Not even International Women’s Day – and Women’s History Month in the US – are enough for us to get a break from sexist drama, apparently. In case you’re out of the loop: on February 24, Netflix dropped Ginny & Georgia, an American dramedy about 15-year-old Virginia “Ginny” Miller (played by Antonia Gentry), her 30-year-old mum Georgia, and their lives together. In episode 10, Ginny drops a bomb while fighting with her mum, saying, “What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift.” Here’s what Swift had to say in response: Hey Ginny & Georgia, 2010 called and it wants its lazy, deeply sexist joke back. How about we stop degrading hard working women by defining this horse shit as FuNnY. Also, @netflix after Miss Americana this outfit doesn’t look cute on you 💔 Happy Women’s History Month I guess pic.twitter.com/2X0jEOXIWp — Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) March 1, 2021 So what’s the big deal exactly? The line was a joke made at the expense of a pop culture icon who everyone recognises. Swift rotating through boyfriends – and writing lyrics in her hit songs about them – is old hat; I’ve personally heard about it ever since I was in high school. Admittedly, when I first heard the line, I didn’t even blink. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that Swift was right to call out Netflix on Twitter over it. The View ’s Meghan McCain put it well: she called the line a “microaggression”, explaining that it “sets the precedent that we as women should just lighten up and take it. That it’s so funny. That it’s OK, you’re just not in on the joke, when really it’s very hurtful. It’s very degrading and it’s not something you hear about male entertainers.” Inside Shiloh Jolie-Pitt’s sisterly bond with Zahara Indeed, Swift’s male counterparts like John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Michael Bublé and Justin Timberlake – just to name a few – are known as players who write about their former flames in their songs, but are hardly dragged for it the way Swift has been. This is a double standard that any woman will be familiar with. The joke is even more ironic when Ginny & Georgia seems to position itself as a narrative that attempts to discuss the US’ views and expectations on women, especially young girls. And how did netizens respond? Reactions online have been mostly supportive of Swift, though some users also praised the show. i love how one of the things for “Ginny and Georgina” is “empowering women” yet they literally dragged Lady Gaga, Lana del Rey, and Taylor swift.... — currently: alright 🤎 (@That_One_Jaxon) March 1, 2021 harassing the actors of ginny and georgina and also spreading the respect taylor swift everywhere is crossing the line. — ًandrew the ultimate frog (@froggyandrew) March 2, 2021 ginny and georgina was good 😩I’m sorry taylor swift — ace °₁₂₇ stream chenle too good (@yirace_) March 3, 2021 It wouldn’t be fair to judge an entire show based on a single line, but since I watched the full series I can give you the rundown. Ginny & Georgia ’s plot centres around teenage problems that will be familiar to most of us. Even if you, like me, never went to an American high school, the tropes will be instantly recognisable – just look at classic US teen movies like 2004’s Mean Girls and 2010’s Easy A. Pop queens of Covid-19, ranked: Blackpink, Taylor Swift and more The show’s writers gave these tropes a 2021 refresh by leaning into the “woke” culture of millennials and Gen Z, calling out intolerance, accepting and normalising LGBTQ+ issues , and highlighting struggles faced by minorities living in the US – African-Americans in particular. Such racial tensions can be spotted both in the classroom and among Ginny’s friends: when Abby and Norah (played by Katie Douglas and Chelsea Clark) attempt to steal from a local boutique, they put the blame on Ginny. Ginny’s AP English teacher racially profiles her and singles her out in class on multiple occasions. Growing up Gates: Bill and Melinda’s modest family lifestyle The characters face an array of personal difficulties too. Ginny resorts to self-harm in moments of anxiety and stress, and Abby has body dysmorphia and tapes her thighs with duct tape. But what’s dissatisfying about these conflicts is that we never see the characters evolve. If anything, they seem to run away from their problems rather than dealing with them, and the overall effect is that of adults writing a script about high schoolers without actually understanding them. And then there’s Georgia and her mother-daughter relationship with Ginny, which follows the tradition of shows like Thelma & Louise and Gilmore Girls . Georgia is attractive, constantly surrounded by men (like dashing love interests Joe, played by Raymond Ablack and Zion, played by Nathan Mitchell) and considers her looks to be the biggest “weapon” in her arsenal. How is that at all empowering for women, you might ask? Well, Georgia’s character is deeper than her pretty face and blonde locks. The show depicts her struggles as a single mum raising two children, and it’s eventually revealed that she is a victim of sexual assault. In the wake of the #MeToo movement , which dug terms like “victim blaming” out of dusty feminist essays and brought them into public consciousness, Georgia is an interesting subversion of the typical blond babe archetype. Taylor Swift is worth over US$300 million – so how does she spend it? She’s also, to put it simply, a character who’s easy to fall in love with. She’s free-spirited, energetic, ruthless, persistent and charming, and Brianne Howey does a great job playing her. She also has effortless on-screen chemistry with Ginny. Back to Taylor Swift . So maybe she was right to call Netflix out for a misogynistic joke, but her tweet had some unfortunate consequences: rather than going after Netflix, a huge company that can absolutely handle some criticism of its shows, Swift’s fans are instead directing their ire at Gentry, the 23-year-old actress in her first major role. Some of their comments are even openly racist, according to Buzzfeed, placing Gentry in a situation that’s arguably similar to her character. Gentry responded to her haters by indirectly suggesting that they direct their energy and attention at more worthwhile issues, posting an article by The Washington Post to her Instagram Stories with the caption, “317 girls aged 12 to 16 were abducted from a school in Nigeria on Friday and there’s barely a squeak in the media. What a world we live in.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Antonia (@_antoniagentry_) She also thanked fans of the show in an Instagram post, expressing her gratitude for the opportunity to portray a complex biracial character – again, without addressing the Swift backlash. Are these Ivanka Trump’s 5 most tone-deaf comments? “Thank you for the love and support you have shown me and our show, Ginny & Georgia , over the last week,” she wrote. “I never would have imagined something like this as a young girl – that is, having a voice capable of impact. It is so meaningful to see the hundreds of messages from fans in my inbox who feel seen, heard and understood because of the show and its characters. “As someone who grew up feeling voiceless and unimportant, and who did not see herself reflected on screen, Ginny Miller was finally a reprieve. Finally, a character who was just as confused and imperfect as I was gets a chance to exist. Ginny Miller, though fictional, is a character who reflects all of life’s contradictions and imperfections.” This article originally appeared on Buro Malaysia. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .