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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Since March 2020…Rethinking Vulnerability, Taylor Swift’s Pandemic Records, and Piers Plowman’s Women

  • Author(s): Crocker, Holly A.
  • et al.

Our shared sense of vulnerability during the pandemic provides a valuable lens for considering the ways women’s vulnerability has been used to undermine women’s authority. Even strong women, such as Taylor Swift, find themselves subject to loss of authority due to the systemic oppression that works to devalue women in positions of social power. Swift’s career creates an unconventional, but potent, link to the female figures in William Langland’s Piers Plowman who are depicted as being vulnerable no matter their status. Building off the work of numerous feminist scholars and taking inspiration from Taylor Swift’s music, this paper explores how vulnerability can become a resource for political and personal connection in a time of alienation and crisis.

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