Janelle Monáe is like my hero. I love everything she does because not only does she create incredible art for our generation but she creates healthy dialogue about the politics she supports. After the release of her latest music video “PYNK,” which is a part of her latest debut album “Dirty Computer,” she wanted to clarify exactly who the video was for and why.
“Sometimes I think people interpret those as vagina pants, they call them vulva pants, they call them flowers, but it just represents some parts of some women,” Monae told People. “There are some women in the video that do not have on the pants, because I don’t believe that all women need to possess a vagina to be a woman. I have one I’m proud of it, but there’s a lot of policing and controlling that people are trying to have over our vaginas and when you think about female genital mutilation, when you think about all these women’s issues, I wanted to make sure we were discussing these issues but we were also celebrating each other.”
Let’s say it one more time for the people in the back: “I DON’T BELIEVE THAT ALL WOMEN NEED TO POSSESS A VAGINA TO BE A WOMAN.”
That statement needs to said over and over again, especially by women who have such a huge platform like Monáe. People will listen when she says that trans women are women and trans lives matter. Monáe is creating a conversation around all the issues women face in this world — and there are so many. When we are able to stand together, as women, and say that we support one another, that is hella powerful. That alone can create change in the battle against the white supremacist patriarchy.
When “PYNK” was first released, Tessa Thompson, who starred in the video and is rumored to be romantically linked to Monáe, tweeted “to all the black girls that need a monologue that don’t have Vaginas, I’m listening.”
Thank you to the incomparable & brilliant @TessaThompson_x for helping celebrate US (no matter if you have a vagina or not) all around the world ! We see you . We celebrate you . I owe you my left arm T . Xx 👄💞#PYNK💗 https://t.co/cUNgeWk52I
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) April 11, 2018
While more subtle messaging can work for some celebrities, being out in the open about sexuality and gender equality can make the difference between life and death for some queer and trans teens who find validation in strong messages like Monáe’s. So now as we all rock out to “PYNK” we can collectively celebrate womanhood — in all its various shapes, sizes, colors and experiences.