I was given a tip to view the recent video of Taylor Swift’s new song “The Man.” Now I know very little about Taylor Swift. I care even less for her music. But I took the tip and viewed the video because it had the title of “The Man.”
Haley Victory Smith, in a review said this about the song: “This anti-sexist battle hymn decries the injustice of society’s double standards.” Swift sings, “If I was a man, then I’d be the man.” She laments, “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can/ Wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man.”
I am a 78 year old grandpa, of two wonderful granddaughters, who are comfortable, each in their own way, living out their femininity. If I were Taylor’s grandpa, this would be my advice for her with all the success she has had in her young career.
Taylor don’t focus on “the man.” Celebrate your success as a woman. Use your position to help girls become comfortable with their femininity. I plead with you to see “the man” as God’s compliment to your being a woman. Men carry a “deep wound” because they are not affirmed in their masculinity. They need other men to help them.
Don’t play the victim card. Taylor, take some good advice from a long time crusading feminist, Camilla Paglia. Think of yourself as a “street smart Amazon feminist.” See yourself as “a warrior at every moment.” Celebrate your sense of dignity as a creative, successful young woman. You have made it. Use it to bring healing between men and women
Don’t fall for what Christina Hoff Sommers calls, “fainting couch feminism.” Don’t model yourself after young women who feel, “like fragile little birds in need of protection.” Sommers laments seeing, “talented, idealistic young women turning inward – away from a world that needs them.”
Taylor, you have an “incredibly successful brand [that] is uniquely feminine.” I agree with Ms. Smith, that part of your appeal is “your unabashed femininity.” You have won the right to speak into lives of millions of young girls. Please, help them to be affirmed in their femininity.
You sing about being “sick of of them (I assume men), coming at me again.” Towards the end of your song, you talk about “hustling,” as you “put in the work.” You are concerned that, “they wouldn’t shake their heads/And question how much of this I deserve/ What I am wearing, if I was rude/Could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves.”
Taylor, you are a very attractive young women. I’m sure you remember the controversy with the halftime show during the recent super bowl. A lot of what was on display was simply the objectifying of the female body, for the sake of a male culture.
Taylor, you know full well that there is a “war of the sexes” in our culture. As a grandpa, I appeal to you to be a role model of modesty. Don’t put anymore pressure on young girls to become any more body conscious then they are. Help them in your performing to celebrate a strong, confident feminine presence.
But Taylor, you need to keep in mind what it is to “be the man.” Every man, especially young men, have a “tiger in their tank.” Male sexuality needs to be tamed. Don’t fall for the need to be seductive. Don’t allow yourself to be a “sex symbol.”
But most of all, encourage and call out young men, to be all that they can be as young men, created equal in God’s eyes. Our culture needs strong men as well as strong women. You can be a great influence.