Taylor Swift's fans are eating up her lyrics in "The Man." But her message is exactly what The Man's been using to keep women down.
Taylor Swift’s fans are pumped for the eventual release of her official music video for “The Man.” Some sources say that will be on International Women’s Day – March 8.
That’s ironic, because Swift’s song isn’t about celebrating women (just like “Only The Young” isn’t about celebrating the youth).
It’s about envying men. And also promoting toxic masculinity to impressionable young fans.
Taylor Swift is doing the same thing as those notorious Virginia Slims ad campaigns did in the 1920s by promoting cigarettes to suffragettes. So they could be “liberated” like the men.
That impoverished notion of “liberation” literally got millions of women killed from tobacco use. Taylor Swift’s message in “The Man” is figuratively just as cancerous.
While fans await the official video, Swift stirred the pot with one of an acoustic live performance of “The Man.” It’s from her “City of Lovers” concert in Paris last Fall.
Unsurprisingly, the video is racking up the views on YouTube since it went up Sunday. Rolling Stone hailed the performance of the “propulsive song.”
E! News said the performance “will empower you to conquer all.”
But Taylor Swift’s supposedly feminist anthem proves you don’t need a Y-chromosome to be The Man. It’s rife with the cultural programming The Man has been using to keep people down (and turn them into mindless consumers) since the advent of mass media.
In the song’s lyrics, Swift grieves the life that could have been, if only she had been a man. What’s she missing out on? Being respected instead of looked down upon for sleeping around, “getting b****es,” getting away with being “rude” and “bad.”
Is that the best feminism has to offer in 2020? Men are pigs, too bad I’m not one because… I’d be the most beastly of them all?
That’s an ugly way to portray men, and a terrible message for women if it’s true. But here’s how it’s also what The Man wants you to think.
Consumer culture thrives on creating discontent by manipulating our capacity for envy and fear. Mass media teaches us to be dissatisfied with ourselves and our lot in life – and to desire the unattainable.
We can’t attain the impossible dreams that bombard our eyes and ears, but we can buy the product in the ad next to the dream as a substitute for it.
Taylor Swift is The Man. That makes her the one that’s keeping you down.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.
Last modified: February 18, 2020 10:12 PM UTC