Earlier this week, in her new Rolling Stone cover story, Madonna said something that resonated with women everywhere: “We live in a world where people like to pit women against each other. And this is why I love the idea of embracing other females who are doing what I’m doing.”
This is especially true if you’re a female performer of a certain status. Even Madonna atoned for her feud with Lady Gaga, telling RS, “The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs [‘Express Yourself’/’Born This Way’]. It’s got nothing to do with ‘she’s taking my crown’ or ‘she’s in some space of mine.’”
I am not the kind of feminist who believes that women owe one another absolute praise and acceptance as part of some unified attempt to overthrow the patriarchy. Some arguments are worth having. But within pop music, they’re relatively few and far between. These are big personalities, who really do have opinions on the women they are constantly pitted against. Often, even valid criticism comes out in a way that seems petty or ill-conceived, like Kim Gordon’s recent suggestion that Lana Del Rey off herself, or Azealia Banks’ history of cattiness undermining her valid critique of how Iggy Azalea has appropriated black culture for her own professional gain. (And remember Sinead O’Connor’s five open letters to Miley Cyrus? She doled up some decent advice, but like, why make it so explicitly public? Why not send a closed letter?) When the press gets involved, the whole thing becomes “beef,” a “feud,” or worse, a “catfight.” With that in mind, here’s a rundown of the silliest fights between famous female musicians, along with a grade for pointlessness. May we check them off below and never speak of them again.