“I felt like it was her time to win. What the f— does she have to do to win Album of the Year?” declared Adele as she expressed her exasperation backstage at the Grammy awards after she won the biggest award of the night for ‘Album of the year’. Adele’s album 25 swept up the awards in all the 5 categories that she was nominated in.
In the course of the night, Adele dedicated part of her acceptance speeches to her fellow nominee and idol Beyoncé. She showed that she truly believed that the Album of the Year belonged to Beyoncé’s Album Lemonade, which was as she put it, “so monumental, and so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-bearing”.
This is not the first time that a “black artist” or a “controversial” album has lost out at the Grammys to a more popular album created by a white artist. Beyonce’s Lemonade personified “Intersectionality”: the songs, lyrics, and videos reflected the beauty and the culture of the black people and was intended to empower black women’s outlooks and identities. Adele, to further drive home the point about the conservatism of the Grammys, went on to break her award in two to share it with Beyoncé. We applaud Adele’s show of sisterhood towards a fellow artist, for using her big moment to support a woman she thought was deserving of the honor.
This is the anti-thesis of the “queen” bee syndrome or the opinion that women tend to hinder each other from progress. Here is a woman who chose to break the silence and stand up for another woman, her competitor. Extending this idea to the workplace are movements such as Lean In Together, an initiative by Lean In, which aims to rewrite the notion that women do not support each other in the workplace and view each other as the “frenemy” or “rival”. It proposes that “Behind every successful woman, is another successful woman”. It spreads the truth that we are more powerful when we empower other women; that we should raise our voices together cause “we are all on the same team”.
It is true that for a woman to truly succeed in her life, at work, and at home, we need the continual support of multiple women. Mothers and mother-in-laws, nannies and maids form the backbone of the support structure for many a working woman. Women who champion our cause as their own, mentor us at critical phases in our lives help to propel our careers forward. Our friends and peers who are supportive rather than judgemental of our lifestyle choices help us succeed every day. The question Adele’s example prompts each of us to answer is whether we stand up for other women even when we are the privileged ones, in those times when the problem actually isn’t our own.
Do we actively empower other women, to help them climb the ladder when we are already on it? Are we ready to break our silence, to fight for others even when we have won? Well, we should.
The answer to the above must be a resounding yes..
by Namratha Varadharajan
Namratha is a digital marketer in the making. Other than her love for the written word and her kids, she enjoys Italian food, dancing and gardening. Explore more of her writings at www.namysaysso.com