With great power comes great responsibility, which perhaps helps to explain why Taylor Swift is very selective when it comes to sharing her political stance on current issues.
With over 118 million followers on her social media, 50 million album sales under her belt and 10 Grammys to her name – Swift has a huge fan base that is always eager to hear what she says next. She is clearly very aware of the influence a single lyric or tweet can have.
But many of her actions still prove Swift’s strong feminist values. Who can forget the symbolic $1 payout from her sexual assault case? Or the way she shut down a journalist who asked her about “settling down”?
And yet, she often faces criticism for not actually speaking out much about women’s issues.
However, during the mid-term elections last year, Swift explained her conspicuous silence before sharing a social media post that supported Democratic candidates in her home state Tennessee.
“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country,” she wrote.
But we can’t forget that Swift stayed silent during the 2016 presidential election and, much more recently, hasn’t even publicly acknowledged the abortion bans in multiple American states.
Many high profile women such as Lady Gaga and Reese Witherspoon shared their rightful outrage against the attack on women’s autonomy over their bodies, while Swift didn’t make a sound.
But the singer has said that the music from her highly anticipated new album has “political undertones”.
Speaking to German outlet RTL, she said: “I definitely think there are political undertones in the new music I made. I’m not planning to stop encouraging young people to vote and to try to get them to talk about what’s going on in our country. I think that’s one of the most important things I could do.”
Now, Swift has made a hugely important statement about LGBTQ+ rights, sparking an online conversation and sharing a petition with fans.
She wrote: “HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!!! While we have so much to celebrate, we also have a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally. In excellent recent news, the House has passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations. The next step is that the bill will go before the Senate. I’ve decided to kick off Pride Month by writing a letter to one of my senators to explain how strongly I feel that the Equality Act should be passed. I urge you to write to your senators too. I’ll be looking for your letters by searching the hashtag #lettertomysenator.
“While there’s no information yet as to when the Equality Act will go before the Senate for a vote, we do know this: Politicians need votes to stay in office. Votes come from the people. Pressure from massive amounts of people is a major way to push politicians towards positive change. That’s why I’ve created a petition at change.org to urge the Senate to support the Equality Act.
“Our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic. The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable.
“Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally. Click the link in my bio to sign the petition for Senate support of the Equality Act.”
This is obviously an amazing and positive thing to do with her platform, and it has been hugely appreciated by her fans.
One wrote: “When Taylor Swift broke her political silence last year, I’ve never been more proud to be a Swiftie. And now she is using her platform again to fight for LGBTQ rights. This means so much to me. I’M IMMENSELY GRATEFUL. ILY forever @taylorswift13!”
Another added: “Taylor, I’m crying. This means the absolute world to me. To have someone with your platform take a stand for LGBTQ rights is such a huge step forward and pushes many of people in the right direction. Thank you for speaking up. Thank you for fighting for us. I love you always.”
And a third said: “As a Swiftie since I was 11, and a part of the LGBTQ community I am in tears. Thank you for supporting my rights as well as the rights of countless others.”
Swift can talk about what the hell she wants to, but it’s just very interesting to see that she’s clearly confident in talking about some important social issues, while still choosing to remain silent on others that are equally important.