Janelle Monáe thinks there’s one surefire way to get men to take women’s rights seriously: Ladies should keep their pants on.
“People have to start respecting the vagina,” Monáe told Marie Claire as part of its “Fresh Faces” issue. “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.
Monáe explained how important it is for women to take 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,” she said. “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.”
Monáe’s career launched out of her welcoming her uniqueness with a style that frequently included tuxedos and pompadours, unlike the typical female singer. After the release of her debut album, “The ArchAndroid,” in 2010, she has fused her political ideals into her music. That includes her 2013 dedication to marginalized people called “Q.U.E.E.N.” and her 2015 ode to Black police shooting victims like Eric Garner and Sandra Bland on “Hell You Talmbout.”