In the past, people have given me shit for being too hard on Taylor Swift. I’ll admit, I’ve given her a tough time over the years, and she probably didn’t deserve most of it. Taylor, I love you, and I’m sorry. As a way of extending a little olive branch, today I’ve decided to shine the spotlight on a topic that just doesn’t get enough coverage: Taylor’s work as an icon of feminism and the progressive movement. In the era of #TheResistance, Taylor Swift is the hero we both need and deserve. Her music slaps and her videos are life-changing, but all these things she’s does for equality and justice are what truly make her a star.
In general, Taylor Swift has always been the kind of girl who checks her privilege every chance she gets. As a thin, rich, white woman, she’s in one of the most underprivileged demographic groups, but she’s found a way to thrive despite her unfortunate position in life. She’s never played the victim, and it’s rude that others would even dare to suggest something like that. She’s never held a grudge against a man, whether he be an ex or a Kanye, and I respect that. She always handles her business in private, rather than some performers who prefer diss tracks and passive aggressive social media posts. She just wants to be excluded from the narrative, and that’s the least we can do for her. So let’s talk about Taylor Swift’s most important political moments.
When She Stayed Silent During The 2016 Election
Just think back to the 2016 election. While Hillary Clinton battled Donald Trump in one of the nastiest campaigns in history, lots of celebrities voiced their support for Hillary. Some pop stars like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry even spoke and performed at Hillary’s campaign events, doing their best to leverage their millions of fans into votes. Taylor Swift chose to stay quiet about the election, but that’s okay too. Sometimes, we forget the importance of powerful people staying quiet when there are lives on the line!
When She Stayed Silent About The #MeToo Movement
Back in December, Taylor Swift was honored on TIME‘s Person of the Year cover, as one of the “Silence Breakers.” Taylor’s inclusion was due to her victory in court against a radio DJ who groped her, then sued her after she talked about what happened. I’m so proud that Taylor stood up for herself, and thank god she got the same recognition as women who put their lives and careers on the line to start the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Taylor has been pretty silent about these movements, but again, we need to appreciate how important it is to stay silent. As one of the Persons of the Year, Taylor joined esteemed company like Barack Obama and Hitler (yes, really, Google it), and I’m so happy for her.
When She Used A Group Of Hot Women As A Marketing Tool
Taylor is famous for her girl squad, which is mostly made up of supermodels and other pop stars. It’s unclear whether Taylor is actually good friends with most of these women, but she’s certainly benefitted from their friendship. Remember the “Bad Blood” video? Taylor was surrounded by so many badass hot women, and they probably didn’t even realize that they were low-key being used. Taylor’s squad is awesome, and it’s even better that most of them are so skinny and white. This is what America looks like!
When She Didn’t Respond To Allegations She’s A White Supremacist
Unfortunately, Taylor’s reticence to speak out on political issues has caused some people to doubt her obviously liberal beliefs. Some members of the alt-right have even tried to claim Taylor Swift as their own. An article last fall made waves over allegations that Taylor was involved with white supremacist groups, and one member of such a group was quoted as saying that “Taylor Swift is secretly a Nazi and is simply waiting for the time when Donald Trump makes it safe for her to come out and announce her Aryan agenda to the world.” Taylor didn’t respond to the allegations, except to hit the (small) site (that basically nobody had previously read) with a cease and desist, because it’s not like we have an amendment about freedom of the press or anything.
When She Lifted Other Women Up By Supporting Katy Perry’s Career
Taylor famously said that there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women. Good thing she’s been so openly supportive of Katy Perry’s career! Over the years, the two have shown a lot of love for each other, and Taylor is nothing if not a great friend. Last year, on the same day that Katy released her new album, Taylor finally made her entire music catalog available to stream on Spotify. So sweet of Taylor! Very supportive thing to do, Katy must have loved it.
When She Actually Showed Support For The March For Our Lives
No one should have to go to school in fear of gun violence. Or to a nightclub. Or to a concert. Or to a movie theater. Or to their place of worship. I’ve made a donation to show my support for the students, for the March For Our Lives campaign, for everyone affected by these tragedies, and to support gun reform. I’m so moved by the Parkland High School students, faculty, by all families and friends of victims who have spoken out, trying to prevent this from happening again.
In a surprising turn of events, last week Taylor Swift abandoned her usual tactic of silence when it comes to political issues. She posted a heartfelt Instagram about the March For Our Lives, and said she made a donation to the campaign. Taylor usually stays so quiet about her deeply progressive values, so it was pretty shocking to see her post on Instagram about something other than an upcoming music video. Baby steps Taylor, we know this is really uncomfortable for you!
So today, let’s just chill the fuck out and appreciate Taylor Swift for who she is: a girl’s girl who acknowledges her privilege and is constantly using it to affect positive change in the world. Not everyone has to show their progressive values in the same way, and the deafening silence of Taylor Swift is like, super important. Now let me get back to listening to Reputation, and lmk if you’re selling tickets for her tour!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (4); @taylorswift / Instagram (2)