Janelle Monae on Sexism in the Music Industry

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Since her debut, Janelle Monae has shown us, through her creative spirit, that she will not be bullied or bossed. The Electric Lady is making her own way in the music industry. In doing so, she's setting an important precedent for all women but especially women of color. 

Watch as she talks about how she's resisting the boxes the industry attempts to place her in.


I absolutely have encountered sexism in the music industry. I don't look at myself as a victim. I think that some people just are not taught any better and certain behavior has been passed down and has been accepted. And I think that it's up to us as women not to accept it and to lead by example. That's what I've always tried to do in music and the way that I dress. I won't allow myself to be oppressed. I won't allow myself to be a slave or controlled by anybody's belief system. It's most important that we set up a better future--a better world for the next generation especially of young women. We are the matriarchs. We're great communicators. We have intuition. We're people of peace. We are to be respected, and by owning my own recording label and being the lead creative on everything that you see I have to make sure that that's preserved and that that message is out there that I will peacefully remain in control of my body.

 I think that the biggest misconception of me is that I love dresses and I love heels. You'll see me in a dress. You'll see me in heels. My family they see me all the time in those things, but I think I had a bigger message and it was to redefine and it was to--almost in a sense rebel against sexism. When i'm ready to do those things, I'll do them. And it won't be because it's a law that women have to look this way and you're an r&b singer. You're a black girl singer and you have to dress thisway and sing about these things. I mean people have definitely early, early on in my career suggested those things, but I think it's because they didn't know any better. 


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