Ariana Grande has often spoken against the oppression of women, calling out sexism wherever she finds it. After Monday’s attack on her fans, we should remember her feminist message, says journalist Sarah Ebner
The attack in Manchester seems to be partly at least, an attack on women – especially young girls. And more specifically, it was an attack on young girls who wanted to have fun, to sing and dance, to enjoy themselves – the kinds of girls we once were, and now, perhaps, parent.
Girls like these are abhorrent to the terrorists. They don’t approve of these kinds of women – they want us to “know our place”, to be quiet and subservient, married off young, only speak when allowed, and definitely not “flaunt” ourselves. In their minds, we are property, not individual personalities.
The girls in Manchester, like millions round the world, were not girls like that. They were there to listen to their hero, Ariana Grande – a 23-year-old who has often been outspoken on feminism (issuing her own feminist “manifesto” in 2015) and who is a role model for the tweens and teens who follow her.
She has fun, but talks of empowering women. She wears what she wants and won’t tolerate body shaming. She is pro LGBT rights and has taken part in campaigns against online bullying and cancer. In other words she is someone young girls – and boys – can absolutely relate to. And now she is crushed, or, as she put it herself “broken”.
We are in a world where everyone is a target, whether it is a priest praying or a child dancing. This latest attack contained a message aimed directly at women. We will not heed it and nor, I hope will our daughters.
Top five Ariana Grande quotes that a terrorist might not like
1 “I think women should be able to express themselves however they’d like. I think that’s feminism, taking pride in your body, taking pride in your work and doing whatever you want. I don’t think to be a feminist you have to cover yourself up or do something a certain way, I think you get to be strong in yourself and do what you feel good doing.”
2 “People have so many misconceptions of what [feminism] actually is, it’s not boy-bashing, it’s equality. It’s not about being above men, it’s about being equal to men.”
3 “Expressing sexuality in art is not an invitation for disrespect!!! Just like wearing a short skirt is not asking for assault.”
4 “Most women know the sensation of being spoken about in an uncomfortable way publicly… We need to talk openly about these moments because they are harmful and they live on inside of us as shame. We are not objects or prizes. We are queens.”
5 “I’m so proud of / inspired by everyone who marched [in the Women’s March] and thankful that there are so many people on this planet currently celebrating how brilliant and magical women truly are! Let’s keep our voices loud, passionate & peaceful!”