In case you missed it, Taylor Swift has called out the TV show Ginny & Georgia for the deeply sexist joke that they made about her. ‘RESPECT TAYLOR SWIFT’ began trending on Twitter over the weekend as viewers of the Netflix original entreated writers to reconsider the harmful line.
The next day, Taylor herself reacted to the news and responded with a tweet that might just be the greatest clapback we’ve ever seen. In one badass paragraph, she managed to reference a Spongebob meme, use the phrase “horse shit” and absolutely destroy Netflix for their hypocrisy — all while calling attention to the misogyny of the entire situation.
Now, many people (sadly, fans included) did not like this one bit. We’re not surprised, just disappointed. There’s something about a woman standing up for herself that just rubs people the wrong way. Especially when the person in question happens to be a celebrity who has been made the punching bag of the entire music industry for over a decade.
“It’s only a joke, get over it,” they say. Except it isn’t just a singular event. I wonder if these people would say the same thing if they were subjected to the entire world making fun of something completely normal that they did in their early twenties on a daily basis.
“But she’s a celebrity,” they say. As if that makes it okay. At what point did we stop seeing celebrities as human beings? When we condone behaviour like this, we’re telling every single woman that it’s okay for the world to treat her the same way.
Even when you take away the toll that having incessant jokes made at your expense takes on someone’s mental health, I think it’s clear from Taylor’s tweet that part of the reason this one stung was that it came from Netflix — the streaming provider that she directed many fans to with exclusive films and footage. It was only a year ago that Miss Americana, a deeply intimate documentary which saw her reveal details about her personal life and celebrated her finding her voice, was released on the platform.
Ironically, the documentary saw her explicitly talk about the exact kind of sexism that’s she’s being treated with now. In a particularly poignant scene, Taylor breaks down into tears about how at this point it feels like it’s become more than just music. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years, and it’s just… I’m tired of it. And, just, most days I’m like okay but then sometimes, I’m just like… It just gets loud sometimes.”
if you stiil don't get it, rewatch Miss Americana
RESPECT TAYLOR SWIFTpic.twitter.com/ugueGHUgjs
— zaza | LOVE SYNONYM: RIGHT FOR US (@notshownuayo) March 1, 2021
I’ve seen fans criticise Taylor for speaking out, wondering why someone who is so used to having her dating life pulled apart (and yes, that is exactly the problem) is “mAkInG sUcH a BiG dEaL” about this one. She may have played the good girl for over a decade, but now she’s grown a backbone, and I for one am proud of that. As she warned on folklore, “If someone comes at us, this time I’m ready.”
We’ve come a long way from the woman who once went into hiding for over a year and, in her own words, “wasn’t gonna pop [her] head out of the sand for anything”. Back then, she was criticised for not making a political statement in the 2016 election. Now, she’s found her voice and is being criticised for using it.
She’s at the level of fame where anything she does (or doesn’t do) creates headlines. And the truth is, she can never win. As a wise woman once said, “When people are in a hate frenzy and they find something to mutually hate together, it bonds them. And anything you say is in an echo chamber of mockery.”
She’ll be damned if she does and she’ll be damned if she doesn’t. So she might as well just finally do whatever the hell she wants – and I’m here for that.