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August 2013
10

Janelle Monáe drops a few minutes of womanist wisdom in her video 'My Message Is To Rebel Against Sexism' via NME. I like that she said this:

When I’m ready to do those things [in reference to “feminine” attire/presence] I’ll do them. It won’t be because ‘oh it is law that women have to look this way’ or ‘you’re an R&B singer, you’re a Black girl singing, you need to dress this way and sing about these things.’

And rebelling against sexism doesn’t mean that sexism evaporates. It means how we embody the oppressor within is challenged. It means a starting place and continued place for the fight for change. It means deconstruction and resistance. It’s what Black women have always done. And I like that she mentioned this without throwing any Black women who are different from her under the bus. The politics of respectability is not womanism/Black feminism. People often juxtapose her to Black women they think are “less respectable” and I am NOT here for that. We all have space for our identities.

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