SHOULD we really be celebrating the birthday of the lady whom Elton once famously described as “A fairground stripper”?

This week, one broadsheet ran the headline Hail Madonna, under which came 1,000 words of homage to the 60 year-old declaring how the Queen of Pop has done so much for womanhood.

But has she? And would I want my daughter to grow up emulating the Like A Virgin singer, to become a self-absorbed scandalist so intent on headline grabbing she makes the Kardashians seem shy?

Would I want her to become a nicotine-addicted, porn-fixated, relationship failure who enters senior age with a seemingly manic sexual energy?

Another headline screamed out “Madonna Continually Re-defines Stereotypes About Older Women.” By “dating” younger men? Oh come on. Call the Double Standards police right now. If telly baker Paul Hollywood can get a kicking for having a near millennial girlfriend what’s so right about Madge and the series of toyboys?

One leading psychologist wrote; “Attractive young men can play the same role long assigned to young women, entering into the unspoken agreement: ‘Be sexy, beautiful and obedient and I’ll teach you a little bit about how the world works, show you off to my friends, buy you nice clothes, and have sex with you’.”

Madonna’s lovers, these days, are a series of young dancers/actors (as much as a 35 year age gap). Doesn’t this invoke the spirit of Norma Desmond, the ageing star who supports her young lover and then leaves him for dead in a dirty swimming pool? Or the essence of the predatory Mrs Robinson.

Madonna appears to connect sex with control and opportunity. It seems cold and calculated. After all, this is the woman who said famously that losing her virginity was a career move.

Yes, the American has produced a lot of decent eighties pop dance music, some 20-odd hits and you can appreciate why a 14 year-old David Tennant’s first single was Like A Virgin. You can see why she’s amassed a $594m fortune and there is no doubt the lady is a grafter.

But much of her success has emerged from the outrageous publicity generated by projects such as Sex, her coffee table book featuring salacious photos of the pop star and her chums. Or snogging Britney. At one point she took to having Hindi symbols painted on her face while simulating masturbation on stage. She upset Pope John Paul 11 when using crucifixes to suggest oral sex.

This wasn’t about breaking down barriers ¬- just attention seeking. One biographer wrote; “Her artistic decisions are purely cynical, the machinations of a master manipulator with excellent cultural antennae but no ideas of her own.”

I’m not sure she is a master manipulator or that her cultural antennae are little more than a wire coat-hanger of awareness. I’d guess she’s an opportunistic show-off, the original selfie in pop form. She certainly hasn’t had a great film career and that’s because she’s sometimes be asked to play someone other than herself. (Desperately Seeking Susan worked, in which she played the gobby chain-smoking rebel).

There’s so little of her own personality to borrow from. To watch Madonna on chat show television is to reach for the remote to find Countryfile instead. The woman seems absent of funny bone. She’s incredibly streetwise, but for someone so shocking she’s really rather dull and not too clever. This is a lady who once talked about being her own zeitgeist. Eh?

The female writers also argued that Madonna fights against ageism; “Do not age. Age is a sin.” And if she is suggesting society is ageist she is right. But why does age-defiance have to be represented by dressing like a super-annuated bordello madam? If a 60 year-old man dressed like one of the Dreamboys he would be laughed out of town. Mutton and lamb spring to mind.

But you can age and be funny, and relevant. Our world is a far better place for having Helen Mirren or Jane Fonda or the wonderful Miriam Margolyes (although Sue Johnston’s omnipresence on screen is a little bit wearying.)

There’s no denying Madonna has made an impact. But she’s not a game changer. She admits herself she’s not a feminist. And it’s not hard to see the woman hasn’t set out to reinforce JS Mill’s treatise on the subjugation of women. The success story is so much to do with the fact she’s always been desperately seeking flash cubes.

The attention seeking can perhaps be explained; Madonna lost her mum when she was five and had stepmother issues. But the manifestation of neediness doesn’t make her an exemplar.

Madonna isn’t all bad though. Ray of Light was a decent song. And she did once admit she was “bored” by Paul McCartney. (Who isn’t?) But a woman who’s son who didn’t want to live with her doesn’t suggest a role model. And Elton, you’d guess, wasn’t simply commenting on her dress sense. More likely wondering what this incessantly morphing sex-needy entity really adds up to. So let’s not be hailing her.