Thursday, June 20, 2024

Erykah Badu: Are We Protecting Our Black Girls?

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( On April 11, 2016, news broke concerning Henderson High School in New Zealand principal Cherith Telford requested female students where knee-level skirts to “keep our girls safe, stop boys from getting ideas and create a good work environment for male staff”. Principle Cherith Telford went on to say “I make no apology for insisting on high standards throughout the school and I have high expectations”.

Erykah Badu took to Twitter tweeting “I agree because I am aware that we live in a sex-driven society,” she wrote. “It is everyone’s, male and female’s, responsibility to protect young ladies. One way to protect youth is to remind them we are all sexual in nature and as they grow and develop it is natural to attract men. It is not them who is doing anything wrong by being beautiful and attractive (sic), but with such imbalance in our society it is smart to be aware and awake.”

Badu continued tweeting, “Males should be taught to be responsible for their actions from childhood. It’s not OK to ‘prey’ on young 2016-ErykahBaduwomen. But do I think it is unnatural for a heterosexual male to be attracted to a young woman in a revealing skirt? No. I think it is his nature.”

Fans of Erykah Badu immediately began to clapback with tweets of their own, one fan writing “Erykah Badu perpetuating rape culture by saying girls should cover up to prevent male distraction is making me want to regurgitate.” Another followed up with “Had to unfollow Erykah Badu for that nonsense she was tweeting. Don’t make young girls responsible for older men’s actions.”

In a more recent exclusive interview with the Fader, Erykah Badu stated she has nothing to apologize for. “I was reporting, I was not supporting. It’s possible to understand the psyche behind behavior without condoning the behavior. I don’t have anything to apologize for. I don’t mean to take anything back.”

I am still taken back by the very heated controversial topic. The conversation led me to ask a few questions such as: Are We Protecting Black Girls? and How?

How Do We Protect? I think about my home and the fact that I should not have to concern myself with thoughts and fear of someone breaking into my home and harming my family or stealing our property. Nonetheless, I lock my doors and turn on my alarm. The same logic goes with my car, I should not have to worry about being car jacked, its wrong! Still I lock my doors and I pay attention to my surroundings to keep myself safe.

So why, in this society that thrives off of hyper-sexuality, rape and the exploitation of women, are we in such a hurry to undress our young girls? In today’s society it is not uncommon to see a young girl wearing the same outfit to school that you may have seen an adult woman wearing in a nightclub. We do not complain that clothing designers are creating “stylish” clothing to reveal our girls bodies before they are able to protect themselves from harm.

That’s not our concern! We’d rather argue that girls should be safe because they are young and that men should control their sexual urges. Interestingly, we often say things such as “a man is going to be a man” to excuse any wrongdoings men may partake in. We remind boys that man was created weak. We raise our boys to fall weakly to their sexual desires and our girls to stimulate boys sexually for attention.

What other reason is their for purchasing clothing with writing across your daughters butt except to draw attention to that area? Why are our girls dressing more provocatively for prom every year? I’ve seen many dresses in heavy circulation on the internet, not because the young girls dresses are nice but because their dresses reveals their shapes and again, attracts sexual attraction from boys and men. There are even pictures of mothers posing with their young daughters while dressed in a provocative fashion saying things like “she get if from her momma” or “the apple don’t fall far from the tree“. How does a mother compare her young daughters physical shape to that of her own when one is a child and the other is an adult?

Girls Shouldn’t Be Ashamed of their Body: Girls must be taught to love and appreciate the body they are in, its their only means of transportation throughout the journey of life. We are eager to argue that girls should be able to dress as they please, however when it comes to our womanhood, we are unable to provide many answers. We do not understand the menstrual process and many women hate that they bleed monthly, some take contraceptives to stop the natural process… is that not a form of self hate? It seems we are teaching girls to honor the way they look on the outside while disconnecting them from all they are within.

Statistically Speaking: It is estimated that in the black community 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually assaulted before the age of 18, it is estimated more than half of the victims know their attacker. We lock our homes, lock our car doors and equip both with alarms yet for our black girls the best we can tell them is that they are beautiful?

After reading the thoughts and arguments made in reference to Erykah Badu’s comments on girls wearing uniforms, it became clear to me that we, as a community, fail to protect our black girls and are in a rush to indoctrinate them into the whore culture of this society. The one in which sexually revealing prom pictures circulate for months but graduation pictures are far and few, where “glam mothers” happily dress up their teenage daughters baby as if he/she is a doll but pictures of daughters visiting colleges, receiving scholarships or creating art is rare. A culture where womens empowerment is reduced to sexuality and beauty rather than being innovative, complete, powerful, intelligent, capable and unstoppable.

I’m deeply saddened that we eargerly invest in protecting our material things, but when it comes to our girls… people should just know better.

What are your thoughts? Join us on Thursday, April 28th in The Magick Playhouse at 10 p.m. EST as we delve deeper into the topic of protecting our black girls. The phone lines will be open at 646-716-8029 for you to share your thoughts or via chat at

Staff Writer; Dina Tuff

Connect with Mystic Philosopher & Inner Fitness Coach Dina Tuff @

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