Madonna Custody Battle: Ignorant Comments Reinforce Misogyny

Madonna is evil. Madonna shouldn't be a mother. Her son would be better off with ex-husband Guy Richie. Madonna is embarrassing her son. Reading articles and social media posts would have you believe that Madonna is evil for going to court to protect a legal custody agreement she had with her ex-husband, Guy Richie.

Rocco Richie is a 15-year-old kid and, until recently, seemed to be best friends with his mom. Perhaps Madonna should have known that it is almost impossible to be a strict authority figure and a best friend to your child at the same time. Last week, the New York Daily News broke the news on her custody battle.

"Madonna's teenage son no longer wants to live in a material world. Rocco Ritchie, the 15-year-old son of the pop diva and film director Guy Ritchie, says he wants to stay with his dad in London, not his mom in New York. But he must return from London — where he's been visiting Ritchie — thanks to an order Wednesday from a Manhattan Supreme Court judge."
Almost immediately, the tabloids went in for the kill and dug up past posts of Madonna's on Instagram in order to claim she embarrassed her son Rocco. Never mind that the posts (with pictures) mentioned also appeared on Rocco's Instagram, so he couldn't have been too embarrassed.

TMZ, owned by Time Warner -- a company Madonna left for a very successful deal with Live Nation -- reported on one picture in particular, which showed Rocco doing a backflip in on orange swimsuit with a hashtag that read, "Rocco's preferred profile #nosausage." They made it seem as if Madonna was poking fun at, well, you know. But that was hardly the case. When the post first appeared in May, Gossip Cop explained what really happened.

"Shortly after the singer posted the video on Instagram of Rocco in a pair of tight orange briefs, several gross commenters wrote about his 'package' and how he was 'hung.' Madonna then took down the video, and re-uploaded it [taken from another angle] with a new caption, trying to get commenters to not focus on the young man's penis. She wrote, 'Rocco's preferred profile #nosausage.'"
It would have been better for Madonna not to post the original video. It probably would have been even better for Madonna, after reposting the video from another angle, to not write anything. But the way the media reported on it (seven months after it occurred in order to agitate her custody battle), you would think that Madonna was a child molester. As far as we know, she's not.

But it gets worse. Several tabloids ran with another TMZ story about Rocco saying that he felt like a trophy child on tour. The general consensus is that since Madonna has younger boyfriends and worked a lot, her son would be better off with Guy Ritchie, who supposedly has a normal life, has a stable family, and is a much better parent.

Guy Ritchie and Wife
Why does the media constantly treat Guy Ritchie like he is some type of saint? [Chris Jackson/Getty Images]Nothing against Guy Ritchie, but the double standards here are crazy. Guy Ritchie had two children with his much-younger model wife, Jacqui Ritchie, before finally getting married to her this past summer. Mr. Ritchie is also the one who, when originally divorcing Madonna, said (through well-placed sources) that sleeping with her was like cuddling with gristle and that he didn't want any of her money. Numerous reports, such as the New York Daily News, said he received at least $92 million from the settlement. The press and the public cheered Guy Ritchie on, but would have called Madonna a gold-digger if she was the one who received the money.

Madonna may be an overly strict mother. Guy Ritchie may be a protective father who doesn't want his son to be treated with such strictness. But judging Madonna as a mother for who she slept with, how old she is, how embarrassing she is, and claiming how she should retire to spend more time with her kids is completely misogynistic and proves that our 1950s puritanical attitude towards women still hasn't changed much.

[Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images]