This past weekend, women won more than a dozen Grammy awards in a variety of categories including best R&B performance, best country performance, best country solo performance and even best song, record, and album of the year. The woman who reigned supreme was none other than Adele, walking away with five Grammys. Her bestselling album “25” sold more than 1.7 million copies in 2016, which rightfully earned her a nomination and arguably handed her a well-deserved win.
Instead of celebrating the success of women across the board, Beyoncé fans were quick to take to Twitter to protest Adele’s success.
Twitter immediately attributed Adele’s win to white supremacy, saying that Beyoncé surely deserved the award over Adele. Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” sold 1.5 million copies in 2016, making it the third bestselling album of the year and earning her a whopping nine Grammy nominations. But that wasn’t enough.
It’s as if an award show dictated by Hollywood elitists was the be-all and end-all when it comes to the work of these two incredibly talented women. And some women have it a lot worse than Queen B — Björk (14 nominations), Katy Perry (13 nominations), and Nicki Minaj (10 nominations) have never given an acceptance speech at the Grammy’s.
Even Adele is a devoted member of the Beyhive. She was incredibly humble while accepting her award for album of the year, saying through tears, “the ‘Lemonade’ album was just so monumental, Beyoncé. It was so monumental, and so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-bearing.”
Adele, while Left-leaning, is an otherwise apolitical figure in the music industry. Like any human being, she has her personal opinions but tends to keep them separate from her art. Beyoncé, on the other hand, uses her fame to promote a political platform and whether you agree with her or not, she is well within her right to do so. Both women are role models for women and girls nationwide, and their performances and behaviors last night were a glimmer of hope in an otherwise tumultuous news cycle. Adele’s speech was a beautiful moment of women supporting other women.
If Adele can give credit where credit is due, and Beyoncé can look up at her friend and smile and cheer her on, why can’t we all?
This is just another example of what’s wrong with modern feminism and, as an extension, social media activism. Feminism preaches inclusivity and acceptance, and it promotes a platform to support women, but is this all talk and no action?
In the pursuit of intersectionality, feminism has become hyper-politicized, muddling its mission. If the modern feminist movement is so inclusive, why is it that only 27 percent of 18-29 year olds identify with the term? It is time to drop the identity politics and to evolve the feminist movement into something that is a welcoming environment for all women.
On the surface, the reaction on Twitter is disappointing, as the Grammy’s could have been an opportunity to promote the work and success of many different women in a variety of realms of the music industry. Instead, it became an absurd social media war. On a deeper level, this unhealthy obsession with award shows is concerning. One thing is certain — if liberal feminists are angry and they can compress that anger into 140 characters, you can guarantee we’re all going to hear about it on Twitter.
Both Adele and Beyoncé are wildly talented and worthy of the accolades they have achieved over the years. Regardless of who wins more awards or who sells more albums, and regardless of their politics, both “25” and “Lemonade” will remain on my workout playlist.