On October 7, popstar Taylor Swift posted an Instagram photo with a lengthy caption on U.S. politics. Swift has never been one to get involved in politics, staying away from the topic throughout her music career. In the caption, Swift supports democratic candidates for the upcoming U.S. midterm elections, and many people fell into a rage over it, saying that she “should just stick to music.”
Swift has never been vocal about politics, which leaves many asking, “Why now?” In 2017, Swift won a sexual assault case against a former DJ, which may explain why she decided to come out and support democrats now. Because of the case of Kavanaugh and Ford, Swift may have felt a personal connection and the need to do something, as republicans have the majority seating in the United States right now, and were supporting Brett Kavanaugh despite the sexual assault allegation against him. Kavanaugh went on to get the job as a judge on the Supreme Court, while Ford got nothing except hate, which may have made the pop singer feel the need to come out now.
Critics have been attacking Swift, saying that one individual should not have power over a political election, as it is predicted that Swift drove about 400,000 people to register to vote according to Uproxx.com. But, all she did was state her opinion, right? She has a right to share her opinion with others, and even if she never did it before, it does not mean that Swift shared her political views just to appeal to her fans. Everyone has the right to opinion and expression, which is exactly what she did, she expressed her right to her fans.
Now, why did Swift decide to share this post to her fans? Because she felt that it was her duty to share her opinion with her followers, as many young people have not been going to the polls in recent years. According to Economist.com, only 21% of people aged 18 to 24 voted in the 2010 American election, with an even smaller amount voting during midterms. This means that the dominating political party would probably be Republican, as most older people tend to this party, and they vote more than younger generations. Swift was simply encouraging her young followers to go out and vote so that they have a say in American politics, and so all United States citizens get representation and support.
A lot of times when male celebrities share their political opinions, people will support them and encourage them to be open about politics, such as Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel obviously received hate from the opposing side, but from the side he supported, nothing but love, which we can’t say the same for Swift. With women, people may believe that the woman should just do what they are supposed to do—in this case, sing and make music—and that they should stay out of politics. Even if people may not realize it, some tend to have a bias towards women and their political opinions compared to men, which results in women getting more hate for sharing their opinions.
Another argument some may make is that Swift did not write the caption herself, and it was, in fact, just a publicity stunt. Fox News (a Republican news corporation) assumed that Swift did not write the caption. They said Swift should stay out of politics, while hypocritically they showed support for Kanye West (a republican supporter). As said before, they probably have some bias towards women and their political opinions compared to men. At the 2018 American music Awards ,during her acceptance speech, Swift spoke out about how people need to get out and vote during the midterm elections on November 6th and seemed truly genuine. Even if Swift did receive help on writing the caption, it is her views and her political opinion shared with the world.
Either way, celebrities will always be attacked for any small matter, and Swift chose to go against the hate, knowing she would receive it, and share her opinions. Her goal was to hopefully drive more young people to vote so America can finally have better representation, and finally it’s her right share her opinions.