Janelle Monae Covers 'Marie Claire,' Declares 'People Have to Start Respecting the Vagina'

Nicolas Moore for Marie Claire
Janelle Monae on the cover of the May 2017 Fresh Faces issue of Marie Claire.

Janelle Monáe graces the cover of Marie Claire's May issue, citing bold statements and taking a stance on women’s rights and female empowerment. 

The R&B artist is one of the five featured cover stars of the magazine for their, “The Future is Female” edition, along with Aja Naomi King, Emily Ratajkowski, Zoey Deutch, and Alexandra Daddario. 

In her interview, the Moonlight actress discussed the actions of men and how that contributes to society the way women are presented. “People have to start respecting the vagina,” said Monáe. “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 rule this world, I am not going to contribute anymore until you change it.” 

With all that’s been going on in the world and news, Monáe is taking a step forward and expressing what it means to be a young black woman. “We have to realize our power and our magic,” expresses the passionate singer. “Because I am all about black-girl magic, even though I’m standing with all women. But this year? This yeah, I am so carefree black girl.” 

The other featured women on the cover also contribute to the “all-female future” theme. Ratajkowski describes the contradictions of being a sex symbol and feminist. “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,’ And that in itself is sexist. Why does it have to be one or the other?”

King goes into detail about women in film, specifically black women who are heavily stigmatized and typecast in the industry. “Maybe I’m outdated in thinking this, but because I’m a young black woman and don’t see very many being the lead in a film, I have this fear, 'Will I be working?'” said the actress. “When I first started in this industry, my goal was to be some best friend. The sidekick. I thought that would be an accomplishment. But seeing people like Viola and Tracee Ellis Ross and Gabrielle Union and Lupita [Nyong’o] -- who was two classes behind me at Yale -- I can hope for more.” 

The Marie Claire 2017 May issue comes out on newsstands April 18.