Women Stand Up at the Grammys

Women Stand Up at the Grammys

Words Luke Smith

A night that supposedly lacked in female power, sure had a lot of it

Every award season, there is always controversy when it comes to the diversity within nominations and winners. The Grammy’s this year was no different. People were outraged on social media with the lack of diversity within the winners, coining the hashtag #GrammysSoMale. And as the Grammy President faces a rightly deserved backlash after his “Women need to step up’ comment, many are focusing on the negative impact this has on women and feminism. In resistance, here, we celebrate the women who showed true bravery, courage and talent during the Grammy’s this year.

One of the most touching and powerful moments of the whole night started on the red carpet, where many celebrities joined together by wearing white roses for the Time’s Up campaign. The movement was founded on January 1st, 2018 by figures in the entertainment industry such as Sonda Rhimes and Jessica Capshaw, a reaction to the sexual assault claims and the #MeToo.

Courageous celebrities who supported the campaign at the awards included Lady Gaga, Anne Kendrick and P!nk. One brave woman who took the message a step further was Lorde, who had pinned a moving essay on the back of her dress. Talking about her statement on Instagram, the singer explains “My version of a white rose — THE APOCALYPSE WILL BLOSSOM — an excerpt from the greatest of all time, Jenny Holzer”.

Related article: Hollywood’s Most Powerful Women Launch Campaign to Stand-Up Against Sexual Harassment 

This was a message that was not only on the red carpet but was also in many of the speeches of influential women in the music industry at the awards. This spanned from Cardi B talking about men’s dominance in the music industry on Billboard’s Grammys Twitter live stream, to Camila Cabello introducing U2 who said: “This country was built by dreamers, for dreamers, chasing the American dream”.

The most touching and inspiring speech of the night, however, came from Janelle Monáe. The 32-year-old American recording artist started her speech by saying “We come in peace, but we mean business”. Monáe went on to make a powerful statement that said “To those who would dare silence us, we offer you two words, Time’s up. We have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well”.

Related article: Women of London Say Time’s Up 

It was this speech by Janelle Monáe that introduced the most beautiful and heart-warming moment of the awards show, Kesha’s stunning performance of ‘Praying’. The performance that spoke about Kesha’s struggle with sexual harassment not only encapsulated the theme of the show but also related to it: it came from the heart. The singer was joined on stage by a choir of women in white which included Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Andra Day and Julia Michaels. Whereas most of the night was political and commanding, this performance was personal, highlighting the singers struggle in the industry and the courage this woman possesses.

Many people on social media have seen the men’s dominance during the Grammy’s this year as dampening on the Time’s Up campaign and the equality of women. Although this may be true, it cannot be ignored that this year, the women were the real winners. Though the men were winning awards, the women were winning a long battle of prejudice and equality which has more resonance and power and its time for the Grammy president to step down. When social media says #GrammysSoMale, we say #GrammysSoFemale!