Can We Stop Pitting Women Against Each Other?

By Jenise Jackson
Blog Content Contributor

If you are female, you may or may not believe that Adele and Beyoncé could teach you one of life’s greatest lessons. But after watching the 59th Grammy Awards, I think they have.

During the award show, Adele won over Beyoncé in two categories, Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Most people were sure that Beyoncé would win in at least one of those two categories, mainly the latter. As Adele accepted the Grammy for Album of the Year, she declared that Beyoncé’s Lemonade album was “so monumental”. Most of Adele’s speech was dedicated to Beyoncé, thanking Beyoncé for being the “artist of her life” and making an album that inspired a wide range of people. While I looked at this as a very heartfelt moment, a lot of people thought otherwise. Many fans have voiced their opinion on how they believe Beyoncé’s loss is due to the long-lasting race issue in Hollywood. Now I won’t say that I don’t believe there is a huge problem when it comes to race relations in entertainment because I definitely believe there is. What troubled me is that some people went as far as to criticize Adele for showing “pity” upon Beyoncé. To me, Adele’s salute to Beyoncé should have taught us a huge lesson about positive womanhood.

Over time, society has tried to pit women against each other with the expectation that they will fight it out. Women are labeled with this stigma that suggests drama is the only thing they can effectively produce together. We continuously support the myth that women are only competitive and are not capable of getting along. Instead of promoting solidarity and cohesion, we rather see women bash each other and be spiteful. When you sit back and really think about it, all women are really at a disadvantage in our male-dominated society regardless of race, sexuality, or class. And while this is no hidden secret, women still appear to find pleasure in tearing each other down. In fact, it almost seems like that is what you have to do as a female to succeed. The media is easily the main fuel of these ideals. We are exposed to petty competition between women every single day. Think about things like “Who Wore It Best?” or  “Smash or Pass”. They put women in a position where they feel like they have to be better than the other just for the sake of confirming their worth. I believe Taraji P.Henson and Octavia Spencer can explain it perfectly below:

Hopefully, we can all look forward to a future where this representation of females no longer exist. The reason I adored Adele’s tribute to Beyoncé so much was because we had two very successful women showing genuine love towards one another. It was a complete opposite reaction to the one that was expected, but the reaction everyone needed to see. I felt as if it was a moment of encouragement to improve the existing depiction of women. It would be great to see more women working together to earn the equality, respect and rights that are long overdue instead of repeatedly trying to one-up each other. We should be learning from one another and building each other up.

Featured image by Jenise Jackson.

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