In spite of Ariana Grande’s empowering feminist message on Twitter this summer, Power 106 thought it wise to engage Grande with sexist questions in a recent radio interview. The LA-based DJs were promptly corrected in this assumption by Grande’s brilliant and unwavering responses.
“If you could use makeup or your phone one last time, what would you pick?” one DJ asked.
“Is this men assuming that that’s what girls would have to choose between?” Grande retorted, resulting in the DJs doubling down on their assertion by expressing disbelief that women could tear themselves away from their devices.
“How long can you go without looking at Twitter?” one DJ asked accusingly.
“Many hours,” Grande asserted.
At this point the DJs decided to change their tune slightly by exclaiming, “Ladies, learn!” therefore framing Grande as an exception to what they clearly believe to be an all-female epidemic, in spite of the fact that this Pew study discovered that men make more phone calls a day and are more likely to sleep next to their phones.
“Boys, learn… Boys and girls, we can all learn,” Grande reminded the DJs, over their sexist cacophony.
The original question about cell phones vs. makeup is troubling in a few ways. For starters, the hosts believe they can peg an immensely talented and outspoken young woman’s priorities with ease, based on her gender alone. Additionally, they assume that young women must be preoccupied with their appearances, a strong indication that these radio hosts don’t see much beyond just that.
Society enjoys painting women as shallow or vain for wearing makeup, but in a sense these women are simply pragmatists, given that women who wear makeup are more likely to succeed in their careers. There is something twisted about contributing to social expectations that influence women and then criticizing them for participating in these societal norms.
So often we decide that activities attributed to young women, whether accurately or not, such as selfies, are off-putting or frivolous, and its high time we ask ourselves why society chooses to marginalize and mock women so readily.
In the meantime, I’m sure Grande won’t be backing down from her enlightened stance.