The September issue of Vogue prominently features Taylor Swift and a lengthy discussion on her new album Lover which came out just last week. In an interview, Swift revealed that this new album may be her favorite project to date, and she opened up to some very difficult topics, including her activism, her approach to the art of songwriting, and her feelings for "cancel culture."  Swift's views on the culture of cancellation are spread among celebrities, fans and experts. Let's take a closer look at what the musician has to say and how her discernment responds to today's tendency to judge quickly and harshly.
What is a Cancellation of Culture?
The rise of social media has given consumers an unprecedented amount of power. Today, a mere tweet or negative review on Yelp may make companies want to fix the problem just before the dispute is spread.
With the recognition of this authority, the opportunity arose to use collective rage and shame in calls for ethical consumption through "abolishing" companies and even individuals whose actions did not conform to certain values. As the #MeToo movement has taken on media coverage and empowered women to stand up and tell stories of abuse, the abolition of culture is growing stronger.
What better way to regain power from those who abused it than with a collective manifestation of power that took away the opportunity to profit from the very people who disagreed with the behavior? When you "cancel" a company, you refuse to buy from them. When you "cancel" a celebrity, you ignore their projects. When enough people agree, repeal can have a serious impact.
Who has been canceled?
Several celebrities have fallen into the culture of abolition. When Roseon Bar tweeted a racially insensitive commentary on Valerie Jarrett, her upcoming reboot of her hit television show was about to be canceled, affecting not only her but all the other cast and staff involved in the show. While the play was renamed The Connors it went on without its matriarch, who was considered too toxic to include.
Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey have been the subject of a culture abolition following inappropriate behavior about women. SoulCycle was "canceled" because of its owner's financial ties with President Trump.
Although these acts of public shame are often fierce and emotional, they are rarely permanent. Many canceled celebrities return to work and in the spotlight within a few months, often with headlines for their return or attempts to make amends.
What did Swift have to say?
Swift itself was the target of appeals for cancellation. When Kim Kardashian released a video of her husband, Kanye West, discussing the lyrics of his famous song, West fans were outraged that Swift pretended to know nothing about the song and was offended at its release.
Swift claims that although she knew about some of the texts, she did not know about all of them and was certainly not the most offensive. Whatever the truth, the hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsCanceled has been trending soon and will spark months of calls for a boycott of the singer's work.
In his interview, Swift directly addressed the question of what it means to try to abolish a person: "Mass public shame, millions of people saying that quoting a quote canceled is a very isolating experience. I don't think there are many people who can actually understand what it is like to have millions of people to hate you very much.
She went on to say, "When you say someone is canceled, this is not a television show, this is a person. You send massive amounts of messages to that person or close, disappear, or this can also be perceived as Kill yourself. "
What do the experts say?
In an article in Psychology Today Dr. Pamela B. Pareski calls the cancellation culture "apocalyptic," saying "apocalyptic culture is not interested in wounded hearts. He wants to destroy, not cure. He wants retribution for moral impurity, not forgiveness for children. And he's using the new social media tools to achieve his apocalyptic goals.
She points out that the impact of a culture of abolition is a hotter focus on shame and guilt rather than a path to reconciliation and forgiveness.
Others, such as communication strategist Camon Felix, see the power in the culture of abolition. He explains that it is only through collective indignation such as these public shameful incidents that allow everyday people to harness power: "How else are we, the public, [who are] largely powerless in the daily implementation of value systems, a moderate society with nothing as a repeal culture? ”
While calling for the cancellation of someone may be a cathartic way to restore some power, it is important to remember that there is a person on the other side of the conversation.
As Swift reminds us, "canceling" a person is not the same as canceling our Netflix subscriptions. In its darkest situation, this can be seen as a call for a person to cease to exist or to end his or her own life, and offering the paths of redemption and growth is likely to lead to a better future for all.