By now you’ve probably read Taylor Swift’s incredibly revealing interview with The Guardian in which she declares her hatred for Donald Trump and announces that she’s pro-choice.
While most are currently obsessed with Taylor’s new outspoken political views (and for good reason!), there’s one small part of the interview that everyone has pretty much ignored: her comments on white privilege.
The comments came amidst a conversation about her perceived tendency to “play the victim” — a narrative that can be traced back to the 2009 Kanye West VMA incident. Since then, there have been numerous occasions that have contributed to Taylor’s reputation for victimhood.
In response, Taylor told The Guardian,
“A lot about how my privilege allowed me to not have to learn about white privilege. I didn’t know about it as a kid, and that is privilege itself, you know? And that’s something that I’m still trying to educate myself on every day.”
Taylor’s insights are pretty spot-on — it’s a privilege in itself not to have to reconcile with your own privilege.
But a big part of checking your white privilege means knowing when to pick your battles. As a white woman — and a pretty one by societal standards at that — your problems are going to be heard a lot louder than those of a woman of color. You have a lot of power to bring attention to certain issues that may otherwise get ignored. But you need to use it carefully. Up until now, Taylor has abused that power — unintentionally or not.
It’s great that Taylor is finally starting to learn about her white privilege but hopefully, this is just the beginning of her journey.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.