Taylor Swift’s “The Man” follows a lineage of songs that stand against the sexist double standards in society. A theme throughout these songs is naming the differences in how women and men are unequally treated in society. There is also a focus on the social acceptance of toxic masculinity in the workforce (or music industry specifically). 


Prior to the release of “The Man” Swift’s voice was constricted and she was constantly limited in her comments on womanhood or girlhood, but through “The Man” she calls out the stereotypes of masculinity in the workforce. She points to the unequal treatment and lack of respect women receive throughout society. Bringing this social issue into the music world is not a new concept. Swift is now proudly a part of the conversation to gender inequality and powerfully stands on the need for change. 

Songs such as Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy” (2008), Ciara’s “Like a Boy” (2006), Bonnie Tyler’s “If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)” (1983), and Julie Andrews “If I Were a Man” (1981) all have a role in the conversation on gender inequality. This challenge to society (to be better) is not a new ask from women but it is one that has historically taken many years to create movement or various forms of change. 


The two songs most connected to this lineage are Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy” and Ciara’s “Like a Boy.” Although it is not certain that Swift looked directly at these songs for inspiration to her song “The Man” All three of these songs point out a large social issues and hint at the need for change to a large social issue. Her argument in “The Man” is not just that her gender has lessened her life opportunities but it is that her gender determined how people talk with her and about her. 

These lineages enhance the social power of them all because as the number of songs focus on this topic increases, they all become more heard. As their number increases so do the amount of conversations on the topic and through more conversations, more followers come to join the movement of women’s rights. Listening to “If I Were a Boy” or “Like a Boy” socially enhances the power of Swifts message because it provides support and more context to gender inequality.