Pop stars have always been the subject of intense debate and speculation. It merely comes with the territory and the bigger a star you are, the wilder said debate and speculation is. Case and point – Ms. Taylor Swift. A country bumpkin turned pop royalty, Swift has reached a peak of fame unprecedented prior to the world of social media. With that territory comes the aforementioned debate and speculation , with Swift’s personal life being tabloid magazine’s IV drip since her sophomore album Fearless propelled her to super stardom almost a decade ago. However, as promotion ramps up for her sixth effort Reputation and its lead single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, the discussion surrounding Swift has entered a darker and relatively untouched domain – her politics.
This was to be suspected, given the fact we live in a much more unsettled and political world than when Swift last released. That combined with the fact that Swift very rarely comments on the subject resulted in the perfect headline for writers desperate for retweets and the ability to deem themselves ‘woke’. They came in a rush, declaring Swift a ‘Trump-supporter’ and ‘the poster girl for Nazism’, and Twitter ate them up with the feverish desire of a starved child. The articles accuse Swift of capitalising on the ‘Scary Black Man’ narrative in her feud with Kanye West, and not backing Hillary Clinton due to her being a racist and homophobic bigot, of which there is no evidence.
These articles, and the enthusiasm with which they were received, perfectly reflects society’s incessant desire to deem a successful women corrupt and monstrous (conveniently similar to Clinton e-mail scandal just before the election), even if the reasoning has been entirely manifested within the mind of Buzzfeed’s finest. These so called think pieces find their logic in blowing prior events in Swift’s past way out of proportion and distorting them to fit whatever narrative the article attempts to sell, ignoring any legitimate reasoning to call Swift out.
The lack of evidence in this witch trail against Swift is incredible. Swift never attempted to portray Kanye West as a ‘Scary Black Man’, the media did. Following the events of the 2009 VMA’s, instead of demonizing and continuing the narrative which the media had assigned, Swift publically forgave West on the track ‘Innocent’ and then again when they made up at the 2015 Grammy awards. However, the pair fell out again after she approved the line of West’s track ‘Famous’, ‘I think me and Taylor might still have sex’ before being blindsided and enraged by the line that follows in which West raps ‘I made that bitch famous’. The narrative, however, was twisted against Swift with the media portraying that Swift had approved both lines despite Swift’s consistent statement denying knowing the latter line and the video West’s wife released proving her statements correct.
However, journalists continue to use Swift’s anger over West claiming her career as his making as evidence that she is a racist who supports Trump-like beliefs when the only one of the two who has ever openly supported Trump politics is West himself. This makes no sense until one remembers that the point of this articles is to portray their author as ‘woke’ intersectional feminists when in actual fact they are not. They are merely opportunists who blindly ignore facts in an effort to fit the narrative that fans on twitter want to read. They are amoral, going against all the beliefs of feminism to support a man who has openly supported Trump, and been publically misogynistic and got away scot free, leaving an incredibly successful woman to take the accusations of being both.
If there is any take away from reading this particular posting, let it be this – Taylor Swift is not a Nazi. She is not a racist. She is not a homophobe. And every time that some random verified person on twitter says otherwise it is a slap in the face to the friends and fans of Swift who do not fit the blonde, white, republican stereotype that the media has portrayed as the only people who could ever love Taylor Swift. It is a slap in the face to the black girl who spent hours making a costume to wear to a concert in hopes of gaining access to one Swift’s free meet and greets. It is a slap in the face to gay boy who sat alone on a Saturday night listening to ‘Mean’ on repeat in hopes one day he could accept who he was. It is a slap in the face to the Swift’s friends who are everything from black to gay to Jewish. It is a slap in the face to a woman who has built an empire based on writing about her feelings and done so without losing her love and care for those who support her. These articles simultaneously attack a woman based on nothing but malice and berate her for playing the victim without even giving a second thought as to why she does so. Perhaps, if these so-called journalists thought for a second they would realise that Swift no longer plays the victim. Swift has become the victim and the discourse surrounding her politics is to blame.
Fair enough, but consider that the lyrics to “Look What You Made Me Do” have been used unironically, without rhetorical twisting, by Breitbart to further its neo-Nazi agenda. (Source: http://www.vulture.com/2017/08/breitbart-news-tweets-its-stories-with-taylor-swift-lyrics.html)
Whether she likes it or not, Taylor Swift has been taken up as an “alt-right”/neo-Nazi icon. She now has an obligation to publicly address it—provided, of course, that she minds the fascist attention. If she minds it as much as the Kanye-Katy-Kim-Nicki-whomever drama or as much as the music streaming fiascoes, then she should have addressed it myriad times by now.
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I appreciate your comment and your view point. However I think you missed the point of the article. I wrote this in an effort to put to bed the idea that a woman who has always expressed her love and acceptance of people regardless of who they are could ever be a nazi and to make the idea that it is ok to put a spotlight on such an idea is ridiculous. These writers should be using their platform to write pieces about why the use of her image and her lyrics to further Nazi ideals is wrong when she is the furthest thing from that. It is not her fault that these people are twisting her art into something destructive and letting her to take the blame.
To clarify, I would love for Swift to publicly denounce the people who are twisting her to be the poster girl for their horrific ideals but I don’t believe she is deserving of the witch hunt that has mounted against her. I also don’t feel that because she is being taken up as an “alt-right/Neo-Nazi” icon does not put an obligation on her to address it ESPECIALLY after she has made it clear that she will not be doing an interviews or press for this albums role out and frankly it is unfair that she is being branded as either a nazi or a coward for sticking to the role out she planned specifically for the art that she has made.
Thank you for your comment of concern and for reading my article, I truly appreciate it
Moreover, Swift acknowledging the nazis would give them much more visibility. And frankly we don’t need that right now. Your article is spot on. People are so dumb on social media, it’s scaring.
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Thank you so much Liz, OP makes a good point but it’s a very hard line to toe
Excellent article… The last paragraph is even awesome. The political excuse to attack her sounds to me little more than a pretext to hide a nauseating misogyny… And, while the intensity of the attacks have intensified, they have been present since she broke away from the pack with her 2nd album. The obsession with celebrity politics is what created the Trump horror show in the first place, so demanding that celebrities share their political beliefs every 5 mins is not only absurd, it’s dangerous for our democracy.
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That final point is incredible and I totally didn’t even think about the connection between Trumps run and the public’s desire to know every thought that a celebrity has.
Thank you for your comment and reading the article!
thank you for this article, it is accurate and on point.
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Thank you for checking it out 🙂