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Madonna Talks Ageism and Sexism: Having ‘Lovers Who Are 3 Decades Younger Than Me

[People] When it comes to defending herself against sexism and ageism, Madonna‘s an “Unapologetic Bitch.”

In the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar, the pop icon will sound off on her nearly 40-year career, the turbulent political climate and more — and PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the candid catch-up.

“I’ve always felt oppressed. I know a lot of people would go, ‘Oh, that’s ridiculous for you to say that. You’re a successful white, wealthy pop star,’ but I’ve had the s— kicked out of me for my entire career, and a large part of that is because I’m female and also because I refuse to live a conventional life,” Madonna, 58, told Bazaar. “I’ve created a very unconventional family. I have lovers who are three decades younger than me. This makes people very uncomfortable. I feel like everything I do makes people feel really uncomfortable.”

Indeed, since launching her career in the early ’80s, Madonna has made headlines — and occasionally ruffled feathers — for everything from her provocative performances and expanding her family through adoption to dating younger men.

I believe in freedom of expression, I don’t believe in censorship. I believe in equal rights for all people. And I believe women should own their sexuality and sexual expression,” she added in the interview with the fashion glossy. “I don’t believe there’s a certain age where you can’t say and feel and be who you want to be.”

In addition to blasting traditional expectations society places on women, Madonna — a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter — opened up about her reaction to the 2016 election results and President-elect Donald Trump‘s win.

“On election night I was sitting at a table with my agent, who is also one of my very best friends, and we were truly praying … It was just like watching a horror show … I went to sleep, and since that night, I wake up every morning and it’s like when you break up with somebody who has really broken your heart,” said the singer, who used her time onstage at a December event for her Raising Malawi charity to denounce the business mogul-turned-Republican politician.

 

“You wake up and for a second you’re just you, and then you go, ‘Oh, the person I love more than anything has just broken my heart, and I’m devastated and I’m broken and I have nothing. I’m lost,’” Madonna added in the Bazaar interview. “That’s how I feel every morning. I wake up and I go, ‘Wait a second. Donald Trump is the president. It’s not a bad dream. It really happened.’ It’s like being dumped by a lover and also being stuck in a nightmare.”

The “Living for Love” singer — and mother to Lourdes, Rocco, David Banda and Mercy James — has been particularly vocal about equality in recent months, most recently in a powerful speech in December when she was honored as Billboard‘s Woman of the Year.

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