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    Understanding White Feminism As Taylor Swift Gets Accused Of Being A White Girl Feminist

    Ever since Taylor Swift came out as a feminist in 2014, the billion-dollar worth singer has often been an activist for various feminist struggles. While many have clapped for her standing up for various causes, and portraying feminine struggles through her lyricism, many have also clapped back at her for her supposed ‘white feminism’, a term that has now gained a lot of momentum in the 21st century.

    A lot of activists have labeled Swift’s activism as selective activism and convenient activism as many others continue to defend her stances (or lack of it) for various causes. So what exactly is white feminism? And is Taylor Swift a part of it?

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    What Is White Feminism?

    Taylor Swift
    Taylor Swift

    In plain words, white feminism is feminism that is limited to ‘struggles’ and ’causes’ that only affect a certain class of privileged white women and only focuses on activism related to issues that they suffer from. This kind of feminism places a high value on obtaining equality for white women and maintains that doing so will benefit all other women.

    In the words of Koa Beck, author of White Feminism, “White feminism acts to homogenise feminism: to assert mainstream dominant feminism as The Feminism, which is not true; this is an act of white supremacy. This dynamic often means that where the needs of women of colour, transgender women, disabled women, or Muslim women conflict with that of white supremacy, their needs will be dismissed or subjugated.” 

    In plainer examples, a white feminist will often speak up about there not being enough CEOs or that women should be paid more for similar roles as men in films, but will also refuse to speak up if women from another ethnicity or class are being subjected to vicious turmoil or are getting killed in a war, simply because they cannot necessarily relate to that particular race of women and their struggles.

    This particular brand of feminism is strongly linked to the idea of the white savior complex. This is a frequent stereotype held by white people who believe that members of “non-white” groups, or people of color in general, are weak and subservient and need help from white people.

    Even though white women face misogyny and persecution, they continue to gain from white supremacist structures and have more power than any other group of women.

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    Is Taylor Swift A White Feminist?

    Taylor Swift
    Taylor Swift

    Is Taylor Swift a feminist? Yes she is. In 2014, she talked about her views on feminism and said, “As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities,” to the Guardian in 2014.

    In the past, Swift has spoken out about feminism in a ‘girls supporting girls’ tone. She has spoken up about her own sexual assault case and has written a feminist anthem called ‘The Man’ that’s about how different her life would have been if she was a man and wasn’t a victim of the industry’s misogyny.

    Misogyny includes being slut shamed for writing too many songs about men, being hated on for her lyricism, and her hard work being reduced to an image of her being a serial dater. But at the end of the day, if you look closely, she is a billionaire with an excessive amount of jet usage and a fandom that will blindly support any move she makes.

    Taylor grew up in a middle-class, privileged home with good means of making it to the music industry, and her brand of feminism is limited to what only a fraction of the women who stand as privileged as her can relate to.

    Additionally, she has dated and written an entire album for Matty Healey, who is known to have had extremely problematic opinions on women of color. She is now best friends with the Mahomes family who are sexual abuse apologists and had shut down a victim who was sexually harassed by Jackson Mahomes.

    She is also gloriously dating Travis Kelce, who has in the past made comments about women being breeders and more controversial stances on women.

    When she was 21, she wrote a song called ‘Better Than Revenge’ accusing Camilla Belle of stealing her boyfriend Joe Jonas. The whole song was 3:44 minutes of Camilla being slutshamed for ‘stealing’ Joe from Swift.

    Though she apologized for this later and even changed the lyrics in the re-recording, it stands as one of the stains of the white cape she wears as a feminist. And maybe, just maybe this billionaire that many worships as the ‘music industry’ might be a pinnacle of what white feminism is.

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    Taylor Swift And Feminism

    Taylor Swift
    Taylor Swift

    It’s hard to ignore that Taylor Swift’s brand of feminism is selective feminism and is an umbrella that only covers turmoils that concern her. Like speaking about misogyny when she is hated for writing music about her exes or dating too many people, when in fact the roots of misogyny are a lot deeper than that.

    It is sexist, indeed, to criticize her for writing just about her ex-boyfriends. But when Swift’s ability to write about her ex-boyfriends coincides with the edge of her “feminist” advocacy, the problem lies there. That is too similar to the problematic and all too prevalent concept of white feminism.

    For someone branded an activist and a feminist, she surely spoon-picks the causes she desires to take a stand for. And more often than not it might not be something that a majority of her audience will relate to. Fans have been asking Swift to take a stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict but she has stayed quiet.

    While many have defended it as her not owing anyone a statement, which is true, it also brings out the fact that she is, a selective activist and her feminism benefits no one but people like her who are the least affected by misogyny.

    Conclusion? Feminism has many different takes and shades and of course, Swift’s decision of which one she wants to follow is solely her own decision. But denying her privileges as a white woman who has enjoyed the privileges of her race, ethnicity, social status, and class and making her seem like one of the many artists in Hollywood who are struggling with misogyny, racial discrimination, and gender discrimination is kind of blind to the movement of feminism snd everything it entails.

    Taylor Swift is a phenomenal artist and a wonderful songwriter who has had a flourishing career that she owes to herself, and herself only. But it’s safe to admit that it’s time to put her down from a lot of pedestals that fans have put her on.

    It’s time we move on from Miss Americana. It’s time to take back the pedestals from people who only use it to advocate for their own turmoils and disguise it in a bright shade of ‘activism’.

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    Nibir Konwar
    Nibir Konwar
    Nibir is nineteen, an autumn lover, and a poetry enthusiast. She loves Taylor Swift, Jeff Buckley, Sally Rooney and everything that's blue. She has had one year of experience as a content writer at First Curiosity and writes poetry and researches on literary criticism in her free time. Nibir is also an ardent reader and a fierce feminist. She aspires to author books someday and be an advocate for mental health.

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