Madonna launches misguided attack on female voters
Pop queen Madonna and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump both are high-energy international entrepreneurs, brilliant marketers and self-made anti-establishment provocateurs whose careers have endured over decades. In a world without gender bias and leftist brainwashing about how women have to blindly support other women lest they be guilty of gender treason, Madonna would be Trump’s ideal supporter. Instead, she’s denouncing the women who voted for him.
"It feels like women betrayed us," Madonna said in a recent interview with Billboard magazine. "The percentage of women who voted for Trump was insanely high."
No, women didn’t betray other women. That’s far too simplistic and negates any deeper value consideration that transcends gender. Rather, a lot of strong, independent, self-made women (like Madonna herself) saw Trump as a strong, independent, self-made candidate.
According to exit polls, 42 percent of women voted for Trump. In the run-up to the election, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that college-educated white women favored Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by 27 points. The Post referred to this demographic as "Hillary Clinton’s firewall." But on Election Day, 45 percent of college-educated white women voted for Trump, giving him an unexpected edge.
The demographic that played such a key role in Trump’s victory is full of women who grew up listening and dancing to Madonna’s albums while pursuing an education and a career. Apparently, many of these voters ranked gender consideration behind character traits. How does Madonna feel about that?
"Women hate women. That’s what I think it is," she told Billboard. "Women’s nature is not to support other women. It’s really sad."
As a conservative woman – precisely the kind of Trump supporter Madonna is railing against – gender has never been a consideration for me when assessing someone politically. I am, however, sensitive about someone’s candidacy being shoved down my throat on the basis of superficial considerations.
Disregarding a candidate’s gender and focusing solely on his or her political platform should be as easy as disregarding a singer’s political whining and focusing solely on his or her art (just as I did this morning while listening to Madonna tunes during my morning workout).
Madonna ranks among the best-selling artists of all-time, alongside the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. She’s not on that prestigious list just because she’s a woman. Record sales are gender-agnostic. As a woman who came from humble beginnings and succeeded as a result of ambition, work ethic, talent, adaptability and intelligence, Madonna should respect the choices of similarly self-made women.
Last year, Madonna posted a photograph of the late former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on her Instagram page along with a note: "Thank you Margaret Thatcher!" She also added a famous Thatcher quote: "If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you will achieve nothing."
Madonna had the right idea in promoting a quote about courage from a legendary female trailblazer. Still, the post was removed after some fans complained.
Madonna has much more in common with the self-made Thatcher – who struggled against establishment classism and sexism to ascend to Britain’s highest political office – than she does with Hillary Clinton, who rose to political prominence as a result of being married to a U.S. president. However, the notion of political sisterhood and women backing other women only seems to be acceptable if it’s in support of women on the left.
Madonna certainly didn’t go to bat for the sisterhood in 2012, when her "MDNA" world tour included a giant video screen that showed French National Front leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika superimposed on her forehead.
In France, Le Pen represents a growing anti-establishment movement that has increasingly come to transcend right-vs.-left considerations. Madonna has always been a trailblazer, a rebel who’s never followed the rules. She has far more in common with Le Pen and Trump than with establishment figures such as Clinton. Time to get with the new paradigm, Madge.
Meanwhile, we can only hope that someday the left will stop promoting division through superficial traits like gender and focus instead on the character considerations that unite those of us with common values.
Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and former Fox News host based in Paris.