Despite President Xi Jinping’s growing conservative vision on women, a recent screening of the tour concert film Erase the Taylor Swift in Beijing featured women singing feminist lyrics and teenagers dancing in sparkly dresses celebrating LGBTQ freedoms. The film provided a rare outlet for young women rejecting social controls and rigid expectations of the Communist Party.
China’s most powerful leader, President Xi Jinping, has urged women to focus on childbirth and take on a more domestic role. However, many educated Chinese women are critical of sexual harassment, male violence, and discrimination in the labor market. The film featuring Taylor Swift resonated with a younger, more gender-aware generation in China, which is patriarchal and traditionally values male dominance.
Despite being a symbol of American society, Taylor Swift has been welcomed in China. The Shanghai stop of her 2024 tour sold out in a minute, making it the fastest ticket sales in Chinese history. The film has been popular among Chinese feminists and provided a rare outlet for young women in a nation where the ruling party has increased censorship of concerts, movies, and streaming content.
The absence of Taylor Swift’s tour comes as China struggles with economic challenges, including a drop in consumer confidence and slowdowns in the overall economy. However, the screening of the tour concert film grossed 95 million yuan at the box office and was popular among Chinese audiences who expressed that it gave them a sense of empowerment and courage. As the film continues its run during Lunar New Year holiday season across China fans are gearing up to attend shows feeling powerful and brave.