Outspoken singer Erykah Badu recently found herself at the center of a controversial Twitter debate after voicing her opinion on an article about a New Zealand high school advising female students to wear longer skirts as not to distract the male students and staff.
Despite the barrage of backlash she faced for stating that she agrees with the idea that young girls need to watch what they wear in order to protect themselves against lustful young boys and men, Erykah says she has nothing to apologize for.
“I was reporting, I was not supporting. It’s possible to understand the psyche behind behavior without condoning the behavior. I don’t have anything to apologize for. I don’t mean to take anything back.”
People were expressing a lot of intelligent points about rape culture and how lowering skirts would not stop rape or stop men from being attracted to women. I agree with that. I was like, “You’re preaching to the choir!” However, I believe that it is not shameful to dress appropriately in certain settings—it’s helpful, not shameful.”
In addition to reiterating her position on the topic and clarifying some of her statements, Ms. Badu also gave her somewhat-surprising thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement. Noting that she spoke on many of the struggles at the forefront of African-American culture today back on her 1997 debut album Baduizm, Erykah says she feels more organizing and action is needed to address problems Black people face within our own communities.
“We can organize like a m****er***ker when police beat us up. But can we organize to stop black-on-black crime, or poor-on-poor crime? Because, you know, poor is the new black. You don’t have to be black now.”
On a personal note, the 45-year-old mother of three also opened up about her current relationship with ex-boyfriend and 1/2 of Outkast, Andre Benjamin. The father of her eldest son, Seven, Erykah described Andre 3000 as her “best friend for the past…almost 20…years.”
You can check out Erykah’s full Fader cover story HERE.