Taylor Swift demands the end of "toxic male privilege,quot; in the forced reading speech

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Rich Fury / Getty images for Billboard

AND that because Taylor Swift She is the woman of music of the decade.

On the eve of his 30th birthday, the famous pop star accepted BillboardThe inaugural honor of Woman of the Decade at its Women in Music Awards event. Swift recalled what he described as the past "magnificent, happy, free, confused, sometimes alone but mostly golden,quot; 10 years in a revealing speech that touched on the past, present and future for female artists in the industry. The 10-time Grammy winner talked extensively about losing the rights to her master recordings to Scooter braunin an agreement she said she agreed without her "approval, consultation or consent."

His speech began in part, "So what does it mean to be the woman of this decade? Well, it means that I have seen many things. When I started this decade I was 20 years old and it had bothered me. Debut album titled when I was 16 years old. The album that would become my revolutionary album, which was called Bold. I saw that there was a world of music beyond country music that I was very curious about. I saw pop stations send my songs "Love Story,quot; and "You Belong With Me,quot; for the first time, and I saw that, as a woman in this industry, some people will always have slight reservations about you. Whether you deserve to be there, if your male producer or co-writer is the reason for your success, or if it was an intelligent record label.

"It wasn't like that," Taylor said. "I saw that people loved to explain the success of a woman in the music industry and I saw something in me change because of this understanding. This was the decade that I became a mirror for my detractors. Whatever They decided that I could not do is exactly what I did. Anything they criticized of me became material for musical satire or inspirational hymns. The best lyrical examples I can think of are songs like "Mean,quot;, "Shake It Off,quot; and " Blank Space. "Basically, if people had something to say about me, I said something my way. This reflux dictates more than just my lyrics."

She recalled her victory on the album of the year at the 2010 Grammys, and explained: "Suddenly, people had doubts about my voice to sing. Was it loud enough? Was it a little sharp? Suddenly, they weren't sure if I was the one who wrote the songs because sometimes in the past I had co-writers in the room. At that time I could not understand why this wave of harsh criticism had hit me so much. I think a popular headline at the time was a "quick reaction,quot;, which is intelligent, must be given. Now I realize that this is just what happens to a woman in music if she succeeds beyond the comfort level of people. "

As a result, Swift said he entered an endless cycle of "accommodation,quot; and "over correction,quot; to appease his critics. "They say I'm dating too much in my twenties? OK, I'll stop. I'll only be single for years. Now they say my album Red It's full of too many breaking songs. Well, I will make one to move to New York and decide that my life is more fun with my friends. Are they saying that my music is changing too much for me to stay in country music? Here is a complete gender change and a pop album called 1989. Did you hear it Sick! "He described.

Taylor added: "Now I am showing you too many photos of me with my friends. I can also stop doing it. Now I am actually a calculated manipulator instead of an intelligent business woman? OK, I will disappear from public view for years Now I'm being chosen as a villain for you? OK, here's an album called Reputation and there are many snakes everywhere. "

"In the last 10 years, I have seen how women in this industry are criticized and evaluated among themselves and chosen by their bodies, their romantic lives, their fashion," he said, and then added: "I have seen as one of my favorite artists of this decade, King's wool, was criticized mercilessly in his first years of career and then, slowly but surely, he became, in my opinion, the most influential pop artist. His vocal styles, his lyrics, his aesthetics. They echoed and reused in every corner of the music, and this year his amazing album is nominated for the Grammy Album of the Year because he was still making art. That example should inspire us all. That the only way forward is to move forward. We must not allow obstacles such as criticism to slow down the creative forces that drive us. "

The interpreter went on to name some of her favorite musicians as Lizzo, Halsey, Camila Cabello, Hayley Kiyoko, Rosalia, Meghan Thee Stallion and others.

She recognizes the advances that her colleagues have made in the industry, and then asks: "Why are we doing so well? Because we have to grow fast. We have to work this hard. We have to show that we deserve this. We have to overcome our latest achievements Women in music, on stage or behind the scenes, cannot afford We are at a higher level of feeling, sometimes impossible It seems that my fellow artists have accepted this challenge and accepted it. the pressure that could have crushed us turned us into diamonds. And what didn't kill us actually made us stronger. "

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After addressing his previous defense work for aspiring artists who face the world of streaming, he referred to a "new change,quot; he described as a "potentially damaging force in our industry."

"As your noisy resident person, I feel the need to mention it. That is the unregulated world of private capital that enters and buys our music as if it were a property, as if it were an application or a shoe line. This only happened to me without my approval, consultation or consent. "

"After they denied me the opportunity to buy my music directly, I sold my entire catalog to Ithaca Holdings of Scoter Braun in an agreement that, they told me, was funded by Soros Family, 23 Capital and Carlyle Group. However, until Today, none of these investors has bothered to contact me or my team directly to perform their due diligence on their investment, in their investment in me, to ask how I would feel about the new owner of my art. I wrote. The videos I created. My photos, my lyrics, my album designs. "

"Of course, Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it before the sale or even when it was announced. However, I'm pretty sure I knew how I would feel about it. Let me say that the definition of the privilege Toxic masculine in our industry is that people say, "Well, he has always been kind to me,quot; when I am raising valid concerns about artists and their rights to own their music. Of course he is kind to you. If you are in this room you have something you need. "

His comments on Braun ended with: "The fact is that private capital allowed this man to think, according to his own publication on social networks, that he could & # 39; buy me & # 39;". Obviously I do not go voluntarily. However, the most surprising thing was to discover that it would be the women of our industry who would support and show me the greatest vocal support in one of the most difficult moments and never, never forget it. As usual ".

Despite the professional struggle he has suffered, Swift said he remains hopeful for the future of music and begs audience members to "be an example to someone else in the next generation who loves the same as we love." .

And in the true style of T. Swift, he concluded with: "No matter what else enters the conversation, we will always return it to music. As for me, lately I have focused less on what they say I cannot do and more in doing what the hell he wants. "

Microphone drop.