Madonna and Marilyn Minter Talk Feminism at Brooklyn Museum on Inauguration Eve

Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the US on January 20, and on the eve of that historic event, the Brooklyn Museum will host global superstar singer Madonna and beloved feminist artist Marilyn Minter for a public conversation.

The evening, which promises to touch on topics such as art, culture, and women’s rights in the face of current events, will be moderated by museum director Anne Pasternak and playwright Elizabeth Alexander.

artnet News spoke by phone with Minter, asking her why this event is important now. “You must be joking,” she laughed. “We had a wake-up call at that election. We all thought we were going to be celebrating our first woman president, and then this last gasp of a dying patriarchy came and snatched it out of our hands.”

Joan Malin and Diane Max present Marilyn Minter with the Planned Parenthood woman of valor award. Photo: BFA.

Joan Malin and Diane Max present Marilyn Minter with the Planned Parenthood Woman of Valor award. Courtesy of BFA.

“There are rules if you’re a girl,” said Madonna—also an avid art collector—during an impassioned speech last month at the Billboard’s Women in Music event, where she was honored as woman of the year. “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 your sluttiness.”

“Be what men want you to be,” the singer continued, “but more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men. And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin. You will be criticized, you will be vilified, and you will definitely not be played on the radio.”

Anne Pasternak attends The 2016 Brooklyn Museum Artists Ball, Honoring Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia on April 20, 2016 in New York City. Courtesy of Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Brooklyn Museum.

Anne Pasternak attends The 2016 Brooklyn Museum Artists Ball, Honoring Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia on April 20, 2016 in New York City. Courtesy of Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Brooklyn Museum.

“Madonna’s on fire and I just feel like I’m a conduit for her,” Minter, the subject of the Brooklyn Museum’s current exhibition “Pretty/Dirty,” told artnet News. It will be a busy week for the artist, who will head to Washington, DC, the next day, for the Women’s March on Washington, taking place January 21.

Originally planned for February, the Brooklyn Museum event came together on short notice after Madonna suggested holding it before the inauguration.

Marilyn Minter Orange Crush (2009). Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.

Marilyn Minter Orange Crush (2009). Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.

Donald Trump, who has bragged about sexually assaulting women, who routinely denigrates women’s appearances, and has been accused on multiple occasion of sexual harassment and assault, has been elected to the highest office in the land—with a majority of white women’s votes.

Perhaps Madonna put it best in her Billboard speech:

Women have been so oppressed for so long they believe what men have to say about them. They believe they have to back a man to get the job done. And there are some very good men worth backing, but not because they’re men—because they’re worthy. As women, we have to start appreciating our own worth, and each other’s worth. Seek out strong women to befriend, to align yourself with, to learn from, to be inspired by, to collaborate with, to support, [and] to be enlightened by.

Brooklyn Talks: Madonna X Marilyn Minter” will take place at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, 8 p.m.–10 p.m. Tickets ($50–$125) are already on sale for museum members, and are available to the public beginning 4 p.m. on Friday, January 13.

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