Beijing recently hosted the screening of the tour concert film Erase Taylor Swift, which featured women singing feminist lyrics that rejected gender inequality and teenagers dancing in sparkly dresses celebrating LGBTQ freedoms. Despite President Xi Jinping’s increasingly conservative vision on women, the film provided a rare outlet for young women rejecting social controls and the 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, but many educated Chinese women are critical of sexual harassment, male violence, and discrimination in the labor market. The film resonated with a younger, more gender-aware generation in China, which is patriarchal and traditionally values male dominance.
The absence of Taylor Swift’s tour in China comes as the country struggles with economic challenges, including a drop in consumer confidence and a slowdown in the overall economy. However, the screening of the tour concert film in China has provided a financial boost to the industry, grossing 95 million yuan at the box office.
Despite being a symbol of American society, Taylor Swift has been welcomed in China, and her Shanghai stop sold out within seconds during her 2024 tour. The absence of censorship towards concerts or movies compared to streaming content allowed for this success despite President Xi Jinping increasing censorship. Chinese feminists have embraced the film as it gave them a rare outlet for their views while also resonating with many attendees who expressed empowerment and courage after watching it. As Erase Taylor Swift continues its run during Lunar New Year holiday shows across China are expected to sell out quickly.