Claire Harmeyer
Updated Feb 27, 2020 @ 1:18 pm
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In true Taylor Swift form, her most recent music video for “The Man” is littered with powerful statements and clever nods to societal issues. This time, however, the statements are less covert, and more in your face—like peeing-on-the-subway-platform in your face. The video marks Swift’s solo directorial debut, and she didn’t play it safe—but are we surprised? It’s chock full of “stick it to the man” moments where gender double standards are called out point-blank. And Swift is literally disguised as a “bro” the whole time, until a little surprise at the end. Let’s dig into the details.

The video follows Swift—who is completely transformed by hair and makeup artists into The Man—being a total bro at work, manspreading on the subway, and objectifying women.

The Man yells at staffers, takes body shots off of women, and flaunts his money—all bringing to life the song lyrics, “What’s it like to brag about raking in dollars / And getting bitches and models?” The Man also objectifies tons of women in swimsuits while drinking on a yacht. (“And they would toast to me, oh, let the players play / I’d be just like Leo in Saint-Tropez.”) Bottom line: You know these behaviors, and they are the worst.

Swift is using the entire video to call out the blatant sexism in the entertainment industry, and every industry, for that matter.

At the end of the four-minute video, The Man walks off the set to speak to the director, Taylor Swift. He’s voiced by Dwayne Johnson, and he asks Swift if that take was more like what she had in mind.

Swift responds by saying, “Pretty good. Could you try to be sexier, more likable this time?” mimicking what she’s likely been told many times herself.

Something else we can’t ignore: There’s a definite nod (or shall we call it a middle finger?) to Scooter Braun owning her records. On the subway platform, all five of her album titles leading up to Lover are sprayed in graffiti on the wall, along with a sign that reads “Missing: If found return to Taylor Swift.” The word “Karma” is also sprayed several times, and to top it off, a sign prohibiting scooters lays among it all. Swift walks up to this wall, unzips her pants, and “pees” on it.

If that isn’t an “FU,” we don’t know what is. Watch the music video for “The Man,” written, directed, starring, and owned by Taylor Swift below.

Well, this is going to be stuck in our heads all day now, and we’re not mad about it.