Feminist writer Camille Paglia has penned a pointed essay in response to Madonna, who called her out by name during her acceptance speech at Billboard’s Women in Music Awards on Friday.
“Camille Paglia, the famous feminist writer, said that I set women back by objectifying myself sexually,” Madonna said toward the end of her 10-minute monologue. “Oh, I thought, so if you’re a feminist, you don’t have sexuality. You deny it. So I said, “F*ck it.” I’m a different kind of feminist. I’m a bad feminist.”
The comments from Madonna came as something of a surprise to some, considering Paglia was one of the pop icon’s biggest boosters throughout the 1990s. Paglia fired back with a searing essay, noting that the 58-year-old pop star hasn’t matured musically in decades.
“The real issue is that while Madonna’s world tours have remained highly successful, her artistic development has been stalled for 20 years,” Pagila wrote in the Daily Mail. “The last truly innovative work she did was with electronica producer William Orbit. Madonna has become a prisoner of her own wealth and fame. Her most authentic ideas were inspired by her childhood rebellion against the repressive code of American Catholicism.”
Pagila proclaims Madonna’s most pressing issue on her “current path of self-destruction is her embarrassing inability to deal with aging.”
“She has failed to study the example of her great role model, Marlene Dietrich, who retained her class and style to the end,” Pagila wrote. “Madonna keeps chasing after youth, humiliating herself with vulgar displays, like the horrendously trashy, buttock-baring outfit she wore to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala in May.”
Pagila continues, saying that Madonna “has become a cringe-making pastiche of ratty blonde hair extensions and artificially swollen cheeks, obscuring the magnificent classic bone structure that made her one of the most photogenic celebrities of the 1990s.”
Pagila came to fame after championing Madonna, most notably in her 1990 New York Times essay “Madonna — Finally a Real Feminist.”
Later in her Daily Mail essay, Pagila says Madonna’s social media presence has “debased” the singer.
“In her struggles to stay relevant, Madonna has debased herself with adolescent, pitifully inept Instagrams that cannot compete with Rihanna’s brilliant work in that genre,” she wrote.
Finally, Pagila suggests that Madonna stop lashing out at her critics and repair her own self-destructive behavior.
“Instead of lugubrious rants and hysterical recriminations, perhaps Madonna should try a little honest self-critique,” she wrote.
Madonna has made waves for some unusual behavior in recent years.
In 2015, the singer was forced to apologize after she came under fire for posting several altered images of civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., to social media in order to promote her new album Rebel Heart. A week later, Madonna was caught up in another controversy after she was accused of using the horrific and deadly terror attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to promote her album.
Also, earlier this year, Madonna promised to perform oral sex on anyone who voted for Hillary Clinton.