On Friday, Taylor Swift’s newest album, Reputation, was released through Big Machine Records. But amid all the festivities surrounding the release, Swift quickly earned feminists’ ire for refusing to take a stand on politics (i.e. not openly opposing Donald Trump).
Back in September, PopFront editor Meghan Herning called out Swift for supposedly supporting the White Supremacy movementbecause she refused to explicitly denounce white supremacy (and by extension, the President and his supporters). Herning asserted that Swift’s silence was “calculated,” and that her “silence in the face of injustice means support for the oppressor.”
Basically, the piece was championing the notion that unless Swift openly came out in support of Hillary Clinton and “progressive politics,” like so many others in her field (e.g. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Beyonce), she would be supporting white supremacy and empowering Trump supporters to continue their bigoted, homophobic, white supremacist ways.
Swift’s lawyer immediately responded by demanding a retraction on grounds of defamation of Swift’s character, which ACLU of Northern California attorney Michael Risher claimed was “a completely unsupported attempt to suppress constitutionally protected speech.”
Let me say that again: they think defaming Taylor Swift is protected speech.
Funny. Because the Supreme Court decided years ago (circa 1964, New York Times Co. v Sullivan) that defamation is prohibited by law, whether in writing (libel) or by spoken word (slander).
In the letter to PopFront, Swift’s team defended the singer’s decision to remain silent re: politics. The letter stated that “Ms. Swift has no obligation to campaign for any particular political candidate or broadcast her political views, and the fact that her political views are not public enough for your taste does not give you the authority to presume what her political opinions may be or that her political views correlate to the support of white supremacy.”
They’re right. Taylor Swift is not obligated to publicize her political views. And her silence is not equivalent to secretly being a Nazi.
Swift’s refusal to denounce Donald Trump – and her decision to keep politics out of her music entirely – was undoubtedly a well-informed business decision. After all, why risk alienating or losing 63 million fans by conforming to an agenda that makes no verifiable sense?
Taylor Swift has been a “feminist” for quite some time, tweeting out her support for the Women’s March and other pertinent issues to feminists in 2017. But now, because she attempted to defend her reputation against vapid, hypocritical progressives, she became a pariah. A closet Nazi. And a champion for many on the right for standing up for herself against the ugliness of the feminist movement.
Many pop-culture reporters were quick to criticize her efforts to appease them, decrying them as “deeply flawed” and “self-serving.” One of her newest music videos, “Look What You Made Me Do,” was recently attacked by Buzzfeed as “an example of cultural appropriation.”
Swift’s video speaks for itself.
The symbolism and imagery all feed the common theme of self-deprecation and mockery. She bathes in jewels, sits upon a golden throne surrounded by snakes, sits on a swing inside a golden cage, surrounded by men in armor, commands an army of unidentifiable clones allegorous to a totalitarian dictator, and has an entourage of eight men of color waiting on her and dancing behind her in feminine outfits. At one point, she even dresses as a Katy Perry look-alike and crashes her car into a pole, a symbolic rendition for the way Perry’s openness re: progressive politics made her career as a musician crash and burn.
It’s incredibly evocative, especially when the lyrics and imagery dance together. Though the video has no explicit political message, all feminists see is a woman poking fun at herself and shattering the glass ceiling without their approval.
So she’s stopped trying to earn it. And it’s working in her favor.
The Associated Press reported that “Reputation” racked up 400,000 advance orders before it release on Friday. And while it isn’t expected that “Reputation” will surpass the all-time first-week record holder, Adele’s “25,” Swift’s newest album is anticipated to be this year’s top-selling album.
Bottom line: The fact that Taylor Swift is now a target means she’s doing something right.
Feminists no longer champion the rights of all women the way they did in the 1950’s. They only support women who explicitly agree with them, on demand and in the way they prescribe. They will not hesitate to attack a woman who diverges from popular progressive opinions re: women’s rights, traditional gender roles, or support for the President.
Target acquired. Now let’s see how long it takes before the feminists eat another of their own and destroy this pathetic excuse for a movement all on their own.