Today in Madonna History: January 19, 2017

On January 19 2017, Madonna participated in a discussion about feminism with Elizabeth Alexander, Marilyn Minter and the director of the Brooklyn Museum (where the discussion was held), Anne Pasternak, in New York City.

Here’s how the New York Times reported on the discussion:

At the talk Thursday night — which was introduced by Anne Pasternak, the director of the Brooklyn Museum, and moderated by the poet and essayist Elizabeth Alexander — one of the most interesting discussions surrounded the topic of sexuality and aging.

Ms. Minter — who collaborated with Madonna on a video piece for the singer’s 2008 “Sticky and Sweet Tour” — said that it is considered acceptable for women artists to talk about their sexuality as they get older, so long as they make themselves the brunt of a joke, like “Phyllis Diller.”

Madonna replied that she has no interest in approaching it this way. “I want to take it very seriously,” she said, wearing a biker cap and a black T-shirt reading “Feminist.”

Both Madonna and Ms. Minter frequently cited the virtue of resilience, saying it had been central to their successes.

For example, Ms. Minter said, it was often the “white heat” and praise that got her into trouble as an artist and made her complacent about pushing forward.

Madonna said, “I think what’s been key to my survival, strangely enough, is the constant rejection and criticism.”

Even so, she said that if she had learned one thing from the election, it was that women needed to get better at supporting each other. She noted the robust support for Mr. Trump by white women and the fact that the sharpest criticism she’s faced over the years has been from other women.

“And I find that astounding,” Madonna said. “Men naturally bond together and support each other.”

Ms. Minter agreed: “I’ve seen that too. They work as a team until they get to the top. Then they try to kill each other!”

Unsurprisingly, both Madonna and Ms. Minter were headed south to take part in the Women’s March on Washington.

How were they getting there, Ms. Pasternak asked.

“I’m taking the bus,” said Madonna.

“Me too,” said Ms. Minter.

 

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