It’s a common occurrence. As Taylor Swift fans, we must endure the slander every day. Every time her name is mentioned, someone invariably says: “I like her music, but I don’t like her.”
Taylor has endured sustained criticism from the public eye for years, and in doing so, she has polarized the world. But why? Is it for her ambition, her silence, her inauthenticity? We understand there are legitimate concerns about Taylor Swift and her use of her celebrity. However, the litany of criticism about Ms. Swift, perpetuated by misinformation, unveils a troubling cultural plague.
We live in a culture of not only instant gratification but also immediate condemnation. Social media has allowed for the instantaneous harassment and violation of anyone. The court of public opinion no longer tolerates patience or nuance. It only values expedience and malice. No one knows this better than Ms. Swift.
Two summers ago, Taylor Swift was exposed by Kim Kardashian as a snake. #KimExposedTaylorParty went viral. Online culture perceived the overwhelming and vicious character assassination of Ms. Swift as a “party.” Name-calling, foul language and amoral behavior were deemed something to celebrate.
Antagonism against Swift continued. Throughout the 2016 presidential election, Swift was criticized for not utilizing her platforms and influence as a public figure to discuss political issues. Her silence automatically made her pro-Trump. She was deemed a Nazi sympathizer and white supremacist.