Janelle Monáe says she supports the idea of withholding sex as a form of protest for women’s rights.
Monáe shares the May 2017 cover of Marie Claire with four other “Fresh Faces”—Emily Ratajkowski, Aja Naomi King, Zoey Deutch and Alexandra Daddario—under the tag line “The Future Is Female,” the type of empowerment-themed branding that’s become a predictable standard for women’s mags. Monáe, who performed at the Women’s March in January, tells the magazine she’d be okay with women having a sex strike, also known as the “Lysistratic non-action” approach:
“People have to start respecting the vagina. 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. You don’t deserve to be in my presence. 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. 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. But this year? This year, I am so carefree black girl.”
All of those sentences could appear on the front of a t-shirt. The other cover subjects also talked about their experiences with sexism and politics, which includes Aja Naomi King expressing anxiety about getting work in Hollywood—“Maybe I’m outdated in thinking this, but because I’m a young black woman and don’t see very many being the lead in a film, I have this fear, Will I be working?” she says. Read them all here.