Don’t be too swift to dismiss Taylor’s teenage voters
“Middle-aged men whine about Taylor Swift having an opinion” is my new favourite corner of the internet. Since Swift came out in support of Democratic nominees to her 112 million Instagram followers, voter registration for the upcoming midterm elections has reportedly spiked – 65,000 registrations in the 24 hours after her post. Still, there are always victims and, as is often the way, those victims happen to be white men. Donald Trump has lamented that he now likes Swift’s music “25% less”. Does that mean he will only sing along to We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together in his PJs with three-quarters the enthusiasm?
His disapproving response was shared – completely coincidentally you understand – by neo-Nazi basement dwellers who suggested Swift had killed her career. There’s a stench of ownership around all this, as if Swift is not a multimillionaire global pop star who barely registers these men’s existence, but a woman who exists purely to fit into the mould men have made – and, once she dares to step out of it, who will be punished for it.
Despite the sinister undertones, I can’t help but find it all quite hilarious, as scores of sexist men try to show us what a silly girl Swift is – by pouting because she was mean to them. One mainstream Republican expressed his displeasure with Swift by promising she would not be able to, in the words of one of her hits, “shake it off ” – like a teenager quoting song lyrics in the back of his diary.
Meanwhile, Governor Mike Huckabee tweeted: “It won’t impact election unless we allow 13 yr old girls to vote.” To use that technical phrase favoured by political pollsters: me thinks he doth protest too much. Beside, he forgot one important thing. Little girls soon enough grow into powerful women. Just look at Swift.