'Hidden Figures' Actress Janelle Monae Says Women Should Consider a Sex Strike

(Photo: Nicholas Moore / Marie Claire)

Celebrities have been at the forefront of recent social and political protests, but Janelle Monae is calling for a new type of movement: a sex strike.

The singer and actress (featured in Hidden Figures and Moonlight) was interviewed for Marie Claire’s “Fresh Faces” issue, and she has some strong words for readers about the respect women deserve.

Ladies, take note!

"People have to start respecting the vagina,” Monae says. “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.”

The 31-year-old star really isn’t here for male dominance, so she continued. “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.”

Monae is also speaking out about the pressures women feel to look ‘sexy’ and stylish. “It is important to redefine what sexy is. To redefine style…,” she says. “It is important for women to be [in control], especially when gender norms and conformity are pushed upon us. Women automatically are told that this is how you should look. This is how you should get a man. This is how you should get a woman.”

Her advice for girls and women who feel this pressure? Shake it off. “You need to fit into all these boxes to be accepted,” she adds. “I believe in embracing what makes you unique even if it makes others uncomfortable. I have learned there is power in saying no. I have agency. I get to decide."

(Photo: Nicholas Moore / Marie Claire)

Fellow cover star Emily Ratajkowski also slams society’s obsession with sexuality, citing her own experiences as both a smart and beautiful female (her breakout role in Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' music video was slammed for its sexual content). ”In every profile written about me, there is, 'She's so sexual and she's such a sex symbol,' paired with, 'But, wow, she knows about politics,’” the 25-year-old actress and model says. “And that in itself is sexist. Why does it have to be one or the other?"

Ratajkowski says she often turns down movie roles to opt for projects that stimulate her brain, not just exploit her beauty.

Read more fierce thoughts from Monae and Ratajkowski, along with fellow cover models Aja Naomi King, Zoey Deutch and Alexandra Daddario, in Marie Claire’s May issue.


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