Popular singer Ariana Grande’s dress has become the most talked about event at soul singer Aretha Franklin’s funeral. The 25-year-old wore a little black dress to church and did a beautiful rendition of Franklin’s “Natural Woman”. It was a heartfelt tribute the queen of soul would have been proud of. And yet, of all the things, numerous people cannot find anything better to talk about, than Grande’s dress.
It is disheartening to see narrow mentality overshadow Franklin’s last journey. Why does it bother people so much what Grande chose to wear? Shouldn’t her soulful tribute be the thing we talk about more? This criticism of Grande’s choice of clothes proves yet again how women cannot escape judgement from others, even at a funeral.
If people are paying more attention to what Grande wore, than to the reason they were there, then who is the actual problem here?
Stop policing what women wear
Inappropriate clothing choices is a touchy subject. Even the most liberal of voices go mute when a church or any religious place is involved. The code of proper attire is always stricter for women, and it is not just restricted to certain places or events. That is the real problem here. Ariana’s little black dress becomes inappropriate because people find it so. Because it distracts men. So instead of blaming men for leering at her legs instead of minding their surroundings, people are blaming Grande for being a "distraction" at a funeral.
- Ariana Grande's dress at Aretha Franklin's funeral has upset numerous people.
- Instead of criticising men for leering at women, people always find a way to blame women for men's inappropriate behaviour.
- What Grande's dress proves is that people get distracted so easily and then they blame women for it.
Any show of skin by a woman becomes inappropriate because it tempts men. It distracts them and stimulates sexual thoughts among them. So then who is at actual fault here? A mentality which doesn’t criticise weakness in character but chooses to turn on an entire gender due to misogyny. It is every woman’s right to be able to wear what she wants to. To not have to worry about what men or other people think of her dress, because it is seriously none of their business.
I am sure it was never Grande’s intention to insult anyone or create a scandal.
She was there to pay tribute to an iconic woman and she that with her voice. The policing is from people who claim to be mourning Franklin, but they have such a short attention span that they got distracted by a mere small dress. Perhaps they should instead pay attention to how the pastor at funeral touched Grande (again, just 25) inappropriately, and called are “a new something at Taco Bell”.
I don’t care what you think about Ariana Grande, her music or her dress. This is wrong. That bishop’s hand should not be on her breast: I just saw this because I’ve been working and not watching https://t.co/ixVhgYBJTN— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 1, 2018
But these people are too busy fussing over a dress to notice this obvious violation of a young woman’s personal space. Surely this is more inappropriate than a dress. Also, those who want to defend his actions by saying, “What was she expecting would happen, wearing that dress?” or “But just look her dress first”, you guys are part of the problem. Stop looking at what women wear and start looking at how men behave.
No dress, no opinion or no choice is an excuse to objectify a woman
Unless we rid our society of this tendency to shame and police women, predators will always have an excuse for their sexually inappropriate behaviour. Because they know there is a large chunk of population who will believe them. Who will question a woman’s dress or her conduct instead. This denial to put blame where it belongs is costing us the well-being of so many women. It is never what she wears. It is always the eye which considers it inappropriate that is wrong.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.