Janelle Monáe Demands Respect for Vaginas, and Sis, She’s Not Wrong

Janelle Monáe is ready for big change in this world in regard to women’s rights. For her, the first step toward achieving the total respect of female bodies from men is for men to start “respecting the vagina.”

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In Marie Claire‘s Fresh Faces issue, Monáe spoke about the pressing need for vagina respect: “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 rule this world, I am not going to contribute anymore until you change it.”

Now, if that “withholding sex” part sounds familiar, it may be because it is actually the plot to a famous Greek play, Lysistrata. In the play, the wives of an army at war with one another begin to deny their husbands sex until they end said war. Of course, the dudes aren’t used to that happening and some seriously blue comedy ensues. Those Ancient Greeks know what’s up.

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Monáe’s comments about respecting female bodies and perhaps shielding them from all men until they begin to fight for our rights has been spreading like wildfire this week. She is not afraid to use the exact word to describe things in regard to female bodily functions; in an effort to desensitize others to certain stupidly and unnecessarily taboo words, Monáe tweeted out “Menstrual Period Blood” in March in honor of Women’s History Month. For Monáe, ending the stigmatization and culture of shame around words like “vagina” and “menstrual period blood” means that the body parts attached to those words will gather a culture of respect rather than fetishization or repulsion. That culture of respect, then, can breed actions that actively protect women’s rights.

Monáe’s implication that withholding sex in order to illustrate a point may sound drastic, but sis, have you seen what these dudes are out here trying to do to women in 2017? Male politicians are reprimanding their female peers in state legislature. A male lawmaker stated female bodies are “hosts” to unborn children, effectively removing the woman from the equation. Oh, don’t forget the pièce de résistance: Men are still legislating women’s health care without any women in the room to consult. Boy, bye.

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Monáe’s comments may sound drastic at first, but you know what? If the message women are receiving is that our bodies are simply pawns in a political game that doesn’t favor our protection nor are men interested in anything other than using us as sexualized objects, why should we give them access to us? Listen, it’s not the craziest thing in the world being said about women right now.


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