Taylor Swift's 'The Man' Takes Down Toxic Masculinity
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Politics and Activism

Taylor Swift's 'The Man' Takes Down Toxic Masculinity Just In Time For Women's History Month

In this music video, Swift fires back at toxic masculinity, the best way to ring in Women's History Month.

Taylor Swift's 'The Man' Takes Down Toxic Masculinity Just In Time For Women's History Month

In "The Man" music video that was released this past Thursday at 7 a.m., Taylor Swift plays her alter-ego, Tyler Swift.


Swift uses Tyler in order to characterize different examples of toxic masculinity and double standards throughout our culture at large, correlating these instances within the music video through her lyrics, really illustrating in and honing in on the idea that if Swift was a man, the different things that are made public about her would be perceived much differently.

Criticisms and assumptions about Swift and her career are made based on her sex, including speculation about her love life and the idea of her only getting into these relationships then breaking up with her partners in order to generate content for her lyrics and songs, as well as the motives behind her social and political stances that she makes within her music, her song "You Need To Calm Down" generating a lot of speculation about what her motives for taking those stances are.

Taylor makes it a point to publicly say that these claims about her would be skewed or looked at differently if she was a man, honing this idea into her song "The Man," but also making general statements about how women are viewed differently and treated differently when compared to their male counterparts in our current climate.

In the music video, Swift embraces the norms within our society about how we even at times encourage men to have inflated egos, encouraging them to step into the limelight, leaving women in the background. Swift also has her alter-ego Tyler manspread on the Subway, symbolizing male privilege at the expense of women. Tyler is also seen at a club, with his friends around him drinking and throwing money on women, symbolizing how society sometimes encourages men to be these tough, masculine "playboys" flaunting around their fortunes and sexualizing women in the process. After a shot of Tyler leaving a one-night stand, he is seen running down a hallway getting high-fived, symbolizing how men are celebrated for their sexual conquests when this is not the same response that a woman would get after engaging in sexual activity.

Swift also makes a note to reference Serena Williams when she fired back at the official during her match that accused her of cheating, whereas when Tyler does a similar thing, he is allowed to be mad, but women are expected to act nice.

Swift also makes a job at the Scooter Braun-Scott Borchetta feud in a scene Tyler is seen urinating on a wall with Taylor's past albums written on it in graffiti, with a sign with a scooter with a red and line cutting through it, commenting on how Swift does not currently own the work that is rightfully hers, commenting on the dominance that men use to overpower women.

In this music video, Swift fires back at toxic masculinity, and this was the best way to ring in Women's History Month, where women are celebrated for their accomplishments, and where women continually strive to be treated the same as their male counterparts. We need more of "The Man" in the world.

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