Meatless Beef: Why Eve's Concerns are a Non-Problem
Honestly, Eve’s comments weren’t necessary. They were actually sort of hypocritical, and reeked of the slut shaming respectability politics many women have been held to over the years in the music industry. The type of politics developed by men to limit women and how the express themselves in order to force them conform eventually. However, pretending like Eve’s comments are warrant of some new apocalyptic beef amongst women in the industry is…troubling.
Recently, Eve, rap legend and the newest host on the Talk, was asked to speak on Nicki Minaj’s recent Paper Magazine photoshoot, a provocative show of Nicki Minaj’s character sexuality. Interestingly enough, Eve is one of the best to speak on any discussion of Nicki Minaj. Eve was the First Lady of Ruff Ryders. Whilst at first attempting to control her response, Eve eventually dictated that Nicki Minaj shouldn’t have taken such risqué pictures when knowing she has many young fans looking up to her. This was an obvious take. Eve transitioning into daytime host, there is meant to be comments of generalized scandal: things that stir the pot and inspire the internet to click on video links and stay up to date on suggested rivalries between hosts and celebrities. The Talk merely cashed in on the age-old trend of the Rap Queen Beef. Essentially, the entire altercations reeked of a Diva Fallacy.
Think of it like this: We all have a friend who pits female artists against each other. They tell them that only one of them can rule or reign and waits until one “falls off” so that the newer, vibrant woman may take her place. I’ve had friends do this to Beyoncé many times: dictating that Solange shouldn’t be able to reach star power without first dethroning her own sister. Any artists who isn’t gunning for someone else’s spot isn’t hungry enough for the industry. It is the left overs of the misogyny in our culture as a whole.
When this is applied to the situation of Eve and Nicki Minaj, it’s a wonder that this hasn’t happened sooner. The quickest way to prominence is always through violence (isn't that why so many want Cardi B to oppose Nicki Minaj?) Yes, Eve’s comments are inflammatory enough to qualify a quick-take and investigation into the overall implications of these politics. However, Eve’s comments were centrally targeted to one person for a reason, to inspire a controversy.
This is the problem.
How many times can we as people allow controversy to dictate the wider actions we take? A lot of comments don’t truly hold much weight to them besides the obvious inflammation in the words. It’s becoming tired with how much people of a certain consciousness become so thrown to arms that we accidentally propel the commentators of such misaligned speech into fame and wealth. It’s the strategy employed by Donald J. Trump and Lavar Ball: if you can’t afford the PR, just make Twitter angry and they will mention your name so many times you won’t need to ask for an interview anymore.
Don’t get me wrong. People like Lena Dunham deserve a dragging. But, when we know it’s just someone who will roll their eyes and go “I said what I said!” while flipping a synthetic wig with a purpose, why go about it? When it’s someone who obviously wanted to draw your anger, why even try? When it’s someone who is attempting to cement their place on a day time talk show, gritting through white woman throwing up gang signs in pictures with them, why bother arguing against a comment so obviously distanced from the actions of the person speaking??
The issue of Eve’s comments is the argument within the argument. To believe she actually feels sexuality in female rap is problematic because of their younger fanbase engrained in the artist’s work is to believe she is ashamed of the same sexuality also used by male celebrities. Yet, these comments are rendered Nicki-specific. Nicki Minaj was just one of numerous topics that could’ve been scrutinized for views, so why give producers the response they want and tell them that if they continue to pit women against one another like that, our outrage can give them a meal ticket? A non-problem is a non-problem not because we aren’t upset by the problematic display, but because we recognize our power to not respond to it.
Consider it a rhetorical mute button on a conversation we never asked to have.