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Madonna Says She Felt “Raped” by New York Times Magazine Profile

Madonna was the subject of a complex and thoughtful profile in the latest issue of the New York Times Magazine, which ran under the headline “Madonna at 60,” and contained extended sections about identity, motherhood, and aging. The pop icon evidently did not like the way writer Vanessa Grigoriadis portrayed her and discussed her work, especially as it pertained to her age. “To say that I was disappointed in the article would be an understatement- It seems,” Madonna wrote in the caption of an Instagram post of an outtake from the Times cover shoot this morning. “You cant fix society  And its endless need to diminish, Disparage or degrade that which they know is good. Especially string independent women.”

She continued:

The journalist who wrote this article spent days and hours and months with me and was invited into a world which many people dont get to see, but chose to focus on trivial and superficial matters such as the ethnicity of my stand in or the fabric of my curtains and never ending comments about my age which would never have been mentioned had I been a MAN! Women have a really hard time being the champions of other women even if. they are posing as intellectual feminists.  Im sorry i spent 5 minutes with her. It makes me feel raped. And yes I’m allowed to use that analogy having been raped at the age of 19.

The last sentences may be in reference to a scene from the profile in which Madonna discusses the early leak of her last album, 2015’s Rebel Heart. From the Times Magazine:

“There are no words to describe how devastated I was,” she said. “It took me a while to recover, and put such a bad taste in my mouth I wasn’t really interested in making music.” She added, “I felt raped.” It didn’t feel right to explain that women these days were trying not to use that word metaphorically.

Grigoriadis is known for her unsparing frankness in celebrity profiles: she once pressed a teenaged Justin Bieber for his views on abortion, and Nicki Minaj infamously kicked her out of a hotel room in the middle of an interview for asking a question she didn’t like. The tone of the above passage, in which Grigoriadis details not only Madonna’s statements but her own uncertainty about how to respond to them, is indicative of the piece at large. Grigoriadis is open about her lifelong Madonna fandom, and deftly uses the tension between her own identities as a creative person and as a middle-aged mother to probe at similar tensions within her subject. She clearly admires Madonna a great deal—she even likes MDNA!—but she’s also unafraid to be critical. She calls Madonna “preachy” when she discusses her devotion to the Kabbalah, pokes at her apparent need (and ability, since she’s Madonna) to control everything around her, and admits, “I didn’t feel I was hearing enough of her real thoughts about her real life” over the course of the interviews. Madonna is not wrong that Grigoriadis talks a lot about her age, but it’s not in the tabloidy she’s-so-old way you might expect from the Instagram caption. The fact that Madonna’s age “would never have been mentioned had I been a MAN!” seems to be precisely why Grigoriadis is interested in it.

Read the full profile here, and see Madonna’s Instagram post below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Madame ❌ on the cover of N.Y.T. Magazine photographed by my dear friend @jr……….Also sharing my fav photo that never made it in, along with pre-shoot chat and a celebratory glass of wine 🍷 after many hours of work! To say that I was disappointed in the article would be an understatement- It seems. You cant fix society And its endless need to diminish, Disparage or degrade that which they know is good. Especially string independent women. The journalist who wrote this article spent days and hours and months with me and was invited into a world which many people dont get to see, but chose to focus on trivial and superficial matters such as the ethnicity of my stand in or the fabric of my curtains and never ending comments about my age which would never have been mentioned had I been a MAN! Women have a really hard time being the champions of other women even if. they are posing as intellectual feminists. Im sorry i spent 5 minutes with her. It makes me feel raped. And yes I’m allowed to use that analogy having been raped at the age of 19. Further proof that the venerable N.Y.T. Is one of the founding fathers of the Patriarchy. And I say—-DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY woven deep into the fabric of Society. I will never stop fighting to eradicate it. 💔

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