Taylor Swift’s latest video has just hit the internet and it’s got tongues wagging – for an excellent reason.
It’s for a track called “The Man” from her 2019 album Lover (a very good record! At least according to my Spotify's end-of-year listening metrics).
In it, Swift takes aim at the double-edged sword of sexism, singing lyrics about how she’s criticised for behaviour that would illicit almost universal praise, or be overlooked, if she was a man.
She doesn’t hold back; one lyric goes: “If I was out flashin' my dollas/I'd be a bitch, not a baller,” while another references how men like Leonardo DiCaprio are praised for having a rotation of much young girlfriends, while Swift herself has been heavily scrutinised over her (age-appropriate) dating life.
Safe to say, anticipation for the song's accompanying video was high.
And it doesn’t disappoint.
Self-directed and starring Swift (sorry if that’s a spoiler), it shows an unequivocally obnoxious man engaging in a range of stereotypical activities like going to the strip club, manspreading on the subway and marrying a much (much) younger woman.
But one scenario in particular has grabbed the attention of fans.
But a shot during the sequence seems to directly reference the furore surrounding Serena Williams’ outburst at an umpire during the 2018 US Open.
For those who need a reminder: Williams was fined $17,000 (£13,1000) and docked a game.
Critics said the punishment was overly harsh and she was being penalised where men hadn’t been, despite worse behaviour. (Shocker)
The incident also spawned a horrendous cartoon in an Australian newspaper that was labelled racist by lots of people, as it appeared to lighten the skin of Williams's opponent Naomi Osaka and pandered to stereotypes about black women
And fans think Taylor is highlighting the sexist double standard in the video – or why else would there be a tennis scene included?
It’s attracted a lot of praise thus far.
Some quoted Swift herself to back up the theory.
Others were just happy they got the reference.
Taylor is famous for including easter eggs in her videos (and songs).
There’s plenty more hidden in “The Man” too, fans believe.
Like this blunt reference to her wrangle with Scooter Braun over her master recordings.
Or this nod to the ultimate "boy movie", The Wolf of Wall Street (starring… Leo)
And there even seems to be a super subtle reference to Kanye West’s weirdly empty house.