Swift vs. Kanye, and why you should care.
Note: The opinions in this article are that of the author and do not reflect the Tertangala or the University of Wollongong
So for those of you just tuning in, Kimye and Taylor are still feuding over Kanye’s controversial song lyric in his track Famous.
Kanye raps, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex
Why? I made that bitch famous”
In a statement to the press, a representative of Ms Swift said, “Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message.” In her Grammys acceptance speech Swift threw major shade at Kanye, insinuating he was trying to take credit for her success.
Kanye in turn, released a slew of tweets insisting the lyrics had been approved by Swift, which Kim Kardashian confirmed in an interview.
Image via Twitter.
Over the course of the last two days, Kim Kardashian released footage of a phone call between Swift and Kanye, which suggests she knew what he was going to rap and would be supportive of the song reference. This prompted an Instagram post from Swift criticizing the fact the call was secretly recorded, she never heard the song in it’s entirety and that it’s reasonable for her to be upset at being referred to as “that bitch”.
Due to the nature of the feud, many people are either #TeamTaylor or #TeamKanye, which naturally leaves the other at fault. This begs an entirely different question, is Taylor being demonized because she’s an outspoken unapologetic woman? Or is Kanye being pigeonholed as an aggressive man of colour, terrorizing an innocent white woman?
It’s no secret that women in the public eye come under a lot more criticism and face a lot more undermining than men. Sometimes it’s body bashing and slut-shaming, sometimes it’s having your Emmy, Grammy’s, VMA’s, Peoples Choice Awards, (to name few) seen as less important and accomplished than the fact someone interrupted your speech seven years ago.
Swift is a proven talented singer/songwriter and has often preached her belief that women should be supporting women, and has often been considered a modern feminist icon. This makes her an obvious target for criticism, blame, and distrust, and it’s both frustrating and disappointing to see her fall prey to societies sexist undertones.
In the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and recent police brutality, the issue of stereotyping black men has been in the spotlight- and rightly so. For decades, men of colour have been painted as villains, and this feud between Kanye and Swift fits into that narrative. Seen in old movies and novels, the aggressive black “thug”, threatens the delicate white woman has denigrated the standing of the black male since slavery ended in the American south. Historically, these prejudices have lead to violent punishments like whipping and lynching. Hopefully we now live in an evolved society. But sadly these sentiments are alive and well and contributing to the many recent fatal police brutalities. As sad as it is, in 2016 racial discrimination can still come into play with how we perceive and react to men such as Kanye.
We’d love to hear your thoughts, do you think stereotyping and bias can be seen in the way this feud is playing out?
Feature image via Youtube. Credit: UPROXX.
UPDATE 19/7/16: wording has been changed in some places