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LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Madonna performs at the O2 as part of her 'Rebel Heart' world tour at The O2 Arena on December 1, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)


Madonna delivers fiercely honest awards speech during Billboard event

December 12, 2016

When Madonna took to the stage to accept the Woman of the Year award at the Billboard Women in Music event, she began her speech by saying, “I stand before you as a doormat. Oh, I mean, as a female entertainer.”

She went on to deliver a withering dissection of the misogyny and ageism that she has experienced throughout her 34 years in the industry.

“[M]y real muse was David Bowie,” she said while reflecting on the early days of her career. “He embodied male and female spirit and that suited me just fine. He made me think there were no rules. But I was wrong. There are no rules — if you’re a boy. There are rules if you’re a girl.

“If you’re a girl, you have to play the game. You’re allowed to be pretty and cute and sexy. But don’t act too smart. Don’t have an opinion that’s out of line with the status quo. You are allowed to be objectified by men and dress like a slut, but don’t own your sluttiness. And do not, I repeat do not, share your own sexual fantasies with the world. Be what men want you to be, but more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men. And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin. You will be criticized and vilified and you will definitely not be played on the radio.”

Though Madonna’s art has been misunderstood and derided throughout the years, she said at the awards that she has done nothing more controversial than “stick around.”

“Michael [Jackson] is gone,” she continued. “Tupac is gone. Prince is gone. Whitney is gone. Amy Winehouse is gone. David Bowie is gone. But I’m still standing. I’m one of the lucky ones and every day I count my blessings.”

Watch parts of Madonna’s speech here:

Read the full story at Rolling Stone.



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