Bronwyn O'Neill looks at using feminism to gain fans and whether Taylor Swift should have attended the Women's March last weekend.
Last weekend, women all over the world marched to protest Trump and his policies. Millions of women, some celebrities, some ordinary women, took over the streets for a peaceful protest. However, there were a few notable outspoken celebrity “feminists” missing from the event. The one celebrity that got a lot of flak for not marching was America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift. People slammed her on Twitter for using feminism to sell albums and only being behind feminism when it suits her. Like her massive “squad” of six foot supermodels whilst having a music video based on tearing other women down. Her feminist views are a bit of a mess in my view.
There are two sides to every argument of course, so is it right that Taylor Swift benefits from feminism but does not actively practice it? Or should we, as feminists, not tear other women down?
To quote Taylor Swift, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” So as feminists, should people who took part in the march tear into Taylor like they have? As feminists should we not raise women up? A lot of Swift’s fan thought this way and also pointed out that a lot of other celebrities did not march.
This of course is correct, there were a lot of high profile celebrities who did not take part in the march. However, it just seems so much more difficult to defend Taylor Swift for keeping quiet over issues that are affecting women. She simply did not bother to talk about the election other than telling her fans to vote. It is understandable that a lot of celebrities do not take a political stance on any issue. But as Taylor has announced that she is a feminist, she had the duty to speak out about Trump. It seems that she did not want to divide her record sales.
It is unacceptable to use feminism as a way to gain followers and make money. Her brand of feminism negatively portrays the true meaning of feminism and makes it harder for the meaning of feminism to be heard. Being a feminist is much more than just having a group of stunning girl best friends or being a girl boss.
Being a feminist means getting down and dirty, marching for what you believe in and spreading the message of feminism. Taylor Swift has such a huge platform from which she could really change the world. So from where I’m sitting, there is no excuse for her not being at the march.
We cannot simply have celebrities use feminism as a buzzword to reach a wider audience and seem relatable. It’s not simply a fashion trend to be thrown around. Taylor Swift’s arch-nemesis Katy Perry was campaigning with Hillary Clinton and was clearly at the march.
No matter your thoughts on the feud, if Taylor really believed in feminism she would have been at the march. A tweet is not enough anymore. Stop piggy backing off feminism. Now more than ever do we need celebrities speaking up against the oppressive laws instated by Trump and other governments around the world.