Don’t be too swift to dis­miss Tay­lor’s teenage vot­ers

The Guardian - G2 - - News -

“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.

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