Heather Wines/CBS Madonna has strong feelings about women’s rights, and she’s not afraid to share them. In a candid new interview with Out magazine, the pop icon says she believes “women are still the most marginalized group” in society.

“Gay rights are way more advanced than women’s rights,” she tells the mag. “People are a lot more open-minded to the gay community than they are to women, period.”

She says progress on women’s issues is slow-going. “It’s moved along for the gay community, for the African-American community, but women are still just trading on their a**,” she says. “To me, the last great frontier is women.”

Madonna, whose 13th studio album Rebel Heart was released Tuesday, explains that women today are still being forced to play a certain part. You’re either “a virgin or a whore.” And, she explains, if you’re over a certain age, “you’re not allowed to express your sexuality, be single, or date younger men.” The 56-year-old has been criticized for dating men many years her junior, and points out that a man would never be questioned or criticized for such behavior.

She also admits that she’s always felt connected to the gay community. Her younger brother, Christopher, is gay and gay men make up a significant portion of her loyal fanbase. “I didn’t feel like straight men understood me,” Madonna says. “They just wanted to have sex with me. Gay men understood me, and I felt comfortable around them. There was only that one problem, which is that they didn’t want to have sex with me! So…conundrum!”

With or without a man, Madonna continues to be a beacon of female empowerment. But that can sometimes come with a price. The singer, who has a song about 15th century warrior Joan of Arc on her new album, says she can sometimes relate to the brutal punishment Joan endured for standing up for what she believed in. “I can relate — sometimes I’m getting burned at the stake metaphorically,” she says.

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