If you haven’t seen this new music video for the song “The Man”, it’s a must-watch. Taylor Swift created this powerful video which calls out sexist patriarchal standards and the fact that women have to try incredibly hard while acting docile while men get congratulated for the bare minimum.
Among other things, it addresses her drama with having to deal with men that were not giving her the respect that she deserves. Taylor Swift has been a well-known feminist for a while now, and “The Man” music video is a wonderful addition to female empowerment.
She Directed Her Own Video
Taylor Swift has had drama with her previous managers owning her creative work. After breaking free of a contract with them, they attempted to sell some of her past albums because she did not own the work. For “The Man”, Taylor not only wrote, directed, and starred in the music video (yes, she is the man in the music video). But she also places emphasis on the fact that she owns it.
It is so important that women take control of their work and own it rather than passing off the power to men and letting them control us. So seeing Taylor take all the creative license and ownership of her video is really empowering.
Plus, a subtle nod to her ownership of her latest song, when the man is peeing on the wall, there is a sign that prohibits scooters. This sign is actually a reference to the recent drama that she had with Scooter Braun over her previous contractual agreement that ended this November.
The Song Addresses Double Standards
Women are always expected to do more than men. It’s a common occurrence that men ask for more than they deserve or can accomplish and they get what they want. Or they are simply congratulated for barely doing anything. Whether it’s double shifts or glass ceilings, women often work extra hard for lesser recognition.
In “The Man”, the music video shows him (Taylor Swift as the man):
- Manspreading in the subway
- Peeing in an inappropriate place
- Partying with models and strippers
- And getting a “best dad” award for simply holding a young girl.
The lyrics also mention that men get raised up for their sexual conquests. Women do not. But that’s not the case for how people treat women.
Women have to work so much harder for smaller rewards. We often get sexualized, disrespected, and talked down to when we reach for our goals and dreams. Many people have criticized Taylor for her attempts at dating and finding love. Because she dated so many people and she’s a female, the misogynistic gaze scrutinizes her. But if a man was to do the same exact thing, people would praise them.
The End of the Video Flips the Script
Taylor Swift changed her appearance with makeup and prosthetics to appear as a man. Of course, we don’t learn this until the end of the video. However, before the video shows us her transformation into the man, the video cuts. And the man from the video walks up to Taylor in the director’s chair.
He asks Taylor if he’s going in the direction that she wants to go in. And she tells him that he should be sexier and more likable. This is ironic because we know that so many men in the industry do this.
Interested in more articles on empowered women? Feel free to check out our post on Notorious RBG Trailblazing Women Empowerment.