Taylor Swift Defends Her Lack Of Involvement In The 2016 Presidential Election

Taylor Swift’s political affiliation was highly speculated on during the run-up to the 2016 election, and the pop star faced criticism for not publicly taking a side when she might have been a potential influencer in the battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Swift is on the cover of Vogue this month, and in the interview she gave she directly addressed the scrutiny she came under for not endorsing either candidate. Swift said:

Unfortunately in the 2016 election you had a political opponent who was weaponizing the idea of the celebrity endorsement. He was going around saying, I’m a man of the people. I’m for you. I care about you. I just knew. I knew I wasn’t going to help. Also, you know, the summer before that election, all people were saying was: She’s calculated. She’s manipulative. She’s not what she seems. She’s a snake. She’s a liar. These are the same exact insults people were hurling at Hillary. Would I be an endorsement or would I be a liability? Look, snakes of a feather flock together. Look, the two lying women. The two nasty women. Literally millions of people were telling me to disappear. So I disappeared. In many senses.

Since the election, Swift has become more politically engaged in the public sphere. She endorsed Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee and has also supported gun reform and addressed sexual harassment and assault.

In the new Vogue interview, she also talks about music industry sexism:

When I was a teenager, I would hear people talk about sexism in the music industry, and I’d be like, I don’t see it. I don’t understand. Then I realized, as an adult woman, that was because I was a kid. Men in the industry saw me as a kid. Cause I was a lanky, scrawny, overexcited young girl who reminded them more of their little niece or their daughter than a successful woman in business or a colleague. The second I became a woman, in people’s perception, was when I started seeing it.

It’s fine to infantilize a girl’s success and say, How cute that she’s having some hit songs. How cute that she’s writing songs. But the second it becomes formidable? As soon as I started playing stadiums—when I started to look like a woman—that wasn’t as cool anymore.

And also talks about the feud between her and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West:

A mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are quote-unquote canceled, is a very isolating experience. I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly.” She adds: “When you say someone is canceled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being. You’re sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as, Kill yourself.

Read the full interview here.