Sunday morning, 21-year-old pop star Ariana Grande started off her week on an empowering note — literally. She tweeted out a massive message detailing the double standards and misogyny she’s been experiencing, quoting feminist activist Gloria Steinem and mentioning her own long family legacy of female activism.
Last week, Grande was rumored to have been dating One Direction member Niall Horan, after she was seen leaving his house late at night. “A girl can be friends with someone with a d— and not hop on it!” she had told the Sun. In response, she wrote in today’s message, “If a woman is seen with a friend with a penis, there is an immediate assumption of romance or sex and she is labeled! If a man is seen with a woman… his status is elevate/celebrated. ‘AWW SHIIT HE SMASHED!!!1!!1!”
Grande also declares, “I am tired of living in a world where women are mostly referred to as a man’s past, present or future PROPERTY/POSESSION. I… do not. belong. to anyone. but myself. and neither do you.” She continues, “I want the people reading this to know that they are MORE THAN enough on their own.” She reflects on how much she enjoys being single, after eight years of continuously dating, and how she hopes everyone feels that way someday, too.
She ended the message with a quotation from Steinem herself: “Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke… She will need her sisterhood.” Steinem herself has written and spoken extensively about being treated like a dirty joke, especially in regards to the two weeks she spent as an undercover Playboy Bunny for a magazine story, where she learned about the plight of these underpaid and oversexed female workers. She told Maria Shriver in Interview: “Even now, people ask why I was a [Playboy] Bunny, Right-Wingers still describe me only as a former Bunny, and you’re still asking me about it-almost a half-century later.”
Grande is well known for her high notes, long ponytail, and yes, for being “Big Sean’s ex,” but she is so much more than that. At the ripe age of 21, she’s already figured out that if misogyny and double standards are going to stand in our way to happiness and self-esteem, a sisterhood of strong women and male allies is exactly what we need. “Y’all being the ‘sisterhood’ mentioned at the end….. love u,” she clarified in a subsequent Tweet.