Countless celebrities participated in the Women's March on Washington (and in other cities, too) on Saturday. Taylor Swift was not among them. The pop star did, however, express her support for the marchers in a tweet over the weekend. "So much love, pride, and respect for those who marched," the singer tweeted. "I'm proud to be a woman today, and every day. #WomensMarch"
The statement has more than 151,000 likes and some 47,000 retweets, but it's also stirred up critics who accuse Swift of being a fair-weather feminist. Swift has identified herself as a feminist in recent interviews, but has refrained from making political endorsements. That reticence, coupled with Swift's decision to support, but not participate in, the Women's March, has triggered some backlash. One critic accused Swift of "gross opportunism" by aligning herself with the march without actually talking part.
When a Swift fan pointed out that the singer may have wanted to avoid drawing attention to herself because of her fame, the critic cited famous figures like Kerry Washington, Natalie Portman, and Madonna, all of whom joined in on Saturday. Another self-professed fan, who also called out stars like Harry Styles, said Swift was "picking and choosing" when to be a feminist.
There are some good points made here, though it also feels a bit "Damned if you do, damned if you don't." If Swift is truly genuine about moving forward as a feminist, she should be given that opportunity. On the other hand, challenges like these might show her the importance of putting her money where her mouth is — even if it means losing some fans.