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World-renowned super star Taylor Swift will finally be releasing one of her songs from critically acclaimed Lover as a single and the song will get its own music video. “The Man” is the fourth song from the eighteen-track album and is one of Swift’s most memorable songs to date. The music video will be released tomorrow at 7am and is directed by Swift herself.
The song explores what it would like if Swift were “the man”. Swift claims she’d be “a fearless leader” and an “alpha type. She’d be “just like Leo, in Saint-Tropez”. Basically, she’d be more well-known and respected than she is even now. She says, “they’d say I hustled / put in the work / they wouldn’t shake their heads / and question how much of this I deserve.”
You could say this is true, as many male artists are praised for writing love song after love song, or dating girl after girl, while Swift receives backlash and criticism for the same things. She even mentions this in the song: “Every conquest I had made / would make me more of a boss to you”.
This is one of Swift’s most political songs to date, right behind “You Need to Calm Down” and “Only the Young”, which speak on LGBT issues and young people in politics, respectively. But even though this feminist anthem is calling out sexists and empowering women, some people are still not happy about it.
Swift is (surprise!) receiving backlash once again for “victimizing” herself in the song, as said by USA Today. The media outlet claimed that since Swift has an “outrageous fortune” and therefore cannot be a victim—of anything. Though it is well-known that Swift last record label, Big Machine Records, was just bought out by Scooter Braun (or better known as Justin Bieber’s manager). Braun therefore also owns every single one of Swift’s albums (aside from Lover) and has been using them as a way to bully her. As Swift stated in an Instagram post and Tweet, Braun and Big Machine were trying to keep Swift from performing a few of her old hits during the 2019 American Music Awards show.
If that’s not being a victim of harassment and oppression, I don’t know what is. Swift has also been a victim of sexual assault, body-shaming, sexism, even harassment from other celebrities and their fans. USA Today’s statement that Swift cannot be a victim of something or feel unequal to male popstars just because she has money, is laughable. It’s horrendous. It’s sexist.
If anything, Swift’s song only reinforces their statements. To say that a rich person or a celebrity is protected and can never experience hardships or oppression just because of their status is senseless. They are secure from certain things, poverty for example, but they’re still human. And Taylor Swift is still a woman.
“The Man” has still made moves in a positive way, though. Forbes listed it as Swift’s most important song to date and Rolling Stone has decided that it is a “usefully blunt indictment of double standards”.
Whatever the case, it is important to know that Swift penned the song to make a point about sexism, double standards and the general inequality still seen among men and women. The music video is highly anticipated as fans wait to see what Swift has up her sleeve, and I for one believe it will be empowering.
Header photo courtesy of Taylor Swift’s Facebook page.