Were you late to the #KimExposedTaylorParty? In case you missed it, Kim Kardashian finally shared the video of hubby Kanye West calling Taylor Swift regarding the now-infamous “Famous” lyric. Late last night, Kim posted a 10-part Snapchat video that simultaneously cleared Ye’s name and smeared Taylor’s.
But beyond the GIFs of Kim sipping from cups, that cringey Selena Gomez tweet that followed and the endless praises that rang, “Yas kween, drag her,” remains one underlying truth: We’re again celebrating the takedown of a woman.
Yes, Taylor Swift is problematic. She’s been accused of slut shaming and cultural appropriation in the past and subscribes to a basic, white-friendly version of feminism that only looks good on Instagram. Yes, she’s calculated. Maybe even conniving. Her entire empire was built by manipulating the media.
And while she shouldn’t be excluded from the public scrutiny that’s calling her out for playing the victim once more, the celebration of what’s been dubbed her “downfall” isn’t a fate she deserves.
It’s an opinion I think Kim, under different circumstances, would agree with.
Kim and Taylor are easily the most hated women on the Internet. But despite their variation in career paths and public images, they’re not that much different. They’ve both been torn down for the sake of tabloid headlines. They’ve both been scrutinized for how they express their sexuality. Every aspect of their lives faces criticism and judgement. Kim’s a bad mom and role model. Taylor’s a serial dater. Kim’s butt is too big. Taylor’s is too small. Their successes are constantly challenged by the public—We can’t stand to see women doing what they want and succeed at it too.
More than proving that Taylor likely lied about not previously knowing about the “Famous” lyrics (she did post to Twitter saying she wasn’t made aware of the “I made that b*tch famous” line), this beef says less about any of the parties involved and more about how we treat women in the public eye.
If you’re a man in Hollywood, you can fuck up as many times as you want and still be successful. Ben Affleck can cheat on his wife. Woody Allen can be accused of molesting his step daughter. Chris Brown can assault Rihanna. But they can all still land roles, make movies, record albums and collect awards for their achievements.
But if a woman lies? She deserves to be burned at the stake.
Taylor’s latest crime is her new relationship with British actor Tom Hiddleston. Headlines like “Could Taylor Swift be bad for Tom Hiddleston’s career?” and “Swift’s boyfriends have no idea they’re part of her ‘plan'” have been floating around ever since the two were first seen together and continue to fuel our love to hate her. The media has become increasingly concerned about Hiddleston’s career, despite the fact that he’s dating a celebrity with way more star power and influence than him.
Taylor is the only woman to have won the Grammy for Album of the Year twice. She changed Apple Music’s contract terms with a letter. She co-hosted the Met Gala. But news outlets continue to define her as a lovesick schoolgirl with a long list of celebrity ex-boyfriends. It’s a narrative similar to Kim’s.
The first time we heard Kim K’s name, it was when her sex tape leaked onto the Internet. But since then, she’s created a makeup collection, published a book and shut down the App Store with Kimoji. She covers this month’s issue of Forbes magazine. But still, she makes headlines for posting naked selfies and deals with haters who, on a daily basis, call her talentless.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) July 11, 2016
Once the news broke that the video of Kanye’s phone call was online, the Internet went crazy. Meme production hasn’t stopped yet, and the listcle roundups of the most no chill moments are popping up on every media outlet. Kim received praise for actions and now, Taylor’s Instagram is filled with snake emojis.
The woman vs. woman is a storyline readers lap up. Before this it was Taylor versus Katy. Kim versus Chloe. Taylor versus Nicki. But the real match-up we need to be concerned about is Women versus The World. Successful women face enough hardship in the public eye without being pit against one another. They’re constantly berated for doing things like speaking their minds and embracing their sexuality, things their male counterparts are free to do with no negative backlash. They’re called “bitches” for being assertive and “control freaks” for taking charge in their own lives.
There’s already enough negativity that comes with being a famous woman without the Twitter beefs. The #KimExposesTaylorParty might be in full swing, but maybe you should think twice before joining in on the celebrations.