Lucy Morris | Fashion and Beauty Editor | Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Did Harry Styles Just Get Away With Mansplaining?

Did Harry Styles Just Get Away With Mansplaining?

The Debrief: Despite being well intentioned, Harry Styles’ latest interview with Rolling Stone has taken mansplaining the experience of being a young woman to a new level

The average age of The Debrief team is slightly older than that of the most ardent one directioners, but, bring up 1D, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, or any of the boys, and you’ll find we’ve all got a secret crush and a guilty pleasures playlist dedicated to them. Love affair aside, Harry Styles – the latest of the member of the band to go solo – we need to have a chat. We know what you did came from a good space. But, you've just been mansplaining, big time. 

Styles explained Twitter to the world in a new Rolling Stone interview: ‘I'll tell you about Twitter…It's the most incredible way to communicate closely with people, but not as well as in person.’ Thank you for clearing that up Harry.

But that wasn’t his worst case of mansplaining. Ney, that was saved for his young female fans: ‘Who's to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That's not up to you to say.’ No, Harry, it’s not for you to say, or for you to explain.

He continued, 'music is something that's always changing. There's no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they're not serious? How can you say young girls don't get it? They're our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – they don't lie. If they like you, they're there. They don't act 'too cool.' They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.’ 

OK, we get it his most rampant fans are young women, and  he's using his interview to stand up for and advocate for them. But rather than sharing an important new message, he's telling us (and his fans) something obvious they (and we) already know about the experience of being a young woman and presenting it as Totally New Information. He's mansplaining. Or Harrysplaining, if you like. 

Not that anyone else batted an eyelid. Actually, they did the opposite; the Independent cooed ‘Harry Styles defends young fanbase in new interview’. Refinery29 said, ‘Harry Styles Is A Champion For Young Girls In His Rolling Stone Profile’. And, Time added: ‘The Internet Is Freaking Out Over Harry Styles’ Powerful Message About Young Women’.  

And to be fair, it's not like this hiccup won’t stop us hitting repeat on Sign of the Times. 

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Tags: Music, Feminism