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That Madonna kiss was nothing to be disgusted about.

The fact that Madonna is fearless and powerful and rich beyond imagination cannot be reduced by one little word: OLD.

Madonna: Once upon a time, she was the coolest.

Women of a certain age will look at this picture and remember a time when rubber bangles and crucifixes and lace petticoats were The Thing everyone wanted, but nobody dared, to wear.

Madonna launching the ‘Like A Virgin Tour’ thirty years ago. That’s right, thirty. Image via Instagram.

I was a young teen when I watched Desperately Seeking Susan, saw Madonna drying her pits with a hand-dryer at Grand Central and thought – she is everything. She is the epitome of ‘don’t give a f*k’ sexy, of a woman in control of herself, a type of female rebel I hadn’t seen before.

Drying her pits in ‘Suddenly Susan’.

No-one called Madge Madge when she was 20.

She was sexy and dangerous and did it all on her own terms. She was Madonna.

Now, here’s Madge at 56:

A recent photo of Madonna from her Instagram.

And mostly, she’s a figure of fun. Look at what she’s done to her face. Look at what those ridiculous clothes. Look at how she always dates those young guys. She’s so scary. She’s so sad.

It’s an overall wash of pity and disdain for a woman who refuses to fade away, to, as she puts it, “sit on the couch and eat biscuits”, and last night, it spilled over into open hostility when she planted an apparently surprise kiss on a legitimately young, cool person at Coachella, a music festival for young, cool, people.

In a moment that cannot have been anything other planned for a woman as in control of her image as Madonna, she leant in for a pash with her duet partner, Drake who is 28-years-old.

Drake is cool, Drake is current, Drake used to date Rihanna for God’s sake, but he certainly wasn’t above getting onstage with one of the world’s most famous women.

And he wasn’t above co-operating with a stage-managed kiss.

And then, he wasn’t above humiliating her with a disgusted reaction.

The world immediately erupted in ridicule. Because what could be funnier than a woman in her 50s pretending that she’s, you know, desirable? And that someone might want to kiss her? And that she might know how to kiss? And that she might taste good?

Relive it here: Madonna kisses Drake. Does not get the reaction she was hoping for.

Yes, there is stuff to be mocked here.

After all, Madonna has been sex-stunting for decades – remember Britney and Christina, anyone? Remember her making out with Jesus Christ? Remember her getting cunnilingus on the bonnet of a car in Body Of Evidence?

A scene from ‘Like A Prayer’.

Yes, Madonna has been using sex as a shock-horror marketing tool for three decades. And there’s an argument that she should move on, get a new schtick and leave the nipple-flashing, hip-thrusting tonsil hockey to Miley Cyrus.

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The fact that she is fearless and powerful and rich beyond imagination cannot be reduced by one little word – OLD.

But that’s what our culture would like us to believe. Whatever a woman is, whatever she has achieved, however many Awards are in her pool room and how much money is in her bank, if she isn’t nubile and 20-something, she is a figure of fun.

She is sad.

And if she dares to try to “stay young” – that hiding to nowhere that involves worshipping at the altar of surgeons-to-the-stars and spending half of every day at Tracey Anderson’s studio – she is ridiculous.

And if she dates a younger man, she is tragic.

Madonna with her biological and adopted children David Banda, Lourdes, Mercy James, and Rocco.

Madonna is the first of a generation of female music megastars who is not going to fade from view. She will not be the last.

What do we expect from Beyonce in another 15 years? From Pink? From, yes, even Taylor Swift?

There isn’t a script yet for how female music mogul should age. Madonna is writing it now. And there will be some who think she’s getting it wrong.

You go, Madonna:When you and your breasts are 56, you’ve earned the right to do what you want with them. 

But know this. If we are very, very lucky, we will all be as old as Madonna one day, if we are not already. And we will rail against the men who want us to sit down and shut up then, just as we rail against them now.

Drake did Madonna a huge disservice when he wiped his mouth after that kiss.

And he did himself one, too. Because he became a predictable parody of how men see women over 40. Or rather, how they don’t.

And whatever we think of Madonna’s ever-tightening grip on her fishnets, we should cheer for her refusal to disappear from view.

Because we won’t.

Madonna should be celebrated, not ridiculed, and here’s why: She is a cultural icon, a business person worth $700million, who is in charge, not only of her own destiny, but also a small army of people, a school or two in Africa, and four children. She has been selling music, making (admittedly bad) movies, pushing boundaries and campaigning for AIDS awareness, gay rights, UNICEF and Amnesty International for – almost literally – ever.

And if you are still one of the people who looked at Madonna daring to kiss a man HALF HER AGE last night, shaking it on stage at 56 and thought – that’s pathetic, when is she going to give it up?

I have two words for you. MICK JAGGER.

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