Billboard has named Madonna its 2016 “Woman of the Year,” and to mark the occasion, the magazine sat down with the singing legend for a wide-ranging discussion. True to her reputation as a provocateur, Madonna delivered a number of especially candid assessments when she was asked about the U.S. presidential election, showing she’s struggled to come to grips with the outcome. The conversation veered onto the topic of ageism and how, in Madonna’s view, it’s a problem that only affects women in the entertainment industry. “Age is only brought up with regard to women. It’s connected to sexism, chauvinism and misogyny,” Madonna said. “When Leonardo [DiCaprio] is 60 years old, no one is going to talk about his relevance. Am I relevant as a female in this society that hates women? Well, to people who are educated and are not chauvinists or misogynists, yes.”
Naturally, that answer opened the door to the 2016 election, in which gender played a critical role. And Billboard writer Elizabeth Banks followed up with a question on how Madonna felt in the wake of the shocking result. “It felt like someone died. It felt like a combination of the heartbreak and betrayal you feel when someone you love more than anything leaves you, and also a death,” she said, adding, “It feels like women betrayed us. The percentage of women who voted for Trump was insanely high.” Indeed women, overwhelmingly white women, voted for Donald Trump in higher-than-expected numbers.
When pressed to explain that phenomenon, Madonna replied, “Women hate women. That’s what I think it is. Women’s nature is not to support other women. It’s really sad. Men protect each other, and women protect their men and children. Women turn inward and men are more external. A lot of it has do with jealousy and some sort of tribal inability to accept that one of their kind could lead a nation. Other people just didn’t bother to vote because they didn’t like either candidate, or they didn’t think Trump had a chance in the world. They took their hands off the wheel and then the car crashed.” Madonna said she knows some people who voted for Trump and that she’s subsequently “gotten into major arguments” with them.
Of course, the conversation twisted and turned through a number of interesting subjects including her assessment of Trump from the time, 20 years ago, when the two were part of a photo shoot together. And she even psychoanalyzes herself and explains why “I’m a super control freak.”
Read the full story at Billboard.