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The misogynistic narrative of Taylor Swift’s relationship | Should We Really?

This article was written by Corinne Davidson and Olivia Stapleton.

With the Super Bowl rapidly approaching, it’s almost impossible to ignore the public’s current obsession with Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.

Ever since rumors of Swift and Kelce’s relationship surfaced in September 2023, the couple has been talked about constantly. “Swifties” couldn’t be happier about the stars’ relationship, but some football fans have other opinions.

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Swift fans have created merchandise depicting the couple, Kansas City Chiefs game coverage will cut to shots of Swift in the stands and X, formerly known as Twitter, is flooded with chatter — good and bad — about Swift and Kelce. 

Many football fans are simply asking for Swift to be shown less during the games, but there is also a more prevalent stream of hate towards the singer-songwriter for what some perceive as her drawing attention away from football. 

The reactions exist on a spectrum, from people suggesting Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson save the Super Bowl from Swift to people generating obscene images of the artist at games. X blocked users’ ability to search “Taylor Swift”’ on the app after people started using AI to create deep fakes depicting the artist in vulgar poses.

While the X deep fakes are an example of it on a much clearer scale, it is tough to ignore that misogyny is even at the root of the less aggressive comments. 

During the Ravens vs. Chiefs game on Jan. 28, a Ravens fan yelled at Swift, saying she was “ruining football” in a video posted on Instagram.

How is she ruining football? By supporting her boyfriend like so many other NFL partners do? Sure, she’s shown on screen when she’s in attendance, but how is that ruining football?

This raises the question: Should we really be hating on women for existing in male-dominated spaces?

The amount of anger from men who are upset over seeing Swift, as well as over how many more women are interested in watching football, is another example of subtle misogyny — the sense that football is a man’s game and should be protected from women, or in this case, Swifties. They could never appreciate the beauty of the sport like men do and will, obviously, ruin it for them, right?

Countless users on social media are questioning why the media is covering Swift and Kelce’s relationship so much, and even Kelce said that he felt the NFL was “overdoing it.” However, the media coverage makes perfect, logical sense with how immensely famous Swift is. 

Plus, the New York Times did the calculation of how long Swift is on screen during these games on average, and they are under 25 seconds, so the reactions are, quite frankly, unwarranted. 

Why should her fame bar her from going to football games, supporting her boyfriend and living her life? She’s said it before: “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”

Swift was much more private in her past relationships. When she was with actor Joe Alwyn, dating rumors didn’t circulate until roughly seven months after they were first spotted together, and it was rare for them to show public displays of affection. 

However, Kelce is a huge celebrity in his field. He was drafted by the Chiefs in 2013 and is considered one of the greatest tight ends in NHL history. He and his brother, Jason Kelce, also host “New Heights,” a podcast that first aired in September 2022. 

Additionally, football fans want to blame Swift and Kelce for being so public about their relationship but are ignoring the fact that coverage of the couple brings more traffic to news sites and NFL games. 

Since Swift started attending Kelce’s football games in September, the NFL has seen the highest regular season viewership of women since 2000, and around $330 billion in brand value has been added to the Chiefs and the league, according to research from the Apex Marketing Group. 

There is a very obvious tendency for people to hate on artists with large, mostly teenage female fanbases and, sadly, they take it a step further by hating on their fan bases too. 

We live in a world where there is so much pressure for young women to constantly keep up with everyone else’s idea of who they should be, what they should wear and what kind of music is “cool” to listen to. Why shouldn’t they be able to want to watch and understand football more, even if their interest sparked because they also happen to listen to Swift? 

If we’re going to be worried about anything, it shouldn’t be people getting excited to see their favorite singer on screen, and it definitely shouldn’t be about more women watching football. 

Swift and Kelce seem happy, and there’s no way of keeping the relationship private if Swift wants to go to games and be there for Kelce. The media attention garnered from her attendance at Chiefs games isn’t her fault, and getting mad at her isn’t going to change anything. 

Maybe football fans should think about why they’re mad at a woman for enjoying a male-dominated interest before accusing her of silly things like “ruining football.”

In other words, a whole lot of people need to take a deep breath, close Instagram before they hit that comment button, open their music streaming platform of choice and listen to Swift’s song “Mean.”

2 Comments

  1. Ruby Derrough

    Well stated Corrine and Olivia!

  2. Swift may only be seen for 15 to 45 seconds on the cameras, but at M&T Stadium in Baltimore, we watched her shaking her fists and shouting obscenities every time the Ravens did anything to win the game. Let’s not mention the $333.1 million in revenue with her free celebrity endorsement for KC without modeling KC gear for the Super Bowl that has yet to be totaled. KC is definitely benefiting from this very public relationship and it gives them a distinct advantage whether social media wants to admit it or not. In fact, I would imagine that 90% of Swift fans wouldn’t know a touch down from a field goal. No one – I repeat no one – can talk about the Super Bowl without mentioning Taylor Swift – it’s not about football, it’s about her. Even a recent joint interview with Purdy and Mahomes wasn’t about game plans or anything to do with football – they were asked about their favorite Taylor Swift song! How pathetic is that! Football fans are NOT high school girls swooning over love ballads and resent the advantage Swift has given to KC. She needs to be removed from football highlights and returned to pop music where she belongs.

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