On the 17th of July and the 9th of August, Swifties around the UK and USA went fervent for Era’s tour tickets. Picture super fans waiting anxiously and surrounded by thirteen devices hoping to be the winners of their version of Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket. My Instagram page was flooded with videos of some people screaming with joy and others crying in front of their computer screens.
The energy around Taylor Swift's Eras tour was exciting and vibrant. This shows the impact she and many other female artists are having not just on our playlists, but on our lives. We can also see what this means for feminism and the future of our music.
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In an interview with Time, Taylor Swift spoke about her stance on feminism and what it means to be a feminist. She discussed how many people believe that feminists hate men when, in fact, this is false. A feminist means believing that all men and women should have equal rights in all walks of life. This helped many Swift fans understand the true meaning of feminism and that they have been holding a feminist stance without even realizing it.
Many of Swift's lyrics have feminist meanings too, such as her song 'The Man', which discusses the inequalities between men and women. The song suggests men have more freedom to date and have partners, whereas women are frowned upon for having multiple past relationships. In addition, it addresses issues of sexism within the workplace.
Such as men having more freedom to be bosses without being deemed rude. Taylor Swift’s dating history is discussed during countless interviews, and she is asked why her previous relationships failed. Would this happen if she was a man? Why is it so wrong for a woman to have relationships that did not work out?
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Now let's look at another female artist currently taking over our playlists. The Queen of Rap, Pop, and Hip-Hop herself, Nicki Minaj. Nicki Minaj is known for her amazing songs (Who else is obsessed with Barbie World?) and extraordinary outfits.
However, there have been times when Nicki Minaj has experienced backlash about her album covers where she shows explicit parts of her body, such as her 'Anaconda' album cover backlash. Some may see this as inappropriate, but I see all of Minaj's outfits and album covers as powerful female stances. As women, we have the right to wear what we want without criticism taking it away from us. Nicki Minaj is taking back that right by embracing her femininity and sexuality. In addition, how many album covers have you seen by male artists where they have no top on? How much backlash did they receive for that? Nicki Minaj is empowering women all while topping the charts with her songs.
Another young pop artist flooding our playlists is Olivia Rodrigo, whose songs we can all relate to. Her SOUR album of 2021 had many feminist undertones. Still today, she is releasing songs where we can let out our rage too.
One song on her album SOUR that stood out to me was 'Brutal'. This song used lots of Marxist feminist theory which analyses how women are exploited through the capitalist system. Her song covers the idea that men have more freedom to quit their jobs without judgment.
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In Rodrigo's latest song 'Vampire’, she calls out her 'Bloodsucker' of an ex-boyfriend. This song has an interesting and grasping music video produced by pop-feminist director Petra Collins. The music video starts in a fairy tale setting which soon takes a dark twist when Rodrigo is hit on the head by a falling studio light.
The camera then zooms out for us to see Rodrigo being watched by an audience. As she runs out of the theatre into the city, we see she is chased by security and finally alone by the end with a smile.
As we can see, female artists are filling our playlists and empowering all women along the way. Some through recognized feminist practices, while others do not even realize the amazing impacts they are having. But remember the rise of women is not the fall of men. It is the rise of equality, opportunity, and peace.