From Cain and Abel to Biggie and Tupac, our cultural history is saturated with monumental feuds. Fortunately (or unfortunately, if you tend to occupy your mind with loftier subjects), this week was marked by a series of epic showdowns. Let’s take a look back.
Taylor Swift v. Nicki Minaj v. MTV v. everybody: The trouble started when Nicki Minaj suggested in a Tweet that the music video for her single “Anaconda” was not nominated for the MTV Video Music Awards because the ceremony is prejudiced toward “women with very slim bodies.” Swift, who is nominated, responded by urging Minaj not to pit women against one another. This exchange ignited a veritable Twitter war, with everyone from Katy Perry to your Seamless delivery guy weighing in. Fortunately, Swift made nice and peace has been restored. But just to reiterate, all of this went down over the MTV VMAs. We dread to think what will happen if Minaj isn’t nominated for a Grammy.
Saudi TV dramas v. sexist taboos: A new Saudi television drama, called Mubta’ethat or Sponsored Women, is gaining widespread praise for its feminist views. The show features four female characters who have visas to study in the United States. They are shown driving, smoking, and going out in public without headscarves—all of which are taboo practices for women in Saudi Arabia. One of the show’s stars, Noor Al Badr, summed up its ethos quite nicely: “Just because we can’t drive doesn’t mean we can’t fly and reach for the stars.” Hear, hear.
A Russian beauty queen v. basic human decency: Twenty-one-year-old Olga Kuzkova was voted “Miss Charming” in an annual beauty pageant held by the top 16 soccer teams in Russia, but was stripped of her title after fans of a rival team discovered that she is probably a neo-Nazi. Photos on Kuzkova’s social media accounts showed her wearing a swastika armband and making a Nazi salute. Kuzkova is also seen kissing a man in a photo captioned with the words “White Love.” How very “charming” indeed.
The Queen of England v. strollers: Her Majesty was driving to church in a green Jaguar this past weekend when her route was hampered by a pair of slow-moving, stroller-pushing parents. Naturally, the Queen went off road and onto the grass to avoid the group, because she’s the Queen and she can do what she wants. Presumably, this song was playing on the Jag’s radio at the time.