Why Erykah Badu’s Opinion Is Dangerous
Dominique Matti

The message is confusing. I don’t get it. Do girls and women want men to notice them or not? When a young girl gets dressed up and goes to the mall, is she dressing for herself, her friends, her boyfriend, boys in general, men, or what? The questions really are: Who do you want to be? Why let any other define you? You can’t control them. You can only control yourself. The message should be: do what the hell you want, and everyone else can pack sand. No woman can control whether or not a man looks at her unless she is willing to do what it takes, which is to look “ugly”. If you’re not willing to do that, then don’t do it. But you must forgo the impulse to control the men, because men are always going to look at women. They can safely be ignored. If young men feel free to say lewd things to women or to grope them, that’s a societal/cultural problem that a young woman alone can’t resolve. That’s something that has to come from societal pressure being brought to bear by other adults upon each other. Boys have to be raised to respect women. It doesn’t come naturally if it’s not modeled, or if it’s not culturally required. Message to young women: don’t let other’s reactions to you define you. Be who you are, and let the others (the men) be the same (unless you’re physically in danger, in which case maybe that mall, or wherever, isn’t really an okay place for anyone to be until the situation is resolved by powers greater than yourselves.) P.S. Boys need guidance, parenting, protection, love, and security at least as much as girls do.

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