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Greta Scott

Posted on November 8, 2020 00:06

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"A man does something, it’s strategic. A woman does the same thing, it’s calculated. A man is allowed to react. A woman can only overreact." - Taylor Swift

This November marks the moment Taylor Swift gained the right to re-record her first five albums after they were sold to Scooter Braun in June 2019. Swift says that this sale happened, "Without my approval, consultation, or consent, after I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright."

Evidently outraged, Taylor Swift has been very vocal about the right of an artist to own their own work. Writing on Tumblr, Swift explains that "This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says 'Music has value,' he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it."

Swift claims she was subsequently told she could not perform her old songs on TV unless she stopped tweeting about Braun and agreed to not re-record her songs. As she remarks, "The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished."

Taylor Swift's contract with Big Machine Records, who own almost all of her music, allows her to now re-record those albums and potentially undercut any profits Braun might get from the original masters.

For Swift, this is an issue of "toxic male privilege" in the music industry. I think it's more than that. Take these two headlines from the Guardian newspaper:

"Taylor Swift is furious at the sale of her master tapes – but she’s luckier than most"

"Why Kanye West's fight for his masters marks a changing music industry"

Why are two artists fighting on the same issue presented in such different ways? Why is Taylor Swift lucky, yet Kanye West a revolutionary? An artist as successful as Taylor Swift (the first woman to win two Album of the Year Awards at the Grammy's) choosing to re-record her albums is almost unprecedented in pop music.

Women are not thanked for offering an opinion. In the documentary Miss Americana, Taylor Swift describes how "Every time I didn’t speak up about politics as a young person, I was applauded for it. It was wild. I said, 'I'm a 22-year-old girl - people don’t want to hear what I have to say about politics.’ And people would just be like, 'Yeahhhhh!'"

Swift's current battle is a metaphor for the suppression of women's opinions everywhere. Women who express their opinions are seen as aggressive, irritable, oversensitive. People would rather criticize the woman than her opinion; we aren’t allowed to be angry. If we are, that must mean we are on our period, right? In Taylor Swift's single The Man, she sings that for men, "It's all good if you're bad, and it's okay if you're mad."

"The Man" - Taylor Swift/BBC

In the USA, you just got your first female Vice President. Congratulations. But the patriarchy starts in the home, and we better start changing the rhetoric around women offering opinions.

Greta Scott

Posted on November 8, 2020 00:06

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Source: CNN

Did Taylor Swift execute a chess move against music executive Scooter Braun?

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