Janelle Monae Says 'People Have to Start Respecting the Vagina'

Char Adams Apr, 10, 2017

Is Janelle Monáe looking to pull a Lysistrata?

The 31-year-old singer and actress graces one of the covers of Marie Claire‘s May Fresh Faces issue, and opens up about the fight for gender equality, offering an attention-grabbing suggestion reminiscent of the Greek comedy to end the battle.

“People have to start respecting the vagina,” Monáe tells the publication. “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.”

The “Yoga” singer is no stranger to speaking out about social issues.

From working to destigmatize menstruation to taking to the stage at the Women’s March on Washington D.C., Monáe has long made her stance known, especially regarding issues that affect women.

“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 continues.

“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.”

She adds: “But this year? This year, I am so carefree Black girl.”

Monáe is just one of five Fresh Faces for the publication. The issue features four other covers with How to Get Away with Murder‘s Aja Naomi King, Emily Ratajkowski, Zoey Deutch and Alexandra Daddario.

Marie Claire‘s Fresh Faces issues hits newsstands on April 18.

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[MUSIC] I'm so thankful for everyone who has been part of the Women in Hollywood committee and whoever thought it was a great idea to honor me tonight I'm so thankful.>> [APPLAUSE] Shelley Chesson said it best when she says, service to other is the rent you pay For your room here on earth. [APPLAUSE] Woman, like my momma, who is here with me tonight, wore her uniform proudly as a high school janitor. And my grandmother who picked cotton in Aberdeen, Mississippi and also wore her uniform proudly As the local county jail cook were big believers of this message. And encouraged me to always be of service to your community. [BLANK_AUDIO] You are all my community. This is my community. And whenever I take on projects, I'm constantly thinking, how can I be of service? What can I do? My way of giving back has been through the arts. And when I read for the role of Teresa in Moonlight, some might have seen Teresa as just a drug dealer's girlfriend. But to me, Therese reflects the need in our society to make sure we look out for each other. Therese reminds us that it is indeed, our responsibility to protect those who are bullied. Protect those who are outcast, because they're different Teresa have reminds us that we must look to provide shelter, and comfort to others. We must provide a safe space where others can be celebrated for who they are. Some might have seen Miss Mary Jackson as feisty angry black woman in the 1960s but I saw as reminder That we all have to stand up for ourselves, even in times of doubt and fear. She's a reminder that we have the right to the American Dream and we all belong. When we are told we're not good enough by those seeking to damage, defame, demoralize, and delegitimize our existence because of our gender, because of our race, things we can't change, we have the power to say not today devil. [APPLAUSE] These two women Are queens from two different backgrounds with equally as important to their communities. [BLANK_AUDIO] Black woman, the world must continue to know that we are not your expectations. [BLANK_AUDIO] We are not your receptacles. We are not your objects but yet subjects to study into the end of time. It was black women like Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson that took you to space. We did that, black women Like Ray Montague, that engineered the US Navy Ships. We did that. We've given birth, we've birthed this nation. We've helped contribute to some of the greatest American extraordinary things that have happened here in this nation. We have been the backbones and communities from the ghettos to Silicon Valley. We're not monolithic, we are multidimensional, and we have a right to have our stories told. Here's to, [APPLAUSE] Some young girl, I am going to go off script for a moment, but some young girl is watching this right now and she might feel that she may need to change the way she looks to become successful. I encourage you to continue, like I've always said, to embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. If you walk in a room, and you feel like the other, and you feel like your voice does not matter. In those moments, choose freedom over fear. [BLANK_AUDIO] And I just also wanna highlight, that it was black women. Taraji P. Henson. Octavia Spencer. Janelle Monae. Three female protagonists That have earned over $140 million. [APPLAUSE] Growth here, right here in America. When they said black women could not be number one we were that two weeks in a row. There's nothing we cannot do. and the sisterhood, I feel it, it's strong in the room. And the more we realize that we are stronger together that's when the change will happen. God bless you and thank you. [APPLAUSE]