This past Friday night (Dec. 9) Madonna gave a powerful speech about being a female entertainer in the music industry while accepting Billboard’s Women in Music Woman of the Year award. In her speech, Madonna talked about the hardships that women face in the music industry, and spoke out against “blatant sexism and misogyny.” The ceremony occurred in New York City.
“I stand before you as a doormat,” she said to the audience while accepting the award as reported by Billboard. “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.”
In her speech, Madonna cited David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde and Aretha Franklin as major influences on how to be a woman in the music industry.
She also outlined the rules that women have to follow in the music industry, saying, “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 you sluttiness. And do not, I repeat do not, share your sexual fantasies with the world.”
Madonna went on to describe aging as woman in the music industry as a “sin” and that it’ll prevent you from getting played on the radio.
Another success story this year is Kesha, who was honored with the Trailblazer Award at the event after being embroiled in a bitter legal battle with former producer Dr. Luke. Aside from her legal troubles, Kesha has a long history of hits, including debut single “Tik Tok” and her songs “Your Love Is My Drug,” “Die Young” and “Timber.” Her albums Animal and Warrior also charted incredibly well.