"We are not objects or prizes. We are QUEENS."
On Tuesday night, singer Ariana Grande shared a powerful message about sexism and objectification with her 43 million Twitter followers.
The "Side to Side" singer and badass feminist frequently uses Twitter to talk about things that are happening in her personal life, but on Tuesday night, she shared a message that should resonate with us all about treating each other as human beings and not objects.
The story — following an encounter she and her boyfriend, Mac Miller, had with a fan — is something far too relatable for many young women. She wrote:
"Went to pick up food with my boyfriend tonight and a young boy followed us to the car to tell Mac that he's a big fan. He was loud and excited and by the time M was seated in the driver's seat he was literally almost in the car with us. I thought all of this was cute and exciting until he said, 'Ariana is sexy as hell man I see you, I see you hitting that!!!!'
Hitting that? The fuck??"
"This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but I felt sick and objectified. I was also sitting right there when he said it. (?) I've felt really quiet and hurt since that moment. Things like that happen all the time and are the kinds of moments that contribute to women's sense of fear and inadequacy. I am not a piece of meat that a man gets to utilize for his pleasure. I'm an adult human being in a relationship with a man who treats me with love and respect."
"It hurts my heart that so many young people are so comfortable enough using these phrases and objectifying women with such ease. I felt like speaking out about this one experience tonight because I know very well that most women know the sensation of being spoken about in an uncomfortable way publicly or taken advantage of publicly by a man. We need to talk about these moments openly because they are harmful and they live on inside of us as shame. We need to share and be vocal when something makes us feel uncomfortable because if we don't, it will just continue. We are not objects or prizes. We are QUEENS."
Some fans were quick to note that Grande often uses sexually-charged imagery in her music videos. She had a pretty great response to that too.
seeing a lot of "but look how you portray yourself in videos and in your music! you're so sexual!" .... please hold.. next tweet... i repeat— Ariana Grande (@Ariana Grande)1482945880.0
expressing sexuality in art is not an invitation for disrespect !!! just like wearing a short skirt is not asking for assault.— Ariana Grande (@Ariana Grande)1482945956.0
Women's choice. ♡ our bodies, our clothing, our music, our personalities..... sexy, flirty, fun. it is not. an open. invitation.— Ariana Grande (@Ariana Grande)1482946081.0
You are literally saying that if we look a certain way, we are yours to take. But we are not !!! It's our right to express ourselves. ♡— Ariana Grande (@Ariana Grande)1482946152.0
It's easy to write Grande off as just a pop star, but it's worth noting just how far her influence reaches.
With more than 43 million followers on Twitter, the 23-year-old has a larger social entourage than Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama — combined. It matters that she's out here spreading important messages about respect and consent to people in the world. And not only sharing her personal story, but encouraging all of us to partake in the conversation and take a meaningful stand on objectification.