Celebrity

Adele's Rumoured Divorce Settlement Is *Not* Equality at Work

This isn't what women meant when they demanded gender parity

It’s rarely a great day to be on the internet if you’re a woman (we’re looking at you Twitter trolls), but right now is an *especially* bad time to be a lady online. Because it turns out that in a global pandemic, not only are people spending more time on the garbage fire that is Twitter, but some of their opinions are getting increasingly more problematic.

On April 6, a Los Angeles court granted singer Adele’s request to keep the details of her divorce from ex-husband Simon Konecki sealed. The British songstress and her former boo were married for two years before splitting in April 2019. The couple share a seven-year-old son named Angelo.

While the actual facts of her divorce are to remain private (as they should), rumours started swirling almost immediately that the singer has been ordered to pay her ex $140 million of her reported $190 million net-worth .

It’s important to emphasize that none of this has been confirmed. And, with all of the speculation around the terms of their separation, people might potentially be misinterpreting the fact that $140 million is the sum they’re *splitting* in the divorce, not what Konecki is entitled to individually (also, jury’s out over with the sum is $140 million or £140 million). But either way, if there’s any truth to the rumours, these February photos of Adele make *a lot* of sense:

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Regardless of whether or not this *exact* number is what Konecki would receive, in California—where Adele officially filed for divorcespouses are entitled to half of their partners income and assets during the period they were married. According to an April 2019 article by Cosmopolitan, in one year alone (thanks in part to her wildly successful 2016/2017 world tour) Adele’s net worth jumped from $69 million to $182 million; per  NME, she took home $55 million from the tour alone.

So our girl Adele has earned some loot. And it would be nice if she could keep it, or at least not be forced to give more than half of it to her ex-husband.

But TBH, regardless of the details of Adele’s divorce settlement, the most egregious part of this whole debacle has been the online response. Some men online are pretty stoked at the prospect of Adele handing $140 million to Konecki, tweeting that Konecki “deserves” a large amount of money.

And even more specifically, a whole lot of them are seemingly perplexed, arguing that isn’t this—equality, even when it comes to divorce settlements—what women (and specifically, spooky feminists) wanted?

And sorry gents, but the answer is no. And for several reasons.

Firstly, a lot of people online are making comparisons between Adele’s situation and that of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, whose 2019 divorce from wife Mackenzie Bezos made tabloid headlines. In finalizing their divorce, the former Mrs. Bezos was transferred 19.7 million shares of Amazon.com, a holding valued at $38.3 billion and one that places Mackenzie as 22nd on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people. While this is a *hefty* amount of money—and, at least on the surface, makes comparisons to Adele’s situation seem more valid—it’s important to note that Bezos still retains a retains a 12% stake worth $114.8 billion (not to mention his other assets). He’s legit the wealthiest person in the world. $38 billion is  a drop in the bucket for Bezos. But perhaps what sets Adele and Bezos’s situations apart most is that Mackenzie, who was married to Jeff Bezos for more than 25 years, played an early and integral role in Amazon’s growth as the company’s first employee and someone who helped draft the companies initial business plan. 

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Plus, if we’re going to talk about equality? What about the fact that, even in Canada, women *still* only earn 75 cents for every dollar earned by a man? The numbers are even more ghastly for Indigenous women, women of colour and transgender women, as well as women who are new to Canada.

Not to mention that a lot of these responses seem to just be for the sake of “getting back” at women? It feels like a lot of folks on Twitter want Adele’s husband to “take her for all she’s got” because typically men have been the ones in Adele’s shoes, sharing their fortunes with their ex-spouses. Women have historically been the financially weaker party (a position that stems from long-engrained gender roles that have women working in the home and out of the workforce for extended periods of time). Why does Adele have to compensate?

Seems kind of counterproductive.

Also, TBQH, don’t you think women have already had to put up with enough shit as an entire gender without Adele having to fork over two thirds of her hard-earned fortune as a way to appease men saying “you asked for equality, here it is”? From Catherine of Aragon being cast out by her wayward husband to women in the US (and some provinces in Canada) having to fight for their right to choose, we’ve put up with endless amounts of BS. Can we—and Adele—not have one nice thing?

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Well, at least fans will have this to look forward to: