Madonna and Hillary: ‘Witch’ and ‘Nasty Woman’ as Sisters in Arms
“I was called a whore and a witch,” Madonna said on Friday in a searing speech about the sexism and bullying that women face in the music industry and the culture at large.
“Such a nasty woman,” Donald J. Trump interjected in October as Hillary Clinton pointed out holes in his Social Security plan during their final presidential debate.
“真是个恶毒的女人，”在今年10月的最后一次总统辩论中，当希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)指出唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)的社会安全福利计划中的漏洞时，后者插嘴说。
Madonna and Mrs. Clinton: both trailblazers, both polarizing figures, and both attacked for actions, choices and behavior that are broadly accepted — even applauded — when done by their male peers. Madonna herself made a connection between the two women before her speech Friday, saying it was “really important to make a stand and speak my mind” about women’s rights after Mrs. Clinton’s loss in November.
Our pop music editor, Caryn Ganz, and deputy Culture editor and former political correspondent Patrick Healy looked at how Madonna and her speech put Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy in fresh perspective.
我们的流行音乐编辑卡琳·甘兹(Caryn Ganz)和文化副主编、前政治记者帕特里克·希利(Patrick Healy)共同探讨了麦当娜和她的讲话如何让我们从一个新的视角去看待克林顿的竞选。
PATRICK HEALY: Caryn, I’m coming off 18 months covering the presidential campaign, and frankly I’ve been wondering if Mrs. Clinton would ever give a speech like Madonna’s on Friday — calling out sexism in America and the rules that trap women but not men. “If you’re a girl, you have to play the game,” Madonna said. “Don’t have an opinion that’s out of line with the status quo.” Madonna and Mrs. Clinton have been controversial in part because they didn’t play “the game.” It’s easy to forget, amid their celebrity and longevity, that Madonna and Mrs. Clinton were once renegades: speaking out and pursuing power in ways that were considered overly ambitious for women. They fought for equality and respect — and they sought the kind of influence and money and fame that men have. Mrs. Clinton’s place and legacy in our culture is just starting to be considered and debated. But only after her speech yesterday did I start to think about her and Madonna as sisters in arms.
CARYN GANZ: Mrs. Clinton is so buttoned up and Madonna is so, well, unbuttoned, that I think many people have been hesitant to make this connection. And because Madonna has used sexual expressiveness as code for all kinds of liberation, she hasn’t been courted as a political ally. But now that both of them have reached a certain age, the sexism they’ve faced for decades has become something more insidious, paired with ageism.
HEALY: A lot of people don’t see sexism hurting Mrs. Clinton — after all, she won the Democratic nomination — but she and her advisers did. As for the sort of “liberation” that Madonna pioneered, Mrs. Clinton has a complicated relationship with it. She came of age in the era of women’s lib, and yet — to help Bill Clinton’s career in Arkansas — she changed her last name from Rodham to Clinton and got new hairstyles and glasses. And when she was most visibly liberated, including in her hard-charging performances in political debates, she got called “likable enough” by Barack Obama in 2008 and a “nasty woman” by Mr. Trump this fall. Madonna, in her speech Friday, recalled that she got so much abuse after releasing her “Erotica” album and “Sex” book in 1992 that she felt like “the most hated person on the planet.”
希利：很多人并没有看到性别歧视对克林顿的伤害——毕竟，她获得了民主党的提名——但是，她和她的顾问们看到了。至于麦当娜开创的那种“解放”，克林顿与它的关系比较复杂。她成年时，正是女性解放的时代，但是为了帮助比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)在阿肯色州的事业，她把自己的姓从罗德姆(Rodham)改为克林顿，换了新发型和眼镜。在她的解放精神表现得最为明显时，包括在政治辩论中表现强硬时，她得到的回应是：2008年，贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)说她“够招人喜欢了”；今年秋天，特朗普说她是个“恶毒的女人”。麦当娜在周五的演讲中回忆说，1992年，她发布专辑《Erotica》和写真《Sex》后，遭到很多辱骂，她感觉自己是“世界上最被厌恶的人”。
GANZ: In a 2008 “Weekend Update” segment about Mrs. Clinton’s initial presidential run, Tina Fey said: “Maybe what bothers me the most is that people say that Hillary is a bitch. Let me say something about that: Yeah, she is.” (Ms. Fey later proclaimed, “Bitch is the new black.”) I thought about this when Madonna put the song “Unapologetic Bitch” on her most recent album, “Rebel Heart,” the record where she started to speak openly about the discrimination she’s faced as a female artist over 55. Madonna has referred to herself in many ways in songs over the years, but she waited until 2015, on her 13th album, to reclaim “bitch.”
甘兹：2008年，蒂娜·菲(Tina Fey)在“周末新闻”(Weekend Update)版块提到克林顿的第一次总统竞选时说，“也许最困扰我的是，人们说希拉里是个婊子(bitch)。说说我的看法吧：她当然是啦（蒂娜·菲后来声称，“婊子是新潮流”）。当麦当娜把歌曲《不以为耻的婊子》(Unapologetic Bitch)放入她的最新专辑《叛逆的心》(Rebel Heart)中时，我想到了这一点。在这张专辑中，她开始公开谈论作为一名年逾55岁的女艺人所面临的歧视。多年来麦当娜在歌中用过很多方式称呼自己，但直到2015年，她才在自己的第13张专辑中启用“婊子”这个称号。
HEALY: Mrs. Clinton knew some people used that word about her. Like Madonna, she answered the haters with a strong work ethic. Mrs. Clinton put in 18-hour days, thought deeply about policy, and was a tireless campaigner even if she wasn’t the world’s most natural politician. Madonna is no Adele: She wasn’t born with a once-in-a-generation talent and voice. But she succeeded through work, grit and guts.
GANZ: But she was born with a once-in-a-generation ability to understand and command the power of connecting her voice to her image. Nobody did this the way Madonna did before her, though many have followed her example. Knowing that as a woman, her appearance would be a talking point, Madonna co-opted this scrutiny as a weapon from the beginning of her career, forcing everyone to talk about what she looked like by evolving — it was a conversation she essentially started herself. But as she has gotten older, the commentary about her work is almost entirely centered on how she looks rather than how she sounds, and whether what she is wearing or saying is “appropriate for a woman her age” — a question that musicians like Mick Jagger, who is 15 years older than Madonna, have never had to answer. And certainly no other candidate was the subject of stories about what he wore to the debate and what his clothes meant. (Continuing investigations into Mr. Trump’s hair aside.)
HEALY: I remember Mrs. Clinton telling me during the 2008 race that she probably woke up two hours earlier than Barack Obama each day because she had to do her hair and makeup, and he could just roll out of bed and into a suit. She has had no room for error in what she says or how she looks, her advisers felt, while a candidate like Mr. Trump could sound like a crazy man on Twitter, and many voters shrugged. Then again, Mrs. Clinton is far more of a perfectionist than Mr. Trump, as is Madonna.
GANZ: But Madonna and Mrs. Clinton have had their perfectionism interpreted as a pathology. As women cutting a path no woman had traveled before, they had no choice but to be as precise and detail-oriented as possible, knowing the slightest failure would invite a deluge of criticism. Madonna is known to control every aspect of rooms in which she will appear, down to the color of the lampshades. While Mr. Trump was making brash statements, Mrs. Clinton was tweeting point-by-point policy plans and rigorously preparing for the debates.
HEALY: But Mrs. Clinton could also take control too far, like keeping her State Department email on a private server. “I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible,” she wrote in 2010. And in 2008, she rarely talked about being a woman because she wanted to control her image — she wanted voters to think she would be as tough as any male commander in chief.
GANZ: Trailblazing is a solitary game. They’re both lonely warriors who reached a critical moment this year: the time when they had to speak up for their achievements and call out their haters.
HEALY: Mrs. Clinton has been labeled power-hungry since she was a young woman. And it drove her crazy, advisers said, because Mr. Trump and other men never faced that accusation. She felt held to the double standard that Madonna spoke about on Friday. I can imagine Mrs. Clinton listening to that speech and just saying “Yaaaas” over and over.