If Swift had chosen to focus on West’s misogynistic desire to control the images and bodies of women, she might have garnered more public sympathy. But that would have required her to care about all women—particularly women of color—and not just her own interests.
She’s not the only one good at doing that. The to-and-fro has proved that Kardashian is a masterful orchestrator of celebrity narratives: her impeccable delivery of shady tweets and the Snapchat reveal have been widely appreciated. But Kardashian’s slate isn’t clean, either: her win doesn’t erase how she and her family have built their legacy by co-opting black culture, fetishizing black men, and the emotional labor of black women. In calling out the paragon of white feminism, Kardashian’s own privilege and profiting from black culture can’t go unchecked.
“I put the definition of feminist in my song and on my tour, not for propaganda or to proclaim to the world that I’m a feminist, but to give clarity to the true meaning. I’m not really sure people know or understand what a feminist is, but it’s very simple. It’s someone who believes in equal rights for men and women. I don’t understand the negative connotation of the word or why it should exclude the opposite sex. If you’re a man who believes your daughter should have the same opportunities and rights as your son, then you’re a feminist. We need men and women to understand the double standards that still exist in this world and we need to have a real conversation so we can begin to make changes." — Beyoncé, ELLE Magazine May 2016 Issue [x]
I mean, I’m an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood. But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of the officers who sacrifice themselves to keeps us safe. But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I’m proud of what we created and I’m proud to be part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way.