I find Taylor Swift’s song The Man intriguing for this Podcast Project because the issue raised within it as well as how controversial the artist is. She is known for her many musical stages, for having various versions of herself or for there being an “old and new Taylor”. The “new Taylor” has produced two albums now that have pushed back to society and challenged much of the hate and criticism she has received.

For much of her life, Taylor’s critics have accused her of being overly dramatic and always playing the victim, however, there are reasons behind why she creates the music she does. These reasons are what I hope to learn and bring awareness to. I believe Taylor Swift is an artist that has been hurt by the words and judgments of many and I believe she finds the root cause to her critics hurtful words sexist, (based in a lack of respect for her femininity).

I have a lot of curiosity surrounding her, what has impacted her, and her intentions for her push back attitude. Questions I intend to unpack are: Why did she want a voice in a discussion on gender inequality? What are the struggles she has gone through to feel so belittled (especially as such a famous and accomplished artist)? Who has played a negative role / positive role in her life? Has she directly experienced sexist actions against her? What are her motives for the song? What are her goals for the song?

I do not know much about Taylor Swift going into this project but I hope to learn about why she created her song The Man. I have never been a strong fan of hers, but I think this song could hold a strong message. From my understanding of this song currently, I believe the content and message are empowering and valid. But, I do intend to uncover what her message truly is and solidify my understanding of what her intentions behind creating this song were.

Taylor’s song The Man is protesting sexism (perhaps specifically sexism within the music industry). She is protesting the inequality of treatment to people based on gender identity as well as any bias ideals of what identifying with a specific gender means about the perception people have of you. These issues being raised I believe beg the question “How would people treat or react to Taylor Swift’s actions if she was a male?” As a woman who grew up in the spotlight, Taylor Swift has experienced a lot of criticism and heard many opinions from others as to who she is or how she should be acting. I believe she feels like her life has taken unnecessary hits from critics and society in general that are negative, aggressive and overly judgemental, based on her gender identity and the perception people have of her.

Personally, I find content interesting and exciting to dive into because gender inequality is an issue I feel passionately about taking on. I think a society that creates internal separation of people or allows for ill-treatment of others based on a single identifying characteristic is unsustainable. The treatment of women within society has historically been unequal and unjust. It is important to bring attention to this issue of gender inequality because historically women have been oppressed and told to be voiceless. This is not right and can not be the case for our society’s future. Conversations must be had about this issue and songs like The Man motivate these conversations.

I am willing to listen to Taylor Swift’s song The Man for eleven weeks. I am willing to study and critically analyze it. I am willing to research the artist and the intentions behind the song. I am also interested in unpacking what Taylor Swift has been up to, in regards to her shift in focus of subject matter/content for her lyrics.

Sophia Terry