On Saturday, a slew of celebrities joined in on Women’s Marches across the country to show their support for equal rights. Everyone from Madonna to Scarlett Johansson to America Ferrera to Cher stood in solidarity with the millions of participants worldwide.
One celebrity who was noticeably (though not surprisingly) absent, however, was Taylor Swift.
Instead of showing up, the “Bad Blood” singer known to keep her political views private expressed her support for the marches with the following tweet:
At face value, the message is kind, showing gratitude for those who participated. But some of Swift’s fans weren’t too impressed, feeling that it presented a “false feminism.”
In recent years, Swift has transformed herself into somewhat of a feminist icon, in part by surrounding herself with a “girl gang” of famous female friends and crafting punchy lyrics about relationships. But, as many have pointed out, her public image also seems like a convenient marketing tool. As Dayna Evans wrote in a piece for Gawker, “her plan — to be as famous and as rich as she can possibly be — is working, and by using other women as tools of her self-promotion, she is distilling feminism for her own benefit.”
After the singer posted her tweet about the Women’s March, people on social media were quick to call her out for aligning herself with a successful event she didn’t attend.
“As a fan of yours, this is some bullshit. You do not get to pick and choose when feminism benefits you,” one user wrote in a popular, but since-deleted, tweet. Others were just as explicit:
Other Twitter users slammed the pop star for her past silence on political issues.
Plenty of Swifties came to her defense, though, citing various reasons for why she may have decided not to march.
Swift’s feminism and political views have come into question in the past, especially during the 2016 election season. The “22” singer stayed silent for the majority of the campaigns, much to the disappointment of her fans, and refrained from publicly endorsing either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Only on Election Day did she encourage her fans to vote by sharing a photo on Instagram:
Swift’s political beliefs may be no one’s business but her own, but it would no doubt make a powerful statement for one of the music industry’s top female performers to protest the offensive and oft-misogynistic rhetoric that President Trump used throughout his campaign ― especially if she is really as pro-women as she claims.
We won’t know why Swift didn’t attend the Women’s March unless she says something herself. But given her history with politics, we’re guessing she’ll stay silent on this one.
The Huffington Post has reached out to Swift’s representation and will update this post accordingly.