There has been an age-old argument as to what is or is not acceptable for a woman to look like when she walks out of the comfort of their home. Women and their apparel have been judged and even though there have been waves made in our generation, there are those that still hold misogynistic mindsets. Our entertainers suffer from the view seemingly worse as they are subjected to living their lives out in the public eye. A recent point of view from Minister Farrakhan has resurfaced with recent performances like Chloe Bailey’s cover of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”, conversations surrounding bonnets, along with the freedom of other popular entertainers of today and their choice of clothing (or lack thereof) being the source of many conversations.
For those who are unaware, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is the popular religious leader of the Nation of Islam, appointed by former leader Elijah Muhammad. It was during an exclusive interview with Hip-Hop Since 1987 where Farrakhan made comments, specifically directed towards performers like Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna, that caused a stir as he believes that their men should hold them accountable for their clothing choices and that they should “cover it up.”
Farrakhan was interviewed by E-Money and Tahirah X, who asked him about his thoughts on entertainers like Beyonce, who many young women admire and look up to. “We’ve seen you speak to the rappers,” the woman asks. Well, what is the specific role as the female artist?” His response was nothing short of appalling to many who came across the clip.
“The woman is everything in the way of building civilization,” said the Minister. “Elijah Muhammad said ‘Where there are no decent women, there are no decent men. For the woman is the mother of civilization.’ When you have a woman that is ignorant, she doesn’t know. But yet she’s the first teacher of her child. She’s the first nurse of her child. Before the child learns to say ‘God,’ they say ‘mama’”
He then shifts into examples of women who he deems are currently acting in the “ignorant” way he described, going further into detail. “Look at Rihanna, look at a Nicki Minaj, look at Beyonce. These are some of the most beautiful, well-formed women you can find,” he continued. “Today, you strip the women of her clothes. How can a man think straight looking at the beauty of Beyonce?”
Farrakhan added, “Help us to be more sane. A man is made into a dog by the way a woman presents herself to a man. There ain’t no preacher out there that’s that holy that a woman can disrobe herself and a man can still think Bible, still think Quran. How do you rule a man? You rule him by the beauty of your body and the suggestion of sex.”
It was then that he began to address Jay-Z, labeling him as Beyonce’s “manager”. Farrakhan’s belief that these level of female artists are helping to contribute to women being more objectified, while men are being trained to be more submissive.
“So how do you change that? You have to educate the managers,” Minister Farrakhan suggests. “Jay Z is a good man. Jay Z is a good manager. But now, your woman is on display. Do you want men looking at your woman, being tempted by your woman, to make advances at your woman? Who wouldn’t want to be with Rihanna? Who wouldn’t want to be with Nicki Minaj? But you strip them then their body is being used as a tool of the degradation of a woman and the subjugation of a man.”
Farrakhan also begged the question: “Why should I be tempted by the beauty of your body? I’m not your husband. I’m not your lover. ” Because of these beliefs, he once again directs the conversation back to Jay-Z, whom he says that he both loves and admires, and encourages him to have his wife “beautifully covered.”
“So I would encourage Jay Z — and I hope you’ll take it in the spirit that I give it, out of love for your honor and greatness, for the love and beauty and greatness of your wife –– I would love to see our women clothed, demonstrating the gift of their talent,” said Farrakhan. “The gift of their form should be seen by those who are worthy.”
Check out the full interview below as well as reactions from social media users who viewed his commentary as problematic.
Minister Farrakhan, Beyonce would be lusted after if she was in sweat pants & only did a two step.— Blue Ivy’s Silk Press (@tantalizing_tay) September 21, 2015