Demi Lovato has called out Taylor Swift for her donation to Kesha. While both pop stars consider themselves feminists, it seems the two have come to a disagreement about the best ways to promote equality and oppose oppression.
See: After the beyond disheartening news broke about Kesha being forced to stay in a contract with her alleged abuser Dr. Luke, Swift decided to donate $250,000 to the embattled singer. Surely a lovely, kind gesture from one supportive young lady to another.
Demi Lovato, another upcoming legendary child in the fray for diva glory, wasn't having any of it. "Take something to Capitol Hill or actually speak out about something and then I'll be impressed," she tweeted shortly after Swift's donation went public.
Demi continued her rant in response to a Tay Tay Instagram Fan Page, saying: "How the f--k am I making this about myself? At least I'm talking about it. Not everyone has 250k to just give to people. Would love to but I didn't grow up with money and def haven't made as much as her," read the comment as captured by website JustJared. "At least I speak up about s--t that's uncomfortable to talk about rather than trying to be politically correct 24/7."
"There's no 'rivalry,'" she added. "I just give more f--ks than other people and would rather start a dialogue ABOUT WOMEN COMING FORWARD ABOUT BEING RAPED than throw money at one person."
"I didn't shade Taylor. If you take it that way than fine. I'm just tired of seeing women use ‘women empowerment' and ‘feminism' to further brands without actually being the ones that have the uncomfortable conversations. I get shade and I don't give a f--k because someone has to be the one to take it. At least I'm getting my hands dirty."
Lovato continued to take social media to (feminist) church on Twitter:
A few things to say before I give my opinion: 1) This issue is incredibly difficult to talk about without making it seem like we're pitting women against each other for the sake of entertainment and to the detriment of feminist causes and sensibilities. 2) This issue is even harder to talk about as a cisgender male, especially when our voices are already too loud on many feminist subjects. 3) Feminism is a complicated theoretical discourse with various interpretations of its tenets having different kinds of validity.
With that in mind: this round goes to Demi. Taylor Swift's commitment to feminism has been largely lip service. Where is her actual activism? When has she taken a stance that has even skirted controversy? When has she spoken up for women in politically difficult situations? Camille Paglia's polemic takedown of Swift's #SquadFeminism may be extreme, but certainly isn't wrong.
Meanwhile, Demi has been an outspoken advocate on LGBT issues, mental health advocacy, and anti-bullying. Sure, these issues are becoming increasingly mainstream and less divisive, but this is partially because of celebrities like Lovato's insistence on their seriousness and importance. Demi has put in the work and has attempted to change the conversation. Can the same be said about Swift?
Of course, even lip service to feminism is better than no feminism at all. And no one is doubting the sincerity of Swift's donation. Yet there certainly is validity behind the idea that being a feminist requires the advocacy of positions that are not always safe, not always mass appealing, not always easy.
Swift herself is yet to respond to the criticism, and we can't really imagine she will. Any kind of retort would require Taylor to say something not everyone will love. She simply can't risk that. Right, Demi?