Watch Madonna Open Up About Facing Relentless Sexism and Abuse in Award Acceptance Speech

Photo: Getty

On Friday, Madonna, the highest-grossing female touring artist of all time, accepted her Woman of the Year award at the Billboard Women in Music 2016 event with a sobering, honest speech.

Madonna told the audience at the award show that she’d endured constant misogyny and abuse for decades and spoke again about being raped on a New York City rooftop at the start of her career (Madonna first spoke publicly about the attack in 2013).


“I stand before you as a doormat,” Madonna said. “Oh, I mean, as a female entertainer. Thank you for acknowledging my ability to continue my career for 34 years in the face of blatant sexism and misogyny and constant bullying and relentless abuse.”

Madonna also addressed gendered double standards of beauty, intelligence aging in the entertainment industry (and, let’s be honest, everywhere else too):

“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 definitely not played on the radio.”


Madonna also discussed wanting to be like David Bowie and not wanting to be like Camille Paglia. I’m on board with the entire thing.


It’s kind of strange to go to someone’s birthday party dressed as them, even if you already impersonated them for Halloween, and had part of the costume on hand, and looked hot in it. But, apparently, Christina Aguilera specifically requested that Kylie Jenner resurrect her “Drrty” look for Aguilera’s 36th birthday party. Go figure.


Not to be outdone by…herself, Aguilera went as furry cotton candy splendor, very Gatsby 2016.



In SNL’s cold open this week, Breaking Bad’s Walter White (Bryan Cranston) was introduced as Trump’s new DEA chief, much to Kellyanne Conway’s (Kate McKinnon) delight, and “Jake Tapper”’s boringly incredulous dismay.


“Kellyanne, it’s almost like Trump appoints these people specifically to undermine the very agencies they head,” Tapper opines. “Are they bad picks?”

“No, Jake, they are not bad,” Conway shoots back, “they are ‘alt-good.’’”


  • Barbara Walters hates The View, thinks ABC execs made it petty and ruined it. [Page Six]
  • Susan Olsen, a.k.a. Cindy from The Brady Bunch, was fired from her Los Angeles-based radio show for making homophobic remarks. [New York Daily News]
  • Wesley Snipes is writing his debut novel, a supernatural thriller, in stores summer 2017. [Deadline]
  • Courtney Love sang “Like a Virgin” at a karaoke bar…oh to have been a fly on the wall. [Page Six]
  • I guess Tim Duncan got a giant robot tattoo, that’s pretty rad. [Complex]
  • Oh good, now Kanye has time to add an entire New York city apartment-worth of space to his Hollywood mansion. [TMZ]

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About the author

Hannah Gold

contributing writer, nights