Back in the day, Madonna was criticized for her sexuality. These days, though, she says the criticism she gets has nothing to do with her sexuality, and everything to do with her age. But, she says, “I’m going to keep fighting it.”
“In the beginning of my career, I got so much flak for using sexuality as part of my creativity and was called a sexual provocateur,” the 59-year-old pop icon tells The Cut. “Now, all the challenges that I had to face 20 years ago seem ludicrous. What I am going through now is ageism, with people putting me down or giving me a hard time because I date younger men, or do things that are considered to be only the domain of younger women.”
“It’s an outdated, patriarchal idea that a woman has to stop being fun, curious, adventurous, beautiful, or sexy past the age of 40,” she continues. “It’s ridiculous. Why should only men be allowed to be adventurous, sexual, curious, and get to have all the fun…?”
Madonna fumes, “I mean, who made those rules? Who says? I’m going to keep fighting it. Ten to 20 years from now, it’s going to be normal. People are going to shut up.”
“How do we fight it? By standing up to men and by standing up to social mores or standards that say we cannot,” she suggests. “The more women that do it, it will just be a matter of time.”
Madonna insists she doesn’t think about aging, explaining, “I don’t do anything different than I used to do. I keep going. I continue being creative and working.”
“I’ve never gotten complacent. I’ve never gotten comfortable. If you keep putting yourself in challenging, new adventurous situations, then you keep yourself alive and youthful.”
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