Taylor Swift Is, Literally, 'The Man'

Singer transforms in self-directed music video about gender inequality
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2020 1:06 PM CST

Taylor Swift's new song "The Man" is a no-nonsense take on sexism, in which the singer envisions how life would be different if she were male. "If I was out flashin' my dollas, I'd be a b----, not a baller," she sings. As a man, "I'd be a fearless leader, I'd be an alpha type. When everyone believes ya, what's that like?" Now there's a music video to match. Swift, in a beard, prosthetics, and what Vulture terms "awards-worthy makeup," plays the crotch-grabbing, abuse-hurling, money-hungry "man" who's showered in praise for his work as a corporate executive and father, despite behaving like a downright awful person. Swift not only stars in the video released Thursday, she also wrote, produced, and directed it.

At one point, the character urinates on a subway station wall bearing the names of the six studio albums Swift released under Big Machine Records. On the same wall is a sign barring scooters, a not-so-subtle reference to record executive Scooter Braun, whom Swift has accused of withholding her music, per the BBC. At the end of the video, "the man" comes face to face with Swift as director, who requests a reshoot. "Could you try to be sexier? Maybe more likable this time?" she says. Back in December, Swift told Billboard that she wrote the song from "personal experience" and made sure to make it catchy so that people "would end up with a song about gender inequality stuck in their heads. And for me, that's a good day." (More Taylor Swift stories.)

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