Pop music royalty Taylor Swift is one of the most influential female pop artists of all time. Known for her strong stances in conversations surrounding the music industry in America, she has always been an advocate of women supporting other women.
Swift was the first-ever recipient of Billboard’s Woman of the Decade Award in 2019 and delivered an uninterrupted 15-minute speech, chronicling everything from the kind of backlash she faced while she was just starting off her career, the media attention, her romantic life and the headlines about her personal life.
In her speech, she emphasised on the fact that women need to support one another, regardless of social boundaries or professional industries. She said, ”In the last 10 years I have watched as women in this industry are criticized and measured up to each other and picked at for their bodies, their romantic lives, their fashion, or have you ever heard someone say about a male artist, I really like his songs but I don’t know what it is, there’s just something about him I don’t like? No! That criticism is reserved for us!”
”Female artists in music have dominated this decade in growth, streaming, record and ticket sales, and critical acclaim. So why are we doing so well? Because we have to grow fast. We have to work this hard, we have to prove that we deserve this, and we have to top our last achievements. Women in music, on stage or behind the scenes, are not allowed to coast. We are held at a higher, sometimes impossible-feeling standard. And it seems that my fellow female artists have taken this challenge and they have accepted it,” she added.
The singer further stated: ”It seems like the pressure that could have crushed us made us into diamonds instead. And what didn’t kill us actually did make us stronger. But we need to keep advocating for women in the recording studios, behind the mixing board, in A&R meetings, because rather than fighting to be taken seriously in their fields, these women are still struggling to even have a chance to be in the room.”
”I’ve leaned on that support and it has kept me in a place where, no matter what, I always wanted to keep making music for them. I was up on a stage in New York City in 2014 accepting Billboard Woman of the Year and I was talking about the future of streaming. How we needed to make sure that the female artists, writers, and producers of the next generation were protected and compensated fairly. This was before my record deal with Universal, last year, that would contractually guarantee that the artists on their roster be paid upon any sale of their Spotify shares unrecoupable. So thank you for that.
“This speech I’m referring to was on my 25th birthday. I’m about to turn 30 tonight, woo! But my exact quote during the speech was, ‘I really just feel like we need to continue to try to offer something to a younger generation of musicians, because somewhere right now your future Woman of the Year is probably sitting in a piano lesson or in a girls’ choir, and today right now we need to take care of her’,” she rounded off her speech.