When Madonna recently gave an exclusive interview to Out! Magazine, she said something that has ignited a bit of controversy.
While Madonna is very proud of her background and involvement in the gay community, she contrasts the advances in rights for gays and African-Americans with those of women.
“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,” she says. “They’re still the group that people won’t let change.” To be a successful woman, she asserts, “you must fit into this box: You must behave this way, dress this way.”
Madonna backs up her assertions of marginalization with her own tales of treatment as producer of her own records.
“People are always saying, ‘So he’s the producer,’ or ‘Who produced it?’ and I have to say, ‘I did. I co-produced that with Diplo. I co-produced that with Kanye.’ Whatever — everything is a co-production. I’m the one who stays in the studio throughout, from beginning to end — all of these people come and go.”
This is a battle that Madonna has been fighting all her career. She has dragged the categorization of women into the light and blazed a path for artists who follow her, like Lady Gaga. But she is not done evangelizing on the topic.
“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 points out that her own proclivity for dating younger men, even a succession of them, is seen as somehow unseemly. But, she points out that such behavior in “a man would never be questioned or criticized.”