Simone de Beauvoir and Angela Merkel Analyze Madonna’s, “Like a Virgin” Video
A Script by Tom Miller – Student 5600-4501
The Scene: An apartment in Manhattan. The décor is urban contemporary, sparse. Seated on a comfortable couch are Simone de Beauvior and Angela Merkel. There is an antique Philco television up-stage left, model 22D5102-123. The lights dim, and Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” video plays in its entirety. At the conclusion of the video, the lights come up.
Merkel: (In a stiff German accent). It’s vulgar. Why such vulgarity? What does she mean to show by it? And why must she put religion with the sex? As a Christian, I find it offensive.
Beauvoir: Yes, perhaps. But that is precisely the challenge to the status quo, don’t you think? She shows us power. She embraces her feminine attributes shamelessly and confidently. It is theatre, darling—spectacle! Why do you have to be such a prude?
Merkel: Simone, one does not become Germany’s first female chancellor without power. Yet have you seen me flaunting myself like a prostitute on the streets and shaming God? No! Intellectualism is the manner of accomplishment for women, and a healthy respect for the divine.
Beauvoir: Oh Angela, let your hair down. Where is the fun in intellectualism? You know I’m married to Jean Paul Sartre, it is true. But do you think we just talk all the time? I give him all the religion he needs, and he worships me for it.
Merkel: Naturally as an existentialist, you are Godless. When I played a primary role in negotiating the Treaty of Lisbon and the Berlin Declaration, do you think I gave a moment’s thought to sexuality?
Beauvoir: Well you know I am oriented to literature and the arts. I think Madonna is brave to assert her sexuality so aggressively, as a man does. I think she claims for all women the power to be sexual and powerful, as well as intellectual. I promise you, she is much shrewder than you can possibly imagine. Do you know how much money she makes? She has been with the most powerful men and she casts them out like fishing worms. Even Warren Beatty is a Madonna has-been.
Merkel: All I hear you saying is that Madonna is a whore—a whore for men, and a whore for money.
Beauvoir: You know it’s a love song, don’t you? We all want to be like a virgin again, don’t we? When I wrote “The Second Sex”, it was no accident my book became a pinnacle moment for feminism. I argued for equality of the genders. I showed that even in homosexuality, there are gender roles and inequality. Does not Madonna finally express that a woman can be powerful and successful just as a man?
Merkel: Madam, Forbes magazine listed me as one of the most powerful women in the world. Do you know who you’re talking to? You won’t even be recognized as a philosopher in your own right until after you die. Meanwhile, you stand in the shadow of your husband’s accomplishments. Where is the equality in that?
Beauvoir: (She pauses…) Let’s have some wine, bitch.