This Week in Women: Ladies Win Big
At the risk of stating the obvious: these are strange and fascinating times. This past week, we have been privy to a sensory feast, and between the Grammy Awards and the madness of NYFW, we’ve seen it all. Women surprised and delighted us each and every day with truly incredible creativity and thoughtful leadership (exhibit A: we are all Tina Knowles). Turn the volume up: it’s time for This Week in Women!
Beyoncé, Adele, & The Grammy’s
Let’s get straight to the good news: women won big at this year’s Grammy Awards celebration. Lady Gaga performed with Metallica. Solange won for Best R&B Performance. Queen Bey had the Internet buzzing with her visually stirring, golden-attired performance. Adele cleaned house with five Grammy awards, in addition to her heartfelt George Michael tribute.
Most notable was that Beyoncé, although nominated for nine awards, didn’t take home as many trophies as her fans expected. Even Adele seemed surprised about winning Album of the Year, giving an emotionally-charged speech that had Beyoncé tearing up.
“The Lemonade album, Beyoncé, was so monumental, and so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-bearing,” said Adele. “[…] All us artists adore you. You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel, is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you. I always have. And I always will.”
This honest quote has garnered a mix of praise and criticism, but introduces an interesting conversation about race at awards shows, which re-seized the national conscious after the 2015 #OscarSoWhite outrage.
Beyoncé used her televised award acceptance speech for Best Urban Contemporary Album to speak on the importance of and inspiration behind Lemonade.
“My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that would give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness, and our history,” said Beyonce. “To confront issues that make us uncomfortable. It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror—first to their own families as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys—and see themselves. And have no doubt that they are beautiful, intelligent, and capable. This is something I want for every child of every race. And I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes.”
If you’re still mad about the perceived snub,now exists to vent your anger.
SNL Women & Portrayals of American Politics
On February 11, Saturday Night Live enjoyed itsratings in six years. Alec Baldwin guest-hosted the episode and nailed what was a highly-anticipated performance (perhaps because of his preternatural ability to skewer a deeply president).
To be honest, the women totally stole the show and trolled the Trump administration in a deeply personal way. Melissa McCarthy came back for a second week as an enraged Sean Spicer, even after his requests that SNLKate McKinnon was barely recognizable as Jeff Sessions, and and Vanessa Bayer competed to get cast as Donald Trump.
All of these skits were memorable and had us all but dead from laughter, but the serious significance is not lost, as the Trump administration continues to work to discredit, dismantle, and disrupt women’s rights. If Trump refuses to acknowledge the strength of the Women’s March and a vast American sentiment of dissatisfaction, then SNL has certainly found an effective avenue of revenge in lampooning his fact-free advisers.
Melinda Gates’ Birth Control Activism
In other news, National Geographic published anby philanthropist Melinda Gates, which is being lauded by feminists and pro-choice advocates worldwide as a powerful piece on the importance of women’s reproductive healthcare.
“The decision about whether and when to get pregnant was a decision that Bill and I made based on what was right for me and what was right for our family—and that’s something I feel lucky about,” she said. “There are still over 225 million women around the world who don’t have access to the modern contraceptives they need to make these decisions for themselves.”
This piece works in tandem with the Gates’ initiative to launch a global partnership, Family Planning 2020, with the goal of providing 120 million more women access to contraceptives by the year 2020.
Lead graphic by Jordan Levinson
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.