Taylor Swift has a new album out. You may have heard.
More to the point, you may have seen the million Hot Takes by Very Cool People about how Swift is evil for wanting to make money from her work and her image. How carefully constructing the product that she's selling - by which I mean both her album and her public persona - makes her, somehow, a bad person. How with everything else going on in the world, apparently what we should be worrying about is appropriately punishing a woman who dares to write song lyrics about a man who wrote song lyrics about her.
I don't think Taylor Swift is A PERFECT PERSON or anything - tip: life gets much easier when you stop expecting anyone to be perfect - but I'm a fan. I enjoy both her music and her determination to control her own narrative. And I have all the counterarguments and refutations ready to go, about how male and female lyricists are held to crazily different standards (because men NEVER write songs about their love lives, right????), about how it's wrong to support a system in general and castigate one person for operating profitably within it, about how I like her because she's calculating. But honestly? I just don't want to.
In another world, I can absolutely see myself writing a defense of Swift much longer than any of you would actually want to read, and finding that pretty satisfying. In this world, we are pretty busy defending statements like "Nazis are bad" and "30-year-olds shouldn't date high schoolers" and "People who have never been members of a political party shouldn't be given control of it", so I just don't have the energy. And so I'm giving myself the gift of not reading any of the Hot Takes this time, of scrolling past all the tweets from my friends about how Taylor is evil and her fans are stupid. Sure. Fine. Whatever.
I'm giving myself the gift of just listening to Reputation over and over in my car, letting myself be amused and comforted and inspired by the lyrics, singing along because it's fun and God knows we need some fun right now. And it's okay. The world will not end because I decide to sit out the argument this time. Take some time to just like something that makes you happy. It will be good for you.
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