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.

 

Today in Madonna History: January 21, 2017

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On January 21 2017, Madonna participated in the Women’s March on Washington. In addition to delivering a powerful speech (watch the full video below), Madonna also performed Express Yourself and Human Nature.

Here is the full transcript of the speech Madonna delivered to over 500,000 people:

“Hello.

“Are you still awake out there?

“Are you sure about that?

“Can you hear me?

“Are you ready to shake up up the world?

“Welcome to the revolution of love. To the rebellion. To our refusal as women to accept this new age of tyranny. Where not just women are in danger but all marginalized people. Where people uniquely different might be considered a crime. It took us this darkness to wake us the fuck up.

“It seems as though we had all slipped into a false sense of comfort. That justice would prevail and that good would win in the end. Well, good did not win this election but good will win in the end. So what today means is that we are far from the end. Today marks the beginning, the beginning of our story. The revolution starts here. The fight for the right to be free, to be who we are, to be equal. Let’s march together through this darkness and with each step. Know that we are not afraid. That we are not alone, that we will not back down. That there is power in our unity and that no opposing force stands a chance in the face of true solidarity.

“And to our detractors that insist that this March will never add up to anything, fuck you. Fuck you. It is the beginning of much needed change. Change that will require sacrifice, people. Change that will require many of us to make different choices in our lives, but this is the hallmark of revolution. So my question to you today is are you ready? I said, are you ready? Say yes, we are ready. Say, yes we are ready. One more time: you’re ready.

“Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot of blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet, W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II: We must love one another or die.

“I choose love. Are you with me? Say this with me: We choose love. We choose love. We choose love.”

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