Taylor Swift overly criticized for stance on social issues

Sharnicia Dotson

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In the midst of the #freekesha support, Demi Lovato called out America’s Sweetheart Taylor Swift. While some people believe that this feud is detracting from the real issue, it is actually a great opener for a conversation on privilege, feminism and power.

Swift has run into a lot of trouble recently with other women in Hollywood because of her sometimes problematic and short-sighted feminism. Swift admits to her hesitation of proclaiming herself as a feminist, but through years of dealing with the struggles of being a woman in the public eye, Swift proudly waves her feminist flag.

However, Swift clearly still has a lot to learn about the complexity of the issue. One of Swift’s growing moments was in a misunderstanding between the starlet and Nicki Minaj. After Minaj tried to speak out on the issue of MTV and the media not acknowledging the achievements of black artists with the same criteria of white artists. Swift took some of the comments personally and was quickly reminded that her female empowerment heavily subscribed to the issues of white women.

Now, being uninformed is not a bad thing. Swift, like many other women, unknowingly subscribes to white feminism, failing to acknowledge many other intersections in identity. In the case of Swift though, a deeper issue in her philosophy really struck a nerve with Lovato.

Lovato feels that Swift and her girl squad, while cute, are only a façade. Lovato did not explicitly call out Swift but made the broad generalization that many people are simply using feminism as a platform without actually being active in the cause. Lovato did favorite a tweet that specifically called out Swift for remaining silent during the case of beloved pop star Kesha.

Interestingly enough, Swift does work with Sony, the label whose policies and contract Kesha is fighting against. It is important to note that Swift did eventually end up donating $250,000 to help Kesha with legal fees. Throwing money at a problem is usually never really helpful towards solving it, but it is definitely better than a tweet.

While Lovato was right that Swift does seem to remain silent during important discussions of women’s issues, Lovato has not taken many actions toward “the cause.” In response to Swift’s fans, Lovato said that she has the courage to speak out and does not try to hard to be politically correct. Lovato has also announced that she is a proud endorser of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Both of these things don’t require much more than a tweet.

The inaction that Lovato is accusing Swift of can also be seen in her own actions, but the great thing is that neither star is obligated to be social warriors. People should not be looking to celebrities to lead the fight against injustice. While stars should try to use their power to bring some good to this world, no one is more obligated to speak up than any other person. Let us all work together and try to change the world in whatever way we can.