Taylor Swift steered away from posting her usual concert and friend photographs. Instead, she decided to break her norm and speak out about politics – something she's never really done in the past.
I'm not a Taylor Swift fan today. Back in elementary school and middle school, I used to own all of her CDs and I saw her during the "Red" tour. As I grew up, I felt the magic of her music wear down and I began to lose interest. For someone so powerful in the music industry, I was disappointed that she never used her platform to really benefit this country.
Two summers ago when she was going through her court case against the man who had his hand on her butt in a photo and sued him for only $1, I began to have faith in her again. He was trying to get hundreds of thousands of dollars out of her and instead of stooping to his level and requesting the same amount if she won, she didn't. She knew this court case was about the principle that women are not treated with the same respect as men.
When she posted her photo this past week detailing her thoughts, facts she found and encouraging words, I once again found an appreciation for what the woman was doing.
Her caption reads: "I'm writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I'll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I've been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.
I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway.
So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈"
Now, of course, there are people who immediately attacked her, saying she doesn't know what she is talking about and that she should stick to what she knows – Pop music.
But that's the problem, if everyone stuck to "what they know," no one would have the right to speak about politics besides politicians and that sentiment ruins the central core of this country: freedom. As Americans, we have the right to talk about politics, candidates we do and don't like, platform points we do and don't agree with, and everything in between.
America is known for being a democratic nation, so how come we feel that only certain individuals are allowed this privilege?
Men with money trump conversations about politics. They believe their opinions are the be-all and end-all and because they somehow know more about what is going on in this country than anyone else, than women, than minorities, than those in the LGBTQ+ community, than those with disabilities.
The issue with this is that because they're at the top of the pyramid of the citizens of this nation, they can only see so far down, and that's only if they actually desire to look further than their feet. They have no clue what is actually happening, what is really being said, and what anyone else who is not a white male needs.
As I was thinking more about issues at hand, one of these white men who have no clue about what happens in society but wants to act like they do decided to tweet an ignorant remark. Luckily, Queen Hayley Williams came to the scene and put him in his place.
The best part? She didn't stop there.
If we don't stand up for the women in this nation – the poor, the rich, the young, the old, those of all races – we fail one another. The Tweet from Hayley above is what true feminism looks like. It's standing up for the women and girls who are far too often beat down into the gutter for being young, for being female. At any age, women are never safe from male ridicule. But when we have powerful women standing up for their beliefs (i.e. Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams here), the ladies who have been ridiculed by men begin to stand a little taller and will eventually begin to fight back.
Soon enough all those 13-year-old girls will become 18-year-old women and will vote all those men who shamed them for being female out of office. A storm is coming, and the product of this generation is about to turn the world upside down.
I certainly can't wait to see it.