Why Are a Bunch of Websites Publishing Calls for Taylor Swift to Speak About the Election?
This has been an election full of unprecedentedly weird stuff in general, but some of the trends and events that have come out of it are truly next-level. For instance, this:
For some reason, people are really upset that Taylor Swift (of all people!) hasn’t weighed in on the election. Some speculate it’s because her friend Karlie Kloss is dating Jared Kushner‘s brother, but that seems like a stretch. Others say that as a feminist, it’s her job to speak out against Trump in light of his misogynistic attacks on Megyn Kelly and Alicia Machado and his mounting list of sexual assault allegations
Listen. Calling on Swift to talk about Hillary Clinton or Trump is a huge waste of time. She is a singer. Moreover, she’s a singer who hasn’t ever talked about politics and whose dedication to feminism and general empowerment is dubious at best. There are innumerable thinkpieces littered across the internet that address how her bitter clap-back at Amy Poehler and Tina Fey for cracking a joke at her expense — “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women” — was the exact opposite of anything enlightened. She’s been known to shame other women like Katy Perry by publicly excluding them as she parades her supposedly empowering “girl squad” around awards shows. She straight-up lied about Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West following the release of West’s song “Famous,” profiting from the false narrative that painted her as a victim of misogynistic lyrics without letting people know that she had given those lyrics the green light in advance. Never mind the fact that she hit her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend with a similarly sexually shaming lyric only a few years prior.
She is not the exemplary icon we are looking for…
…nor should she be. She doesn’t owe us anything.
Yes, her rivals Kardashian West, Perry, and Poehler have all endorsed Clinton, so it’s generally uncharacteristic of her not to attempt to do it bigger and better and yes, she has millions of followers she could encourage to vote one way or the other, but politics simply isn’t her thing. It wasn’t in 2012 and it isn’t now.
We’ve already heard from Scott Baio. We checked in with Bruce Springsteen. Remember how Chingy and Aaron Carter spoke out, too? Do you think those endorsements were really that important? Are the endorsements of Kardashian West and Perry that important? Beyond a handful of fans who are likely too obsessed, who will really base their vote on a celebrity’s opinion?
We don’t need Taylor Swift to tell us who she’s voting for. She is a pop star, not an ideological paragon. Nothing about her — from her lyrics to her antics to her tendency to lie to make herself look better — lends itself to political credibility. Again, it doesn’t even need to. Everything about her perfectly-cultivated image is designed to boost her profile as a popular singer. That’s what she is.
Editors, columnists, and readers: Please, please, stop producing and encouraging this content. She doesn’t owe us an endorsement and if she gave us one, it would likely still be largely problematic and distracting. We will soldier on for the next 12 days without knowing what Taylor Swift thinks.
[image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.