On and on, indeed. In a long-winded Twitter rant, R&B legend Erykah Badu stated that girls should wear long skirts to school so as not to distract male teachers.
“There was an article ruling that high school girls lower their skirts so male teachers are not distracted. I agreed because I am aware we live in a sex I-driven society …” she wrote on Monday, April 11. “If I had a school I would make sure that the uniform skirt length was a nice knee length … It is fair to everyone.”
Badu, who is the mother of two daughters, Puma, 11, and Mars, 7, felt compelled to voice her opinion after reading a news story about a New Zealand school that forced female students to wear conservative skirts that fall below the knee.
“It is everyone’s, male and female’s responsibility to protect young ladies,” she continued. “One way to protect youth is to remind them we are sexual in nature and as they grow and develop it is natural to attract men.”
However, the singer, 44, contradicted herself several tweets later by saying that her daughters should be able to “wear what they like, yet be aware.” She then reverted back to her initial argument by writing: “We are sexual beings. We should consider everyone. Young girls are attractive. Some males are distracted.”
Badu’s comments were largely interpreted as perpetuating rape culture and ignited major backlash.
I love erykah badu as much as the next person but what was said is definitely the type of mindset that perpetuates rape culture
— Jarred (@Jaysmitty7) April 12, 2016
“I love erykah badu as much as the next person but what was said is definitely the type of mindset that perpetuates rape culture,” one disappointed tweeter wrote, while another fumed: “Erykah Badu is literally entrenching heteronormativity, rape culture and ignorance right now, sobering reminder that we are all problematic.”
Erykah Badu is literally entrenching heteronormativity, rape culture and ignorance right now, sobering reminder that we are all problematic.
— Decolonially Queer (@nigeltpatel) April 12, 2016
Some of Badu’s followers were so outraged by her message that they even unfollowed her. Several declared they were no longer fans.
“Had to unfollow Erykah Badu for that nonsense she was tweeting. Don’t make young girls responsible for older men’s actions,” a social media user wrote.
Good to see the rape culture and misogyny is alive and well in Erykah Badu’s heart. Used to like you BYE https://t.co/Hzg3LB4pCf
— @canuckyoutoo (@canuckyoutoo) April 12, 2016
“Good to see the rape culture and misogyny is alive and well in Erykah Badu’s heart,” added another. “Used to like you BYE.”
This isn’t the first time the neo soul songstress’ words have stirred controversy. When she hosted BET’s 2015 Soul Train Awards last November, Badu took aim at Iggy Azalea, discrediting her talent by saying, “Who is this? Iggy Azalea? … What you’re doing is definitely not rap.”
Not long after, fans criticized Badu for not supporting women. Azalea, 25, defended herself on Twitter.
“We are days from 2016, but i came online today and saw its still cool to try and discredit my 2014 accomplishments. LOL,” the Aussie star wrote on December 1, 2015. “F–king hell. Seems exhausting. Anyway – Ive been enjoying the holiday season and i hope you all have too.”