I had wanted to avoid this, truth be told.
I’m not one for awards shows. Even the music ones, and I’m a music guy. Sure, I’ll pay attention to the actual winners of the awards, and I have opinions about who should and should not have one (for the record, Kendrick Lamar was robbed in the Album Of The Year category, but I can rest easier knowing Jay-Z didn’t win a damn thing of any importance), but I don’t care about the awards show.
And, to be honest, WWE’s Royal Rumble event was on last night. That was an easy choice.
But, I checked in on social media from time to time and saw what was trending and what everyone was talking about. After the show, I went back and watched the important clips. Aside from Lamar’s performance, there are two key moments that got everyone’s attention, but the most important of the two is the one everyone is talking the least about.
Kesha’s performance of the song “Praying” is a deeply emotional one. She wrote the song in response to her sexual assault by the man who was her producer, and the courts denied her the chance to get out of her contract with him. Last night, it turned into a #MeToo moment, and a powerful one at that.
It is one of those rare moments when a celebrity calls out the culture of sexual depravity in the entertainment world and means it. It was a fantastic and truly emotional performance.
But, unfortunately for Kesha and for women in the entertainment industry (and beyond), Hillary Clinton happened.
Of course Hillary Clinton happened. Of course when there’s a moment to address sexual assault and the victimization of women by men in power, Hillary Clinton happens.
Hillary Clinton, who has repeatedly attacked and repressed victims of men in power, is part of a “funny” skit, where she reads from Michael Wolff’s questionable tell-all, Fire And Fury. She is mocking Donald Trump! Ha ha ha. It’s funny because he’s a terrible person, and she was cheated out of the presidency. Tee hee. Ho ho ha ha.
The Grammys had the chance to make a poignant and powerful statement, and they took it right before they completely negated it by making the night all about Hillary Clinton. There wasn’t that much talk about Kesha’s performance, or Lamar’s commentary on race, immigration, and faith in America. Every discussion on social media was focused intently on Clinton.
“Did the Grammys go too far?” some might ask. “Did they go far enough?” others will counter. Nikki Haley’s outrage at the segment was justifiable, considering Wolff is currently spreading the rumor she slept her way to the top. But the fact that it was Clinton on the screen kept reporters talking more about Haley’s outburst than the issue behind the outburst: Clinton is legitimizing the man spreading those rumors.
In effect, once again it is Hillary Clinton aiding in an unfair attack against a woman because of her gender.
Is she doing it on purpose? No, but her need to constantly be in the media, trying desperately to get the youth invested in her continued political presence, overshadows any real work that can be done where women are concerned. Women who truly care, who have been real victims of the very worst kind of sexism – the kind where you must surrender yourself completely and totally to a man in power for the promise of success or advancement – are going to be forced to take the backseat to Clinton.
If you want real progress for the #MeToo or #TimesUp movements, you have to get rid of the opportunistic hangers-on like Clinton. They are going to muddy the waters and keep real change from actually happening.