Taylor Swift's symbol-laden video for "Look What You Made Me Do" has divided the internet into separate camps over whether the self-deprecating clap back to her haters was empowering or vainglorious since it first aired at the VMAs Sunday night. Swift herself has (of course) remained silent to the response, but Joseph Kahn, the divisive video's director, has responded to some of the criticism in a tweet that sparked further debate (and its own Twitter moment).
If I plan something as a man I'm a "genius." If Taylor as a woman plans something she is "manipulative." Double standards. This is wrong. — Joseph Kahn (@JosephKahn) August 30, 2017
Plenty of people were quick to agree with Kahn, noting the double standard Swift and other female artists are plagued with when it comes to the public's interpretation of their actions.
Same thing as if a man orders everyone around he's a "boss" but if a woman does the same thing oh she's a "bitch" 😒 — Patricia 🐍 (@longliveswift16) August 30, 2017
Just had this argument with someone the other day. It's so true or a man can write a song about his ex & no big deal, but TS does it and...😡 — Christy (@ChristyKrismutt) August 30, 2017
The criticism of her has always been outrageous. She's a bright, talented artist. — Kathy Lane (@momof3inva) August 30, 2017
It's actually going extremely well. LWYMMD is a love letter to her fans that only her fans understand. It's an inside joke. — Ana-Marija Saric (@anamsaric) August 31, 2017
Others, of course, disagreed with the director, saying that legitimate criticism exists outside of the patriarchal system:
I don't have a horse in this race, but it seems like ppl always cry feminism/patriarchal system when legitimate dissent is thrown her way — Ice (@I_said_Uhh) August 31, 2017
You're framing this in a way that removes entirely any debate of quality or legitimate criticisms on the execution of said plan. — Watching the Throne (@KanyePodcast) August 31, 2017
No - if, as a man, you plan something that involves shaming and belittling others, you are also not a genius, you are manipulative. — Jennia Rajaei (@jennia_adeleine) August 31, 2017
Another day, another debate that Swift will never weigh in on.