Latest posts by Jonathan G (see all)
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Before the end of last year, singer and performer Ariana Grande made headlines by penning a feminist manifesto on Twitter. The post touched on the objection of women as possessions. While out with rapper Mac Miller, a man had come up to talk to the pair. The man took it upon himself to praise Miller for being with her, saying, “Ariana is sexy as hell man, I see you, I see you hitting that!”
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) December 28, 2016
In her post, Grande emphasized how misogyny permeates today’s society, adding that discussion and awareness can help tackle this issue. She ended her post by stating, “… [Women] are not objects or prizes. We are QUEENS.”
After reading about this post, I learned that Grande is actually a very vocal feminist, and an intersectional one too! She has spoken out at various times, commenting on myriad feminist issues. I decided to compile a list of some of these cool comments. Take a look!
Calling Out a Misogynistic and Homophobic Radio Host
In 2016, Grande paid a visit to Power 106 (a hip hop radio station in Los Angeles, California). While her visit mostly focused on promoting her Dangerous Woman album, the conversation took a turn. The host started a rapid fire Q and A, which brought about the moments above.
In the first few gifs, Grande confronts the notion that women focus on trivial things. She straight up shuts the radio host down, calling him out on sexism, mentioning that there are men who actually have those problems too. The radio host then questioned her use of emojis.
When the unicorn emoji came up, the host insisted that it was a “girly” thing to have on your phone. He further emphasized his point, saying that if a man has a unicorn he’s actually not a man, but rather just a boy. Grande, of course, shut him down again.
Grande’s fervent opposition to the radio host is important for multiple reasons. For one thing, Grande fighting the blatant homophobia also fights societal gender constructs. It’s cool to see that during something that was meant to promote her music, she took the opportunity to talk about issues that oppress others, even if they don’t necessarily apply to her.
In addition to this, Grande chose to keep the host accountable for his actions. After the radio host refused to lay off of his problematic remarks, she concluded the interview. The host tried to be apologetic, but she didn’t budge. By doing this, she put her own words into practice. It’s an admirable thing to watch, inspiring others to stand up for their values. And by expressing her concerns about not coming back to the station, Grande showed that misogyny and homophobia should not be tolerated.
Calling Out Ryan Seacrest
Grande’s record of keeping radio hosts accountable continues with Ryan Seacrest. In two separate interviews, Grande was quick to respond to problematic statements.
In the first part of this gif-set (left side, from top to bottom), Grande calls out Seacrest for alluding to the problematic stereotype of women as complicated and “hard to figure out.” Instead, she shifted the conversation to say that both men and women are sometimes complicated. Seacrest wasn’t too sympathetic, but Grande chose to take the higher road.
Calling Out Double Standards and Sexual Expression
Last year, Grande sat down with Billboard magazine for an interview. In the interview, she discussed how society praises male artists like Zayn Malik and Justin Bieber for risqué photos, while demeaning women when they choose to express themselves in the same way. Grande said, “If you’re going to rave about how sexy a male artist looks with his shirt off, and a woman decides to get in her panties or show her boobies for a photo shoot, she needs to be treated with the same awe and admiration.” The double standard is nothing new, but it’s important that Grande emphasized empowerment over shame.
She even hinted that this freedom of expression applies to those of all ages. She said, “I will say it until I’m an old-ass lady with my tits out at Whole Foods. I’ll be in the produce aisle, naked at 95, with a sensible ponytail, one strand of hair left on my head and a Chanel bow. Mark my words. See you there with my 95 dogs.” Society often demeans and attacks older women who express themselves sexually or in any way that seems too crazy, so it’s important that Grande extended her feminism to address all ages (even with the slight tinge of humor).
Even with her outspoken feminism, some people view Ariana Grande negatively. She is forever tied to the infamous doughnut incident and to various rumors about who she is dating. More people need to recognize her advocacy. She’s one of the most outspoken feminist celebrities and a great ally to the LGBTQ+ community. I’m definitely glad to have her on our side.