Did you know April is Sexual Assault Awareness month?  Perhaps it’s why organic conversations seem to keep popping up around the topic. Social media platforms have been in a frenzy this week over Erykah Badu’s comments in support of a New Zealand school rule mandating girls wear their skirts at knee length so "not to distract the boys and male staff.” Folk are pissed off about the analog girl’s perspective of men and nature and their attraction to girls "of childbearing age." Some perceived her sentiments as victim blaming, words allowing nasty a-- men off the hook for their nasty a--, perverted tendencies. They heard her telling girls to cover up their bodies lest they be targets for sexual predators. Some went as far to remind her that rapists will rape no matter what a girl wears. But I thought,
wait... when did we start talking about rapists?
Photo: Giphy
Funny, because what I heard was Badu agreeing with actions that aren’t about dissuading sexual predators more than they are about young women and girls being aware of themselves and their surroundings. I heard words encouraging young girls to be responsible to themselves and for their own safety in a society driven by sexual deviancy

I hear her speaking to self-awareness in a similar way that some believe spirits whisper in our ears when precautions are in order to ward off dangers we might not see with our eyes. She is asking our girl children to become aware of the world they live in, a world where men are sexually attracted to the female body by nature but are sometimes misguided by their lack of personal awareness. She is encouraging our girl children to have awareness of their bodies and know they might attract attention they don't want

I think Badu speaks to self awareness our girls must have in order to embody a sense of self-respect, something that then elicits respect from others and can potentially ward off bulls*%t. It’s called energetic shielding

Badu then took the time to clarify her position:
Let's be clear!
  • Awareness requires us as a society to be responsible for our choices. It requires us to become sensitive to the reality of the collective ignorance and immaturity we hold in regards to the body and sexuality.
  • Awareness requires us to be conscientious about the reality of society’s ignorance of the sanctity of sex and the human body.
  • Awareness requires we be sensitive to the reality that when these conversations present themselves there is an inclination to immediately position men as predators and women as victims. The harsh reality is that boys and men experience sexual violence too. Women commit acts of sexual violence too.
Photo: Giphy

What is hard for me to watch over and over is the blame game. Any time women are asked to be a tad bit accountable on any level there are those who are super triggered, ready to call foul and make accusations of slut-shaming. Can we stop this already? As E. Badu asked, "Can we not be MODEST without feeling SUPPRESSED?"

Although there are many good reasons and far too many examples of sexual violence against women to support the sensitivity, knee-jerk reactions that push conversations way out of context are counter productive. I’m not sure how any real strides can be made if there's no tolerance for conversations to be had that call for self-awareness without efforts being labeled as victim-blaming or slut-shaming. I’d like to think we can do better, that we are much more advanced in our ability to listen and respond rather than impulsively react. Are we seeking to make real change or waddle in the problems?
badu's comments
Photo: GIphy

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!