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Grammys 2016: Taylor Swift’s feminist acceptance speech was really about Kanye West

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Taylor Swift's 1989 won Album of the Year at the 2016 Grammys. But it's what she said in her acceptance speech that really matters. The speech was an unapologetic feminist moment, and one that slyly referenced a recent dustup between Swift and Kanye West.

"As the first woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to all the young women out there, there will be people along the way who will try to undercut your success," she said. "Or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame."

It was one hell of a speech, but there was a curious wrinkle in it, too.

Swift specifically mentioned her "fame" and someone who tried to take credit for it, a presumed reference to West. Last week, during a live event held to promote his fashion line and his new album The Life of Pablo, West dropped the lyrics to his song "Famous," which imply that Swift got famous because of him, in the aftermath of their 2009 MTV VMA clash. The lyrics go:

I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex

Why? I made that bitch famous

God damn

I made that bitch famous

Swift's speech could be read as an unapologetic response to West's crass song.

"But if you just focus on the work … you will look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there. That will be the greatest moment," Swift said.

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