Who: Taylor Swift
What: “The Man” Music Video
Why We Care: Taylor Swift has been through a lot, particularly when it comes to last year’s fallout with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta. There’s no need to rehash that situation, but it’s obvious the bad blood still remains—pun intended. However, that hasn’t stopped Tayler Swift from moving forward with new music and getting her shots off in the process.
Enter “The Man,” Taylor Swift’s newest music video (from the single off last year’s Lover) where she examines the ridiculousness of gender roles and weaves that into a satirical spin on her own personal experiences and observations. “The Man” asks pervasive questions about why men get praised for bad behavior or for doing the bare minimum of anything, while women still have to work twice as hard to get half the respect.
Swift introduces us to her male alter ego Tyler Swift, who bears a striking resemblance to both Christian Bale and Jake Gyllenhaal, depending on which angle you catch. The fun video features Swift in various situations, from manspreading on the train to being praised for something as petty as simply patting his child on the head.
Swift also informed fans via Twitter that they should look for some Easter eggs—and there are plenty. There’s a personal dig at Braun in a subway scene with a “No Scooters Allowed” sign on the wall. In that same scene, there’s a sign on the wall that reads “Missing: If Found Return To Taylor Swift,” amid other graffiti that names the six albums of hers that Braun now owns.
In another scene, her character wakes up in a bedroom with a naked woman in bed who resembles Kim Kardashian. That man then runs down a long corridor that looks like the signature white corridor in Kim and Kanye’s home. In case you forgot, West’s “Famous” music video featured a nude wax figure of Swift without her consent, and she wasn’t happy about it. She later liked a tweet that compared the video to revenge porn, and then Kardashian got involved, and that was yet another drama for Swift.
Non-shady Easter eggs include Swift’s father making his acting debut as a tennis umpire (way to be a #GirlDad!), and The Rock voicing her character at the end of the video. While the topic is nothing new, Swift creatively managed to join a never-ending conversation through music (also see Ciara’s “Like a Boy” and Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy”) in the age of #TimesUp and #MeToo, and she wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the video.
Swift catches a lot of flack, but she’s a fighter and always true to her brand of female empowerment. Her point: Creativity and her voice are things no one can ever take away from her. Here’s the video: