"Sisterhood is powerful." And no one knows that better than Taylor Swift.
In a new interview with Time, the record-breaking pop star touted the virtues of feminism when explaining how her success is inspired and motivated by her equally successful friends.
Known for her coterie of superstar friends, from Lorde to Lena Dunham, Swift has nailed the foundation of feminism: female friendship. When women are united and support each others' endeavors we are unstoppable.
"I surround myself with smart, beautiful, passionate, driven, ambitious women," Swift said. "Other women who are killing it should motivate you, thrill you, challenge you and inspire you rather than threaten you and make you feel like you're immediately being compared to them."
When women are at each other's throats, the patriarchy wins. Why? Because fighting each other allows men to remain above the fray and in power. Think about it in terms of war: Infighting among the enemy is to your advantage, because you remain safe. When women tear each other down, not only do men remain immune to any challenge, but the systems of oppression that continue to subjugate women remain intact, with men resting comfortably at the top.
Swift knows that women are our greatest source of strength, but we can equally become our own greatest enemy. The feminist message here is that to gain power, we have to champion women who have access to it. This would be in contrast, say, to recent criticism of high-profile mainstream feminists like Lena Dunham, often critiqued for having too much privilege, or Beyonce, who has recently drawn flack for her perceived capitalism.
This isn't to say we shouldn't continue to hold these figures accountable for their actions; it's important to continue to push for informed, constructive and inclusive dialogue. Feminist discourse must continue to adapt and evolve in order to keep the discussion relevant and effective.
But Swift's words about sisterhood are well taken.
"You just try to lead by example, and you hope, someday, that if we talk about feminism enough, maybe we'll start to actually see it make a difference in the way young girls perceive themselves and each other," Swift concluded.
This is how we'll come to rule the world.