On Tuesday afternoon, 21-year-old Brown University student Clara Beyer was walking home from her summer internship, listening to some Taylor Swift music, when an idea struck her. As is her custom, she promptly took out her iPhone and tweeted her thought: "Idea for a single purpose twitter: feminist Taylor swift."
Three days later, the Feminist Taylor Swift Twitter account is blowing up the Internet. In the past 24 hours, it has grown from about 30 followers to over 26,000. The formula is pretty simple. Beyer scans through her vast mental repository of TSwift lyrics (or maybe just scrolls through her iTunes), selects a quote, and then throws in a little bit of feminist rhetoric. The result is pure, hilarious gold. Here are some of our favorite tweets from @feministtswift:
She wears high heels / I wear sneakers / We're each expressing our gender identities in ways that make us feel comfortable / Date me— FeministTaylorSwift (@feministtswift) June 14, 2013
She wears short skirts / I wear t-shirts / Neither of us is asking for it— FeministTaylorSwift (@feministtswift) June 12, 2013
It's a love story / Baby just say yes / because consent should always be freely and enthusiastically given— FeministTaylorSwift (@feministtswift) June 13, 2013
It's been true all along, so why can't you see-ee-ee / Gender isn't necessarily a binary-y-y / Not a binary— FeministTaylorSwift (@feministtswift) June 14, 2013
But what exactly makes this Twitter account so funny? In an interview with Hollywood.com, Beyer gave us her two cents. "Juxtaposing two very different ideas can be really funny," she said. "I'm not the first Twitter account to do that," she added, referencing such as KimKierkegaardashian and KantyeWest, which mash tweets from pop culture icons like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West with the philosophies of Soren Kierkegaard and Immanuel Kant.
It seems that Beyer already has quite a knack for putting together disparate elements and taking the Internet by storm. The rising college senior is one of the masterminds behind the hilarious tumblr Cosmarxpolitan, which went viral in early May. The tumblr, which provides mock magazine covers promising "fun fearless freedom from the oppression of capitalism," was "more of a team project," Beyer says. "A few of my friends at Brown and I came up with this idea of taking the Cosmopolitan voice and applying it to Marxism. We make these Photoshopped magazine covers talking about the proletariat and being sexy, things like, "Sex tips so divine, he'll call you the opiate of his masses," or, "Is constant unceasing class warfare ruining your skin?"
But while Cosmarxpolitan existed for over a week before being picked up by various media outlets, Feminist Taylor Swift seems to have become an Internet sensation quite literally overnight. Beyer credits the explosive growth in Twitter followers to male feminist blogger Hugo Schwyzer, who retweeted Feminist Taylor Swift to his 7,000+ followers on Thursday night, after the two engaged in an online conversation about one of his columns. "The next morning, I woke up and had 6,000 followers," she says.
Exorbitant numbers of Twitter followers is nice and all, but Beyer's ultimate goal is a bit more grandiose. "My fantasy is that this Twitter account gets so many followers that she tweets at us," she told Buzzfeed on Friday. When asked what she would do if Taylor Swift ever tweeted at Feminist Taylor Swift, she responded enthusiastically, "I would lose my mind. I would run around my house jumping up and down and scream. Then, I would probably call my parents. Yeah, that's what would happen."
It's unclear if Beyer will ever receive a tweet from Taylor Swift, who has stated that she is not a feminist. But for now, the college student has a summer internship at HerCampus.com, her own personal college blog, and a whole lot of tweeting to keep her busy. Best of luck, Clara Beyer, and keep doing what you're doing. We love it. Really.
And for all you who thought that gender politics and girly pop music weren't compatible, think again.