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LABOR VIDEO OTW: The Man (Taylor Swift)

Chris Garlock | Published on 6/8/2024

“Not only are workers in a corporate office setting having to fawn over their boss, but the representation of childcare labor is striking,” writes Lynn Arner. “The video points out that a man who is seen caregiving his child (in this case, regardless how well he is taking care of the child) is praised excessively as being a wonderful father, a commonplace critique by feminist scholars, since women's childcare labor gets little praise and is simply expected. The final scene is clearly about an actor’s labor and having to redo a scene because a seemingly capricious director commands him to do so. Commuting from work and the phenomenon of women having to endure manspreading on the subway—a commonplace critique, especially about five years ago —is also represented. The lyrics are also often explicitly about labor: ‘I'm so sick of running as fast as I can / I wonder if I'd get there quicker if I were a man. They'd say I had hustled and put in the work’”
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