston says:

      Preach it, Sister! Amen. Loved your post!

    • Ange says:

      I agree. As a woman I can’t get behind what she says and I’m an ardent feminist. I’ve got a lot of gay friends of both genders and seeing their day to day proves to me I have it much, much easier. Yes institutionally I might earn less or face some discrimination but I don’t have the constant in your face stuff like they do – the looks, the whispering, the rude comments – and THEN they deal with institutional stuff as well.

  23. Jess says:

    Yep it’s so true, a good example recently is when the press announced the first gay couple on The Walking Dead…….even tho they had a lesbian couple 2 seasons ago but they don’t count because they’re women.

  24. Suzy from Ontario says:

    Lilacflowers – I agree 100%

    She says all that, but look at all her pictures …

  25. OhDear says:

    Couple of random points:

    (1) She seems to be pulling an Arquette in that she doesn’t seem to recognize that there are gay women and non-white women and gay non-white women, etc. She strongly implies in her comments that she assumes that the gay and black communities refer to only gay men and African-American men, respectively; likewise, when she talks about women, she seems to assume that women are separate from gay and black (non-white) people.

    (2) She does have good points about issues facing women generally, though I disagree that “women are the most marginalized group” for a variety of reasons.

    (3) Gay rights are not “way more advanced” than women’s rights; marriage equality isn’t the only issue that gay people face. For example, gay/bi men and gay/bi women also face discrimination, violence, etc.; transgender rights are only starting to be acknowledged.

    • NGBoston says:

      Just curious– who do you feel is the most marginalized group? You are obviously extremely intelligent so I am curious as to your opinion. TIA

      • OhDear says:

        Like GNAT said above (#22), I don’t think it’s helpful to have “rankings” in terms of who is the most marginalized group. Part of my issue with her saying that “women are the most marginalized group” is that it doesn’t recognize that “women” are a large and varied group with different issues and/or privileges (going back to point #1).

      • OhDear says:


        (1) The marginalized groups have issues with marginalization within its own groups, too (for example, racism and sexism in the gay community; racism, homophobia and phobia of certain religions in the feminist community, sexism and homophobia in the respective racial minority and/or religious communities).

        (2) Madonna’s and my comments are very American in focus – sure there will be other groups/issues in other parts of the world.

  26. Sally says:

    Women have to still “trade on their ass”?

    Well, it comes from a woman who can’t age with dignity and has been trading on her own ass non-stop to the point it became silly.

    • NGBoston says:

      Oh, Sally. Sighhhhhh. Stop the hate. You just don’t get it.

      I will say, I can somewhat agree about the aging with dignity part. When it comes to Madge’s public persona….dignity is not what she is shooting for.


      Madonna doesn’t care what anybody thinks…she banks on the fact that it will raise eyebrows enough to sell her brand while she laughs all the way to the bank and purchases her next multi-million dollar piece of property in Dubai.

      Hmnnnn…..someone is buying her Music and going to her sold out Concerts when she fills arenas. Have you ever seen her perform live? I have. And I daresay, she is an entertainer.

      I did not feel like I wanted a refund for my tickets. Thank you. That is all.

    • OhDear says:

      She also says that “If you’re a certain age, you’re not allowed to express your sexuality, be single, or date younger men.” You seem to be proving her point.

      • Sally says:

        No, I’m proving the point she is just being hypocritical while talking about women rights, accompanied with a photo of another “dumb sex kitten pose” of hers.

      • NGBoston says:

        Oh, Sally, I completely misunderstood. Yes, I do see your point as well.

        FWIW, My Sister-in- Law is gay and happily and legally married to her Wife here in Massachusetts. Every word of what blogger LEE1 posted above is true.

        Even in a State as liberal as Mass….it is still easier for Gay Men than women…but as many have noted— there is almost no point in debating which group is more oppressed vs. another….

        We have a long way to go for all of us ! As one Human Race. Honestly, there are times when I travel abroad that I almost am embarrassed to say I am American…and I love my Country and know there is almost (ALMOST!) no other country in which I would rather live. BUT……we have so much work to do here as one nation, under God.

        I long for the day where regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation we can all learn to love and empower each other MORE…and hate and discriminate against each other a whole lot LESS.

    • Jaded says:

      Sally I totally agree with you, don’t ever “shhhhhhh” yourself – see my comment below.

      • Suzanne says:

        So women that pose in “dumb sex kitten pose[s]” aren’t included in women’s rights or feminism? If you don’t see that your statement is a problem, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

      • Sally says:

        Woman who mainly tries to gain attention by trading her own ass and other body parts and likes to strike “dumb sex kitten pose[s]” while trying to lecture about feminism and serious stuff has little to do with feminism, actually.

  27. serena says:

    She may be a shameless famewhore but she is smart and has a lot of experience. I respect that. And I really am enjoying reading her interviews, also I agree with most she says.


    “I mean, we can’t even date younger men!”
    *eye roll and sarcasm* Spoken just like a girl.
    First of all, just like men, you can date whomever you wish (of legal age, of course). You can ignore the jeers & side eye just like Gramps does when he has a hot young thing on his arm. So get over it. Is this all you’ve got to add to the dialogue? You feel you’re looked down on because you want to date younger MEN? Not beaten for wanting an education? Not raped because you needed to do the shopping without a proper male guardian? Not paid a penny wage to perform demeaning sweat shop labor? Madonna! How you must suffer!
    I can’t even continue with further points – suffice to say this one poorly chosen argument she made negates anything else of worth she had to say.

  29. bonsai mountain says:

    I don’t understand why, yet again, a white person is making sweeping assertions about the black experience. Are you African American? Do you like it when men, who can never get pregnant, try to make decisions about women’s reproductive rights? How about we leave it to the black community to weigh in on their lived experiences? Same for the gay community? Go away, Madonna.

  30. Betti says:

    Completely agree with her comments re: equality. Men regardless of skin colour and sexual orientation will always be put before women.

    As for the comment about inequality within the GLBT communities – i have seen and experienced this. I was out clubbing with some gay friends (i’m straight) and we paid to get into one club and was asked to leave an hr or so later. The club was full of men and they apparently didn’t like the fact that there were a couple of women in there and several complained to the door staff and asked that we be ‘removed’. It was not a male only club and my gay friends have told me that this happens a lot.

  31. lisa2 says:

    I think she is right on some of this.. but I’m going to say something not popular..

    I think women have a lot of the blame for the lack of movement in the Women’s Rights issue. We and yes myself have sat back and allowed laws to be made to reduce rights and choices. When the Women’s Right’s movement began women would be up in arms about some of the things happening across this world. There are few women’s groups that are outspoken enough to make a difference. Even the women in appointed positions don’t say or do enough. So until women rise up and become the power force we are nothing is going to change. We have all fallen back so much it is unreal.

    But what is the focus. We see protesting over the dumbest things. showing their breast on social media. Spending all their time taking stupid selfies and showing their bodies in bikinis or ass shots.. This is suppose to be empowerment for women.. YEAH.. The Women’s Rights Activist of yesterday and today would be so so proud.

  32. Lisa says:

    Can’t wait ’til she hears about Islamophobia and xeonophobia.

  33. Dee Kay says:

    I agree with what others said that we shouldn’t make a competition between who has it the worst, but I’m glad Madonna put it in stark terms: social justice movements for LGBTQ rights, for African American rights, are active, thriving, vocal and visible. There are a lot of structural injustices happening to those groups and people are fighting against them and rallying to get those injustices noticed on a large scale. Where is the women’s movement? Where are fighting to get women’s pay inequality made more visible? Women’s lack of representation in the Senate? Women’s lack of day care options and the fact that women do the vast majority of all childrearing and household chores in this country? (That’s why I said “women’s lack of day care options,” not men’s.) All the disavowal of feminism means that people no longer even know what that word means — it means fighting against the inequities built into the social system and ideology of patriarchy — it means being against patriarchy and misogyny. It means fighting for fairness and equality in every corner between the sexes. Yes we have a long, long way to go when it comes to women’s rights.

  34. Jaded says:

    Yes but she’s been ‘trading on her ass’ from the get-go. From her Sex Book to her boob and bum flashing to her overly sexualized stage costumes and dance routines to her fellating a pop bottle in one of her execrable movies, she’s done nothing but push her sexuality in everyone’s faces so to me, that comes off as utterly hypocritical. Sure she’s made gazillions in a man’s world but at what price? She didn’t do it by inventing something significant to the world or curing cancer or bringing world peace.

    • Sally says:


    • Jayna says:

      Have you ever looked at her stage costumes? People take a small thing or outfit from Madonna’s concerts and never look at her concerts all the way through in total. Her concerts and what she wears is more like a very theatrical cabaret act, and not a J-LO tiny dance outfit all the way through, not in the least.

      Blond Ambition, long black robes, beautiful gown, Dankskin shorts, wig and goofy 1950s dress, and beautiful bell bottom pantss and tied polka-dot shirt were part of that concert.

      Elaborate costumes completely covered,long kilt-like skirt beautiful dress, pants, velvet pants and peasants blouse, riding outfit covered head to toe with a silk bow, white three-piece suit, on and on. Her concerts are more than tits and ass, sorry.

      • Jaded says:

        Yes, well, say what you will about her more elegant costumes, but the intent in all of her shows is to titillate. Her talent is based on trying to shock, and if it means humping her male dancers or open-mouth kissing of women, so be it because it makes money. From her MDNA tour:

        “The 53-year-old, who is no stranger to controversy, stunned fans as she undressed down to a sheer bra to expose a No Fear tattoo on her back while singing a stripped-back version of her hit Like A Virgin. Her boyfriend and backing dancer Brahim Zaibat, 24, then fastened a corset around her. “I like to live dangerously,” she said. Madonna has so far shocked audiences on other legs of her MDNA world tour. In Turkey, she pulled down her bra and flashed her breasts on stage, while singing Human Nature, and In Rome she pulled down her trousers in front of fans.”

        She exposed her breasts in Turkey, a very conservative country despite its secular society. She pulled her pants down in Rome. How can this be considered talented or artistic? It’s just cheap shock and awe tactics from someone who will market herself in any way possible for fame, fortune and power. So it’s obvious she is “trading on her ass”, she always has.

      • NGBoston says:

        Yes, Jayna! thank you.

    • Jayna says:

      And to add, for every oversexualized moment, you had the sweet True Blues, the Papa Don’t Preach, Live to Tell, Take a Bow, Rain, song about losing her mentor and friend to AIDS In This Life.

      Madonna made it in a man’s world because she did what she wanted, but her music and videos was never just one thing, and most of her music is tame compared to today.

      As far as the SEX book, that was what brought her down, but if you actually listen to Erotica, the album, it is a sophisticated album that covers erotica, but it also covers broken heart, being cheated on, losing someone you love to death, covers a Peggy Lee song, how words can hurt you, the glorious Deeper and Deeper. It’s polished deep-house album that Glenn Close called a masterpiece, that she listens to after work at night. It was overshadowed and lumped into only about sex because of the companion book.

      Madonna used sex and shock throughout her career but as her varied music videos and discography show, she used heartbreak grief and loss and other topics also and fun pop music. She was not a one-trick pony and that’s why she survived in the music industry, She also partnered up with a couple of people and created Maverick Records, which signed Alanis Morrisette and released Jagged LIttle Pill, which sold 33 million albums, among signing other new artists.

      Smart businesswoman..

      • Jaded says:

        Jayna, I’m not denying her considerable talent and business acumen but she continues to show her boobs, her butt, hump dancers on stage, and overly sexualize her performances so her statement that women have to “trade on their ass” IS hypocritical because that’s EXACTLY what she does, that’s all I’m trying to say. It wasn’t just the SEX book that brought her down it’s that she’s STILL using overt sexuality to promote herself. Grant me that OK?

      • NGBoston says:

        Jaded—I will grant you that but it still doesn’t put me, personally, over the edge.

        I just wish to add that, today, I have really enjoyed blogging here bc it shows that we all– black/white/male/female/LBGT can come here and talk as mature adults and exchange,,,thoughts/facts/opinions and ideas….even agree to disagree but at the end of the day there seems to be one common thread:

        Our World is still too divisive and we, as the Human Race—still have a lot of work to do when it comes to true Equal rights for all.

        IMOO, in the US and internationally– and whichever way you slice or dice it— it is still a Man’s world. Keeping it simple and stupid….this is an obvious fact.

        As Women, we here in the States have come a long way– but there is still much work to do.

        Thank you to all my fellow bloggers and contributors today…I have enjoyed reading and sharing with you all today.

        New GIrl– Boston, Mass

      • Sally says:

        “She was not a one-trick pony and that’s why she survived in the music industry”

        But now she IS a one-trick pony.

  35. Joh says:

    Hate to say it, but she is right.
    I really pray for gay women of color.

  36. Dirty Martini says:

    She does seem to be agreeing with Patricia Arquette. Sidebar: What is with all these comparisons between the “marginalized” and who has it better or worse? That dialogue is starting to be annoying , it sounds like a contest (I have it worse than you!)and it takes energy that is just wasted without any merit. Quit stereotyping and lumping and fix the issues for everyone dammit …..

  37. Feebee says:

    So does this mean African American gay women have it the roughest? Besides that I have a like/meh thing with Madonna. This is a ‘like’ moment. But, I wish we wouldn’t lament the things we’re supposedly not “allowed” to do instead of just rejecting the notion. She says we’re not allowed (at a certain age) to express sexuality, be single or date younger men. She is a champion of doing all that but by acknowledging the naysayers it is reinforcing it. Continue to accentuate the positive and call out the boorish attitude as it happens, even if you’re asking some idiot to explain his backward view every week.

  38. andypandy says:

    “It’s moved along for the gay community, for the African-American community, but women are still just trading on their ass”
    This Again is it possible for women (white ) to advance equal rights for women without turning the discussion into the oppression Olympics ? does she realize that they are gay women , POC women and gasp gay POC women
    # solidarityisforwhitewomen

    • WTF says:

      I was just coming here to say the same thing!!!!!!
      This is exhausting. Arguing about who is more victimized, as if victomhood is some kind of f**** prize.
      When white women talk like this, it reminds me how uncomfortable it was to be a feminist in the 90’s and a woman of color at the same time. For f***** sake the goal is for everyone to be treated equally.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I agree. It’s so unhelpful to make it into a contest. And the generalizations are just so broad as to be meaningless. I’m a white woman, married to a professional white male. Do you honestly think I have the same problems with being marginalized as a poor, white single mother? My marginalization issues are that my plumber looks at and speaks to my husband when I ask him a direct question, not that my boss is threatening to fire me if I don’t have sex with him and I can’t afford to lose the job. Sure, we have issues in common, but we aren’t all the same. You can’t just say “women this” and have it make much sense.

  39. mike says:

    Women are hardly getting killed in the streets by random men just because they like men. Some lesbians surely get attacked, but usually the physical violence that gay men are being subjected to all around the world is far worse than the women’s endless and admittedly heart-breaking plight. I know that is scary to read considering all the atrocities women are being subjected to like rape and domestic violence, but it is the truth. Gay men have it worse.

    Madonna’s opinions on sexism are always tied to her relevance and attempt to justify her stance in whatever stage in life she happens to be at. She is all about ageism now and the worth of older women. Her strong themes are about dating, sex, and sexual desirability of women. That’s about it: how f-ckable she thinks she is vs how other people perceive her. There is a disconnect, and she is agitated by that. I think that is so dim-witted. Her protest and uproar are always about herself and her condition in life. She is self-serving beyond imagination.

    I am not saying women have it easy. But she certainly does. She is not the child-bride of some war mercenary in Niger or Afghanistan, getting daily rapes and beatings from the men in her life. As for being gay in these places?

    Well, they get killed immediately.

    • md1979 says:

      @mike, I think you’re correct here: “Madonna’s opinions on sexism are always tied to her relevance and attempt to justify her stance in whatever stage in life she happens to be at.” She has always been a narcissist and shameless self-promoter.

      But I don’t agree with the implication in your post that just because she “certainly” has it easy compared to other women, her comments are invalid. One of the great qualities of humans is that we can empathize with and observe the plights of others, even if we aren’t exactly the same. She’s not asserting that she has it as badly as e.g. a child bride in Afghanistan, but because she’s in a more privileged position, doesn’t mean she’s automatically wrong.

    • Mintessence (the original Minty) says:

      Very insightful comment, mike. Madonna brings up important talking points, but it’s just talk. She doesn’t walk the walk. She says things people like to hear – she’s pandering, really – but her actions are often contradictory to her words. This was a woman who said many years ago that plastic surgery wasn’t for her, that inner beauty was more important.

      Here’s another example: her brother Christopher (the one who wrote the book about her) said she outed him publicly without asking his permission first. He said she used his sexuality as a way to get credibility with the gay community. What’s worse, during her wedding party celebrating her marriage to Guy Ritchie, Guy and his friends made homophobic jokes in front of everyone. Madonna listened without comment. She didn’t call Guy and his friends out for their insensitive remarks. She said and did nothing.

      Activism, like charity, begins at home. She sure didn’t have her own brother’s back when they were getting along, so I find it hard to believe that she would really put herself out there for others if she didn’t benefit first. Everything she does is in her self-interest, calculated for publicity (including her recent interviews on sexism, gay rights, ageing, her stifling marriage to Guy), for maximum exposure, for the almighty dollar: ticket and album sales. #livingforlove….Blech!

      • Mintessence (the original Minty) says:

        Okay, ‘pandering’ was the wrong word for me to use here. Madonna definitely says the ‘correct’ things in interviews. However, there is little concrete evidence that she really believes the words coming out of her mouth.

        She is not for the solidarity of women or gays. She is for herself. Besides the aformentioned story of her being passive about her former husband’s homophobic attitude in front of her gay brother, Madonna has a history of publicly dissing other female entertainers – basically, any woman who was taking the spotlight away from her.

  40. **sighs** says:

    I’m thinking more scope with this one. Women are just over half of the population, and yet we are marginalized, to different degrees, in virtually every single country on earth.

  41. CH2 says:

    I agree with her… outspoken women get it THE WORST… the patriarchy is still strong in today’s society and people say things about women casually that they would be super sensitive saying about other sectors of society. Example (just from today). Coworker says she cleans her house spotless for her husband. I say “does he help?” she says: “No, but he lets me work part time sometimes” LETS ME!!! I just don’t think people find that kind of talk appalling. It’s just the way things are for them… I would be embarrassed to say that my husband “lets me” do anything or that I “let him” do anything. But men are totally in favor of that kind of phrasing of things…

  42. md1979 says:

    One thing I will say for Lady M: all these years, and she still knows how to stir up a good controversy, get loads of publicity and provoke public opinion! Well done, on that front.

  43. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    On wishing that she were gay: “I didn’t feel like straight men understood me. They just wanted to have sex with me. Gay men understood me, and I felt comfortable around them. There was only that one problem, which is that they didn’t want to have sex with me! ”

    Because all straight men are the same and all gay men are the same, right?

    And why is it a problem if someone who understands you doesn’t want to have sex with you?

  44. Allie says:

    “you’re still either a virgin or a whore. If you’re a certain age, you’re not allowed to express your sexuality, be single, or date younger men.”

    She’s just talking about herself here. She’s framing the gossip and nasty opinions about her as why womens rights still fall behind LGBT rights.

  45. Paulo says:

    “If you’re a certain age, you’re not allowed to express your sexuality, be single, or date younger men.” –Madonna

    These are conventions espoused by women themselves. The harshest judgement of women comes from other women. A group of women friends told me that after a certain age women shame other women into repressing their sexuality, that’s why older women cut their hair short. Think about it, if most every man likes long-haired women, then men aren’t the ones telling women to cut their hair short…to symbolize their aged and non-sexuality.

    Women are also the gender that tells women what clothes to wear, how to act, etc.
    Most guys like older women, even after a certain age if she has taken care of herself and embraces her sexuality. Just because we like young women doesn’t mean we can’t like older women too. Like it is with some older men, some older women are extremely sexy…men like sexy regardless of age.

    As for being single and dating younger men, again, judgements from other women. Why would men care if women are single or not? We want all women to be single and available. The same with dating younger men, why would men care if they did? Only older men who can’t compete would be bothered by it.

    Madonna’s rant sounds like she’s disgruntled about aging and her fading (was it ever there) beauty. She’s feeling ingrained conventional values pressuring her because of her advancing age. She’s mad about it, and instead of owning it, she’s lashing at men. Men didn’t tell her to wear make-up and dress provocatively, and men haven’t told her to stop. But if Madonna’s unhappy, by golly someone’s to blame, and men are the only group she can freely marginalize, as well as garner support from other hate groups towards them.

    It’s also a bit absurd that she complains about the categorizations of either virgin or whore, when both her gambit and monicker have capitalized on that very dichotomy.