The Girl With The Most Cake
Published: May 23, 2012
An entirely hypothetical conversation between Madonna’s daughter and Courtney Love’s daughter:
Madonna’s daughter: God, I can’t believe my mother.
Courtney Love’s daughter: God, I can’t believe my mother. Do you know what she did? She tweeted about how my dad’s drummer from his old band had sex with me.
CLD: And she does it all like, oh, “I’m not mad at her, him I am about to shoot, dead.” Like she’s defending me.
MD: Did you?
CLD: Hell no! I’m in a monogamous relationship and very happy! She’s crazy. Everyone in the world knows she’s crazy. You don’t go into the Wendy’s high and let some random guy suck on your tits because you’re sane.
MD: Whoa, that is much worse than me. My mom is mad because I got caught smoking by paparazzi.
CLD: Doesn’t she smoke in her new video?
MD: Yes! And her album is named MDNA, like, MDMA ecstasy? A drug? Hello? It’s just because she’s a health freak that she’s mad at me. I hate that both my parents are fitness fanatics.
CLD: Both my parents are heroin addicts.
MD: But listen to this: Then she says, “I don’t think I’m as tough as I should be [on my kids].” Like she’s not tough. Look at her yoga arms! I’m telling you, Frances, I can’t get away with anything. ANYTHING.
CLD: Oh yeah? Try being up all night when you’re 11 because your mom is ODing—AGAIN—and then she tells people she made her overdose “fun” for me. Lourdes, you’re going to be OK because your mom is really taking care of you. You two have a clothing line together, for chrissake. My mom came to me for $2.75 million dollars out of my trust fund. But I got the last laugh. I told her if she wanted the money she would have to give me rights to my dad’s image.
MD: No way!
CLD: Swear to God. So now I own Kurt Cobain’s “name, likeness, and appearance” until she pays me back. Which you and I know will be never.
MD: Didn’t she go to court a few years ago to get those rights from the guy she’s convinced you slept with?
CLD: No, that was about the rights to unpublished Nirvana songs. I can’t keep all her lawsuits about my dad’s money straight, either.
MD: God, I take it back. My mom is tough but your mom is a fucking piece of work.
CLD: The fact that a lot of her income nowadays comes from stuff like selling my dead dad’s image to Guitar Hero makes me think about that Gloria Steinem quote, “Every woman is one man away from welfare.”
MD: Well, actually she said, “If women have young children, they are one man away from welfare,” which is kind of different. And still pretty true, if you think about it.
CLD: Yeah, but your mom is a multimillionaire and a single mom, and she knew protecting her economic interests was part of taking care of herself, and then you. Maybe that added a level of cynicism to her “Material Girl” image because you knew she was just doing it for the cash and the fame, but it’s allowed her a level of power and control that my mom doesn’t have.
MD: Maybe, but my mom is assuming a highly stylized pose as this hypersexual Kabbalah goddess, whereas your mom is just being herself—a pain in the ass, true, but also brilliant and totally fearless, not calculated and humorless like my mom.
CLD: But that “self” can’t provide. So she’s got to lean on a man, in this case my dad, and now that he’s gone, me. It’d be one thing if my mom was trying to live a difficult, radical path outside of capitalism where she could be true to her, shall we say, “dynamic” self, but she loves staying in fancy hotels and wearing designer clothes. So she’s not breaking new ground by depending on my dad’s capital to do so.
MD: Wait, so what are you saying? That the more money you have, the bigger feminist you are?
CLD: No, I’m saying that economic self care is still a women’s rights issue. That any debate about abortion access or pay disparity or women in elected office is really about how women still don’t get the money that men get. People think that your mom is radical because of how she’s brought sex to the pop-culture forefront when really the most radical thing she’s done is protected her own—and her children’s—economic destiny apart from a patriarchal system where men are still the earners. Your mom is educating you that your labor is worthwhile and that economic self-protection—like, not throwing cash away on a useless expense like smoking—is important for a daughter to know.
MD: Didn’t your mom sing, “You want a part of me/Well, I’m not selling cheap”?
CLD: Believe me, I listened.
MD: Hey, you know that we’re not really Lourdes Leon and Frances Bean Cobain, right? We’re just a literary device for the purpose of this column.
CLD: Oh, sure. Because the real Frances Bean would protect herself. And you know what? I’m glad.
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