‘If I was a man, then I’d be the man’: The parallels between Taylor Swift and soccer fans blow my mind, but only one fandom gets shamed

‘If I was a man, then I’d be the man’: The parallels between Taylor Swift and soccer fans blow my mind, but only one fandom gets shamed

Taylor Swift is a major force in the music industry, but obviously, she wouldn’t be anywhere without her millions of devoted fans, known as Swifties. For their part, Swifties are often the target of ridicule, a not-uncommon hardship encountered by lots of primarily-female fanships. Don’t believe me? Let’s compare the perception of Swifties to male sports fans — for example, the fans of the ongoing Euro 2024 championship in football (or soccer, as U.S. fans would have it).

First, a little context. Taylor Swift has been in the music industry for 18 years and, since then, she has amassed millions and millions of fans. Some of them have been with her since her self-titled debut album, some joined the bandwagon with the beautiful 2020 album folklore, more joined in 2022 following Midnights, and, most recently, after the start of her record-breaking tour, The Eras Tour.

However, as Swift herself has encountered many challenges in her career for simply being a female performer, being too successful, or the themes of the songs she writes herself about her own life, her fans have been through many hardships.

Swifties and sports fans have shared similarities, yet only one gets shamed

The Oxford English Dictionary describes “fan” as “a keen and regular spectator of a (professional) sport, originally of baseball; a regular supporter of a (professional) sports team; a keen follower of a specified hobby or amusement, and an enthusiast for a particular person or thing.” The term applies to every enthusiast, and they have many similarities regardless of the item of their passion.

The Swifties are one of the most dedicated current fanbases, managing to help Taylor Swift break record after record. The two are in direct correlation, as one cannot exist without the other. However, their dedication has often come with backlash, irony, and bullying. Liking Taylor Swift has always been hard, but even now, at the height of her success, Swifties are still finding it hard to just enjoy the music of their favorite artist.

However, looking at the current EURO 2024 soccer championship going on in Europe, the parallels are striking, yet so different. Soccer fans, who are primarily men but not necessarily, are often praised for their dedication to their favorite team. They receive accolades for traveling to attend games, for wearing merch, and show their emotions throughout the 90-minute-plus game. Swifties, on the other hand, when doing the same, are dubbed “immature,” “hysterical,” and “obsessed.”

When it comes to soccer fans, even when things go too far, and fights and violence break out, they are usually dismissed as “boys being boys,” and no one bats an eye. There have been little to no incidences at The Eras Tour, and most of the stories noted the kindness of everyone present.

Of course, everyone is allowed to like whatever they want. Whether it’s music, sports, anime, comic books, or whatever else, liking something isn’t a competition. However, it feels like a constant struggle for the Swifties, who are ridiculed for their music taste, even though Swift herself is the Artist of the Decade and a four-time Grammy Album of the Year winner. Not even mentioning how many legends of the industry have publicly praised her, including Sir Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Stevie Nicks, and more.

Now, at the height of The Eras Tour, which covered North, Central, and South America, Asia, and Europe, fans are ridiculed for their outfits, friendship bracelets, and general happiness. Going back further to 2016, at the height of the Kanye West-Taylor Swift drama, it was impossible to tell anyone you supported Swift, who was the victim all along.

Luckily, both Swift and the Swifties have come up on top. Swift created the fan-favorite reputation, and its massive Reputation Stadium Tour, and she continued growing. Swifties stayed by her side through all of this, and are constantly rewarded for their support with new re-recordings, new music, and amazing mashups during The Eras Tour.

Taylor Swift noted the double standards herself

Swift herself addressed the double standards in 2019 when promoting her latest album at the time, Lover. She told CBS Sunday Morning that women are treated differently than male performers in the music industry, and, sadly, nothing has changed since.

“You’re always going to have people going, ‘Did she write all her own songs?’” Swift explained. “Talking about your personal life, talking about your dating life. There’s a different vocabulary for men and women in the music industry right?” she continued. “A man does something, it’s strategic. A woman does the same thing, it’s calculated. A man is allowed to react. A woman can only overreact.”

In the words of Swift herself, if she were a man, she’d be “The Man.”

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