Taylor Swift and the Tale of Unstoppable White Privilege Meeting Immovable White Privilege

Taylor Swift (Neilson Barnard for Getty Images); Kim Kardashian West (Mike Coppola for Getty Images)
Taylor Swift (Neilson Barnard for Getty Images); Kim Kardashian West (Mike Coppola for Getty Images)

I’ll be honest. I thought it was going to be a boring-ass week—until Taylor Swift “surprise”-dropped her new single from her next album, “Reputation,” this past Friday. And, you know, everyone acted as expected, mostly.

Taylor’s detractors fried her accordingly. Half of her stans pretended to like the single, because that is the cross they have chosen to bear, and descended on anyone who didn’t agree like an angry rash. The other half of her stans experienced secondhand embarrassment for a variety of reasons.

Me? I mostly rolled my eyes. Despite her being one of my nemeses (Lena Dunham captains that list), I have long come to accept that Taylor Alison Swift, while mediocre and overhyped, has the tenacity of a roach that keeps skittering back even in the face of nuclear waste and disaster.


However, things got interesting when I came across this Rolling Stone article that stated she was taking shots at Kanye West (again). I was annoyed but not shocked. Taylor Swift has demonstrated that she is stuck in high school. With her fake “girl power” mentality and piss-poor Regina George impression (and aspirations), it does not shock me for a minute that she once again went after Kanye for the purpose of her burn book.

Honestly, she kind of reminds me of that one guy in high school who caught that one game-winning touchdown during the homecoming game of 1992 and comes back to the high school reunion 20 years later, balding, unhappy and still rambling about how the homecoming game of 1992 was the best day of his life.

Indeed. (Giphy)

Of course, as humorous as that was in my head, it got me thinking: Kanye aside, why the hell was Taylor not taking shots at Kim Kardashian West, too? I heard the song and even saw the video (I wish I hadn’t, but hey), and besides the “tilted stage” reference, which is an obvious Kanye dig, there’s nothing else (besides the fact that Taylor generically references this unseen person who will get his share of karma. Yawn).


I mean, if everyone’s keeping tabs, Kim was the one to deal the critical “Fatality!” to Taylor’s credibility and, for lack of a better word, reputation. One that was so intense and scorching, it sent her into a long-standing hiatus that absolutely no one gave a fuck about other than her then-“boyfriend” Tom Hiddleston (now ex-boyfriend). Kim was the one who embraced the snake emojis and made it so that she would profit off the Great Exposing of Taylor Swift for years to come.

That was Kim. Kim did that. So, why isn’t Ms. Tay-Tay clocking her?

Easy answer:

It’s because the only other person who is able to subvert and defeat a white woman (and her white privilege and white tears) is another fellow white woman.


Indeed, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Why the hell would Taylor go up against Kim again? Even for someone who has as much social capital as she does and is as hyper-Aryan as she is, that would be a recipe for yet another L, precisely for the reasons I just mentioned. And more.


Kim is an ethnic white woman. She has a large net worth, like Taylor. She has social clout and is a social media maven ... like Taylor. Look at her followers across all her social media channels. Hell, she could post a picture of her big toe tomorrow and she would “break” the internet. And, ironically, overshadow Regina George-Lite’s brand-spanking-new single.

Taylor wouldn’t dare. She can’t out-white-woman another white woman whose privilege works just as well as hers and carries a lifetime guarantee. So, of course, the next-best target would be the black dude everyone kind of already hates. It’s low-hanging fruit, sure, but it’s safe. And white women like Swift tend to retreat into the safety and protection that their femininity and whiteness afford them when their feelings and egos have been hurt, or they feel that they have been slighted.


And this is why I am still so fascinated by Kim K’s takedown of Regina George Zero ... and, similarly, of the Great Racist Beating of 2017 ... courtesy of internet sensation Colleen Dagg.


For those who have not seen the video or don’t know the story, Dagg recently found herself being a witness to another white woman going on a racist rant about Haitians and black people. After what I assume were words exchanged prior to the camera rolling, the racist white woman placed her hands on Dagg, prompting Dagg to defend herself and, in the words of Terrence Howard, whoop that trick.

... in Black Jesus’ name we pray, amen. (Giphy)

And the rest proceeded as normal ... except that’s a lie, because even though we all expected the police to show up, something interesting happened. The racist white woman assumed the victim stance by frothing at the mouth for cops to arrest Dagg, claiming that she was (suddenly) pregnant and that Dagg needed to go to jail for this reason.

Ignoring the fact that the racist was not pregnant when she ran up on Dagg and that her face is what took all the punches—which, itself, was not pregnant—the way the officer on the scene treated her was interesting. Instead of rushing Dagg and presumably arresting her just based on the cries of the hysterical and racist woman, the cop, instead, treated the racist very sternly, telling her to calm down and saying that he wasn’t going to repeat himself. I laughed, honestly. Like, he came in really mad like he had just seen the video.


And the racist was eventually escorted out, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Make no mistake, though. The fact that Dagg got off as clean as she did is something that she could only have pulled off as a fellow white woman. Nothing more, nothing less. The optics would have been incredibly bad if Dagg had been a white man, regardless of the self-defense excuse. And the results would have turned deadly if Dagg had been black. She would have either been escorted away in handcuffs without saying her piece or, quite frankly, ended up dead.


Historically, it doesn’t take much.

However, Dagg’s status as a white woman subverted that and avoided all of those inevitable consequences. And she later explained as much on Twitter.

The “white woman in trouble” defense stance cannot work against another white woman. Because then it’s just silly. You know why? Because that historical, racially charged, murderous and manipulative tactic draws its power from being played against a black person or another person of color. It requires the presence of a black body to hurt, and also requires the ears of an insecure white man who more often than not harbors some inadequacy that he has been itching to take out on a black body.


You take that black body away and replace it with a white female one? Well, white women like Taylor Swift and the racist white woman Colleen Dagg mollywhopped lose their power. They have no leverage, because in going against another white woman who knows the “white woman in distress” game very well, they risk getting exposed as who they tend to be:

Insecure little girls.

I know what you’re thinking. What’s the lesson here? Well, referring to all of you pussy-hat-wearing, Women’s March-ing and “nonracist” white women ... the lesson is quite simple:

This is how you use your privilege.

Pussyhat Project via Twitter
Pussyhat Project via Twitter

So, the next time you see cops specifically targeting black and brown bodies at a protest? Use it. The next time you see a black woman being called a “bully” by another white woman? Use it. The next time you generally witness some gross racial injustice taking place and you know it is within your white woman superpowers to stop it? Use it.

Especially in a world post-Charlottesville. I need fewer pussy-hat-wearing white women who pay useless lip service, and more white women like Dagg (and, at times, Kim; you know, without the gross fetishization and appropriation of blackness).


Here’s to fewer “allies” and more white woman traitors.

Nigerian. Care-Free Black Girl. Crystal Gem. Comic Book Blerd. Writer/Director. Snark Mage. Coiner of Chet™. Lena Dunham's Nemesis. Petty Word Witch for Sublime Zoo.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



You should’ve posted this on Jezebel. Everything you talked about is precisely why I don’t touch that trash heap anymore.