2017 felt like a breakout year for Janelle Monae. It felt like the world was finally understanding her genius. In addition to her musical prowess, she debuted her acting talents in Hidden Figures. And now that she has your attention, the has something to say: it’s time to start respecting women.
Speaking with Marie Claire, she voiced her strong opinions on men who aren’t actively fighting for women’s rights.
“People have to start respecting the vagina. Until every man is fighting for our rights, we should consider stopping having sex. I love men. But evil men? I will not tolerate that. You don’t deserve to be in my presence. If you’re going to own this world and this is how you’re going to rule this world, I am not going to contribute anymore until you change it. We have to realize our power and our magic. Because I am all about black-girl magic, even though I’m standing with all women. But this year? This year, I am so carefree black girl.”
Monae also advocated that it’s time for women to start taking control of our public image.
“It is important to redefine what sexy is. To redefine style… It is important for women to be [in control], especially when gender norms and conformity are pushed upon us.”
“Women automatically are told that this is how you should look. This is how you should get a man. This is how you should get a woman. You need to fit into all these boxes to be accepted. I don’t subscribe to that way of thinking. I don’t think we all have to take the same coordinates to reach the same destination. I believe in embracing what makes you unique even if it makes others uncomfortable. I have learned there is power in saying no. I have agency. I get to decide.”
Monae has long been an advocate for strong women and even held a Fem the Future brunch last year for women of color in the entertainment industry. The brunch’s goal was to bring powerful women together and help them fully realize their potential.