The recent Beijing screening of the Taylor Swift concert film, Erase the Taylor Swift, featured young women singing feminist anthems and dancing in glittery outfits celebrating LGBTQ freedoms. Despite President Xi Jinping’s growing conservative vision on women, the film provided a rare platform for Chinese youth rejecting social controls and Communist Party expectations.
China’s most powerful leader has urged women to prioritize childbirth and take on a more domestic role, but many educated Chinese women are critical of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and male dominance in the labor market. The film, starring Taylor Swift, resonated with a younger generation that is more gender-aware in China, where patriarchy remains deeply ingrained and male power is traditionally celebrated.
Despite the absence of Taylor Swift’s tour in China due to economic challenges such as declining consumer confidence and a slowing economy, the screening of the concert film was a financial success, grossing 95 million yuan at the box office. The film has been well received by Chinese feminists who have seen it as a rare outlet for young women to express their empowerment and courage.
The Shanghai stop of Taylor Swift’s 2024 tour sold out in just one minute, making it the fastest ticket sales in Chinese history. Despite being a symbol of American society, Taylor Swift has been welcomed warmly in China by fans who see her as an inspiration for gender equality and self-expression.
As the film continues its run in China during Lunar New Year celebrations, audiences across the country are excited to attend shows during this festive time of year. For many Chinese people attending these concerts gives them a sense of empowerment and bravery as they celebrate their individuality while also challenging societal norms that limit their freedom.