Our soul sister in spirit Erykah Badu got on Twitter to discuss a highly controversial subject: respectability politics.
This hot button topic condemns the line of thinking that says how you dress warrants a certain level of respect (ie. Don Lemon’s “pull your pants up” rant).
After a New Zealand school ruled that high school girls are required to hem their skirts so they fall below the knee to “keep our girls safe, stop boys from getting ideas and create a good work environment for male staff,” Badu agreed with the decision saying the move is in place to protect our girls.
Badu didn’t shy away from addressing men’s role in this discussion either:
Despite her seemingly well rounded approach to a sensitive topic, the Twitterati didn’t hesitate to jump on the earthy star for her comments. They felt her statements fell into the category of “victim shaming.”
We admit, it’s an interesting approach for the artist to take, considering she so boldly walked butt-naked through the streets of Texas in her Window Seat video for the sake of her artistry. But we also understand the distinction of exercising that freedom as a grown woman, versus young girls exercising that right in school.
In an age of #freethenipple and #stopslutshaming brigades, it seems to be taboo to take any stance towards protecting our bodies. The line has to be drawn at some point. Girls under the age of 18 shouldn’t be allowed to just dress however they want–that is under the discretion of their parents. They are vulnerable populations that should be protected. Young boys also need to learn respect. Yes, they may become biologically aroused but that never warrants words of harassment or unwanted touch.
Grown women, sure, they can do whatever they want. They deserve respect regardless of how they are dressed. But unfortunately (and this is for the #freenipplers) we don’t live in some utopia society (yet) where every man understands and respects boundaries and can disconnect what we wear from who we are and what we want.
As a society, we are working towards that everyday, but until the world turns on its entire head, do what you want, but just know there are consequences for everything.
In short, we stand with #sistaErykah on this.
What do you beauties think?
Erykah Badu Enters Respectability Politics Conversation; Gets Dragged By Twitter was originally published on hellobeautiful.com