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The Taylor Swift Phenomenon

“What kind of music do you like?” and “Who are some of your favorite artists?” are classic icebreakers. My go-to response: “I love Taylor Swift.”

Not only is Taylor an incredible singer and songwriter who is easy to become obsessed with, she is also a strong role model for women and girls all over the world.

Something I realized quickly after beginning to respond in this way is that people, mostly men, often respond negatively when women, or anyone, say they like Taylor Swift. But when pressed on it, they often don’t have any good, valid reason as to why that is.

Men attack Taylor Swift for writing songs about her own personal life experience and blame her for women treating men badly. People say they don’t like her, but can’t pinpoint why. My theory: they get a “bad feeling” from Swift because they feel threatened by a romantically active, outspoken woman in power.

A long-running joke about Swift is that she’s dated tons of men and goes through them quickly and without thinking. Earlier this year, Netflix released a show called “Ginny and Georgia” and one of the episodes included a character saying the joke, “What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift.” Instead of letting her personal life be continuously attacked in this way, Swift responded on Twitter. She wrote, “Hey Ginny & Georgia, 2010 called and it wants its lazy, deeply sexist joke back. How about we stop degrading hard working women by defining this horse sh*t as FuNnY.”

Swift is a powerful example of willpower and standing up for what you believe in.

She has made millions by channeling her life experiences (often those involving men she’s criticized for dating) into her work and turning the coal of these experiences into diamonds of songs. Certain men see women like Swift in a position of strength and power as a threat to male control of the music industry, the economy, and of course, women. Even when she speaks out against the sexism she faces, she’s criticized and attacked.

And yet, she is always resilient. In the Netflix documentary about her, “Miss Americana,” she discusses how the sexist jokes and comments have negatively affected her and her mental health. She has opened up about her struggles with anxiety and eating disorders, showing that although she continues to fight back, the intense criticism gets to her. She is not perfect, but she is a stunning example of active feminism and a woman in power.

When the rights to her music were taken by one of her producers, she decided that instead of giving up on getting her music back, she would re-record all of her old albums so she could own them. She has since released a re-recorded version of her album Fearless, which won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2009, with six new “vault” songs.

Taylor will be releasing her second re-recorded album, Red, now with a whopping 30 songs, this Friday, November 12.

Not to mention the three fully new albums, Lover, Folklore, and Evermore she has released since losing the rights to her old music.

The hate on Swift is getting old. No matter how much people criticize her dating habits and her outspoken songs, her power and success is undeniable and amazing. Society must progress and see that women are powerful and our determination is a force to be reckoned with.

At SafeUP, we work hard to empower women so all women can be successful and achieve their goals. Women deserve to have all the success they have earned without unwarranted criticism.

Swift empowers young girls to fight back against the patriarchy and shows them that they can be strong and successful without bending to the will of men and society. The more we discuss this “Taylor Swift Phenomenon” that makes men get some vague “bad feeling” from strong women, the more we can bring awareness to the many issues the patriarchy causes and how deep these social norms are embedded in everything we do.

But as women, we can do more than just discuss and bring awareness.

We can band together and form communities like the ones we have here at SafeUP. Within these communities, we can lift each other up and create more success and support for women everywhere!

If you want to be part of this global movement and empower other women around you, join us!

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