International Women’s Day is Sunday, March 8th, and female pop icon, Taylor Swift, isn’t wasting any time, when it comes to celebrating.
All week, Swift has been teasing the release of her music video for her hit feminist anthem, “The Man”, and on February 27th, fans were finally able to watch the full thing.
The video starts out with Taylor — sorry — Tyler Swift portraying the boss in an office space. The men in the office see Tyler as a hero figure, and the women in the office appear to worship the ground he walks on. He throws a crumpled up piece of paper in the air, and the women all rush to catch it.
Immediately, from the first thirty seconds, we know that a man is in charge, but who does that man remind us of? What does that scene resemble? Several users in the YouTube comment section claimed that it reminded them of The Wolf Of Wall Street, when the office party scene is happening. In that scene, the men are worshipping Leonardo DiCaprio, and the women stroll into the office with little to no clothes on. They fight over which man they get to have, and then throw themselves onto the men in the room.
The next scene of “The Man”, takes place on a New York City subway. Being from New York, and going on subways a lot, I can agree with Swift on the entirety of this scene. On NYC subways, people are usually minding their own business. Some people are dancing, others have their headphones on, and the rest are either sleeping, staring at an advertisement on the ceiling, or staring down at the floor.
However, there’s always that one person that enters the subway car, and either begs for money, or tries to get away with harassing others. A majority of the ones that tend to harass innocent bystanders are men. In this particular scene, Tyler Swift is sitting in between people that are minding their own business. He takes a cigarette out and begins to smoke it. An elderly woman beside him begins to cough up a lung, but he shows no remorse for her, as he continues on with the action. He then proceeds to throw a newspaper onto a woman beside him, and while she appears frustrated, she doesn’t say anything.
The next part of the video was what really made fans go wild. There were so many little Easter eggs, and a whole lot of shade. Tyler went up to a wall in the subway, and began to relieve himself, without a care in the world. There was graffiti on the wall, but not just any messy graffiti. The words that were spray painted on the wall comprised of Taylor Swift’s past album titles: “Reputation”, “1989”, “Fearless”, “Red”, and “Speak Now”. There was also a sign that hung near the graffiti, reading: “no scooters”.
The entire execution of this shot was incredible. It was a visual way of summing up everything that had occured last year with well known talent manager, Scooter Braun. There was also the word, “karma”, spray painted in two different places on the wall.
Towards the left, there was a poster that was taped to the wall. The poster read, “Mr. Americana”, which is a parody of Taylor Swift’s documentary, Miss Americana, that was released earlier this year on Netflix. Even the subway stop number contained a significance. 13 was the day that Swift was born, and she’s stated numerous times, that 13 has always been a lucky number to her.
The next scene shows Tyler Swift on a yacht, with champagne, and a bunch of women in bikinis. They gather around him as Taylor Swift utters the infamous lyrics of, “I’ll be just like Leo, in Saint Tropez”. This specific scene is in reference to DiCaprio’s annual trip to Saint Tropez for the Saint Tropez Gala — created to help The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation conserve the environment and put an end to climate change. While that sounds incredible, Swift was specifically referring to the double standard of DiCaprio’s habit of bringing girls to Saint Tropez, and taking them on his yacht.
If Swift is seen with a new man anywhere, she gets judged, and she’s the negative gossip of the week. However, if DiCaprio is seen with a new woman on a yacht, he’s praised by men, and talked about in a positive light.
The video continues with various back and forth scenes of Tyler getting praised left and right. If he holds a baby, women fall in love with him. If he’s in a club, he finds a woman that allows him to do whatever he wants. It ends with Tyler throwing a tantrum at the fact that he lost a tennis match for women’s charity.
The way it ended was meant to portray sexism and gender bias in the workplace. Although the music video itself contained comedic elements, it was a valid representation of how males treat males, vs. how males treat females.
At the end of the credits, we see that Taylor Swift played many roles in bringing the music video to life. Not only did she act and sing, but she also directed the music video, and wrote the lyrics to the song. The only thing that Swift didn’t do was Tyler’s dialogue at the end. We have to give credit to Dwayne the Rock Johnson for that one.
Taylor Swift is a prime example of taking issues that anger you, and turning it into a hit song. The music video is currently #1 on the YouTube trending page.