Transfer over Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen—American’s promenade has a brand new king and queen. Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are right here, and a right-wing political meltdown is within the works. Swift’s 300 million followers are protecting of her and completely gushing about this storybook romance. What’s a feminist to make of all this?
First, the meltdown.
By now, the furor from the far-right has reached comical proportions as Trump, the MAGA crowd, and Fox Republicans have twisted their knickers into knots over this pair. There was a time when sane Republicans may need loved the uber-American spectacle of a beautiful, blond, red-lipstick-wearing pop star relationship a hunky Tremendous Bowl-bound soccer participant. However not these Republicans, and never these celebrities.
It has been prompt that all the relationship is a Pentagon plot and that the playoff sport to get Kelce to this yr’s Tremendous Bowl was rigged to make manner for a Biden endorsement by Swift. Networks have been criticized for displaying Swift within the stands an excessive amount of as a substitute of displaying the sport, though precise footage revealed Swift onscreen for 44 seconds throughout the three-plus hours Chiefs-Ravens playoff sport. Fox Information particularly threatened Swift’s American followers to disregard her political decisions. Even George Soros acquired in there someplace—and that’s just some of the selection bits.
Swift is an exceedingly well-known, rich, unbiased, well-liked lady who has been within the public eye for 18 years. Her work and her public statements reveal a maturing lady who writes and sings about feminine empowerment, sexual harassment and gender politics (“I’m so sick of working quick as I can / questioning if I’d get there faster / if I used to be a person”!) having a voice, and naturally the difficulties of boyfriends and breakups.
Swift has come out for the rights of homosexual folks, abortion selection, voter registration efforts (a newly anti-Republican place), varied Tennessee state Democratic candidates, and Biden in 2020. The fitting is aware of she’s not on their aspect. After all, they’re out to get her. The fitting going after a powerful liberal lady in coded, anti-female language is nothing new today. MAGA is aware of its model and its script.
Many ladies know that in search of like-minded males in 2024 is tougher than ever.
And people followers?
They’re each protecting of Swift and positively giddy over this romance, and there’s extra to it than the standard fascination with superstar romances. Swift’s politics aligns left-of-center on the values chart—and that’s exactly the place increasingly more girls discover themselves.
The world over, girls are shifting additional and additional left, as evidenced by polls, voting, social media, get together affiliation and extra.
However males, particularly youthful males, are veering proper simply as quick, if not quicker. We’re experiencing profound divergences alongside gender traces on almost each matter. Women and men—particularly youthful women and men—more and more differ not simply of their politics however of their attitudes towards Black Lives Matter, podcast listening preferences, positions on gun possession, social media use, and even the very matter of gender.
More and more, the precise positions and beliefs girls discover engaging are repelling to males, and vice versa. Hearken to Joe Rogan? Thumbs up for guys, no manner for women. Assume gun possession is a plus? Certain, say dudes, overlook it, say ladies. And so forth. So, whereas trying to find love is a fairly enduring human high quality, many ladies know that in search of like-minded males in 2024 is tougher than ever. And that features feminine Swifties, lots of whom could also be in search of a suitable man, too.
Enter: Travis Kelce. Along with being a phenomenally profitable soccer participant with two Tremendous Bowl rings, his public positions put him left of heart. He took a knee in help of Black Lives Matter. He was in a Pfizer marketing campaign—a pro-vaxxer!—in addition to a Bud Gentle advert (keep in mind Bud Gentle and its trans-support kerfuffle?) Kelce’s SNL skits reveal a humorousness and, maybe, a gender consciousness that’s all too exhausting to come back by in younger males (Straight Male Buddy?). In immediately’s world, these public affiliations distinctly separate him from the rightward drift of so many males.
Additionally atypical is his willingness to help Swift. He has repeatedly publicly applauded her successes. His journey to Buenos Ares to see her live performance, his celebration of her Grammy successes, his podcasts, and his social media posts are all unabashedly skilled and constructive about her. Whereas his (web) historical past will not be fully unblemished, it seems he’s a fairly sane, left-leaning dude prepared and in a position to be self-confident and help his extraordinarily profitable, wealthier girlfriend.
So perhaps these legions of feminine followers are protecting as a result of they know the way girls are taken down, not simply due to the standard fan-celebrity romance however as a result of lots of them nonetheless hope there is an excellent man on the market. Even when not a rich Tremendous Bowl ring-wearing soccer participant, how a few common dude who’s gender-aware, supportive of a powerful, unbiased lady, and never within the Andrew Tate fan membership? Given the gender break up we’re witnessing, is an excellent man on the market? Together with all of the Swifties, I’ll be watching.
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