Why are people comparing Madonna to the former First Lady of the USA, Nancy Reagan? And what does it have to do with oral sex? Let us break it down for you.

Madonna is now 63 years old but refuses to bend to societal expectations of how a woman in her seventh decade should behave. Madonna demonstrates this with just about everything she does, including a series of racy photographs she posted to Instagram in November.

The photos, which picture Madonna in various states of undress, gyrating around a king-size bed and on her bedroom floor, made headlines around the world for multiple reasons. First, Instagram removed them because a “small portion” of Madonna’s nipple was exposed.

Madonna soon reposted the photos and used the post’s caption to vent frustration at Instagram’s censorship, as well as various other fictions propagated by the Western master narrative. “Giving thanks that I have managed to maintain my sanity through four decades of censorship…… sexism……ageism and misogyny,” she wrote.

However, as Madonna well knows, whenever the cage of convention is rattled, people will get upset. And so began the comparisons between Madonna’s photos and those of another sexagenarian: Nancy Reagan (who turned 63 in 1984, during her husband Ronald Reagan’s first stint in the White House).

YouTuber Classically Abby posted adjacent pictures of the two women on Twitter, writing “This is Madonna at 63. This is Nancy Reagan at 64. Trashy living vs. Classic living. Which version of yourself do you want to be?”

Who is Classically Abby?

Classically Abby is the social media handle of Abigail Shapiro, the younger sister of the high profile Jewish-American conservative commentator, Ben Shapiro. Like her older brother, the 21 year old Abby is a prominent conservative influencer. 

Her social media banner features the tagline, “Classic Living and Traditional Values,” and her videos promote modesty, rebuff feminist critiques of the patriarchy, and slam artists like Megan Thee Stallion for distributing “straight pornography”.

YouTube is her primary outlet, where she’s attracted close to 100,000 subscribers and 16m views over the past few years. She doesn’t have quite as many Twitter followers—64.5k at last count—but her rhetorical diss of Madonna certainly made a splash. 

Who and what is a “throat goat”?

Classically Abby’s desire to shame Madonna sparked profuse online debate. You were either pro-Madonna and viewed Abby’s post as slut-shaming or took Abby’s side and supported her praise of Reagan. However, the real commotion started when discussion turned to the legitimacy of Nancy Reagan’s status as a pillar of civility and modest femininity. 

Before Ronald Reagan’s political ascent, he and Nancy were both Hollywood actors. The latter was professionally known as Nancy Davis and starred in a host of feature films between the late-1940s and early-1960s. She had a long-running professional affiliation with the MGM film studio, and it’s this relationship that came under scrutiny.

Best-selling celebrity journalist Kitty Kelley wrote in her 1991 book, Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorised Biography, of how intimate Nancy was with her co-stars during her Hollywood tenure. In one of the book’s more salacious claims, Kelley wrote of Nancy’s apparent popularity in the MGM lot because of her reputation for “performing oral sex”.

This information was enough ammo for the internet to start calling Nancy Reagan the “Throat goat.” For anyone unfamiliar with the term, throat goat is a colloquial term commending someone’s prowess in the realm of fellatio. Though, as with most things concerning female sexuality, it’s typically weaponised against women, implying indignity and profligacy.

So, what’s the moral of the story?

Suffice to say, Classically Abby’s attempt at shaming Madonna backfired, with people around the world learning more about Nancy Reagan than they’d ever hoped to discover. But we should take all the Nancy Reagan-bashing with a grain of salt. 

Nancy Reagan had terrible economic principles and supported her husband’s aggressive war on drugs. To all appearances, she didn’t give a damn about Black people, the underclass and AIDS. 

But Nancy’s behaviour on the MGM lot was her choice and her prerogative, and there’s no glory in trumping one person’s illiberal moralising with your own snarky moralising.

For more on this topic, check out the Pop Observer.