Sometimes, Madonna surprises us with her wisdom. Just when you think she has peaked in her celeb status, she does something else to top it. This time, Madonna spoke at the Billboard Women in Music Awards and addressed her radical career and the misogyny she’s faced: “There are no rules if you’re a boy. If you’re a girl, you have to play the game.
“What is that game? You are allowed to be pretty and cute and sexy, but don’t act too smart. Don’t have an opinion. Don’t have an opinion that is out of line with the status quo, at least. You are allowed to be objectified by men and dressed 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, you will be vilified, and you will definitely not be played on the radio. People say that I’m so controversial, but I think the most controversial thing I have ever done is to stick around. What I would like to say to all the women here today is this: Women have been so oppressed for so long, they believe what men have to say about them. And they believe they have to back a man to get the job done. … As women, we have to start appreciating our own worth and each other’s worth. Seek out strong women to befriend, to align yourself with. To learn from. To be inspired by. To collaborate with. To support. To be enlightened by.“