Slider 1

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why TSwift and I are Never, Ever Ever Getting Back Together

Don't get me wrong, I love a catchy Top 40's pop hit just as much as the next person, but there's something about Taylor Swift that makes my teeth hurt.

It's not just her serial dating and passive aggressive break ups (did anyone else catch her British accent interlude to "Never Getting Back Together" at some awards show? Or the video she posted a few years ago where she's holding a Joe Jonas doll and makes comments about the :27 second break up? Or listen to any of her songs, really.) - because that's her business. And no, it's not just for her comments to Tina Fey (my Goddess) and Amy Poehler about a "special place in hell" for women who make fun of other women. Or for her blank snarky stare at Adele after she won a Grammy (or Oscar? Golden Globe? I don't know.).

No, it's because Taylor Swift is not a feminist.

First of all, I don't hate everyone who doesn't identify as a feminist. But secondly, most people choose not to identify as a feminist because they don't understand what it means to be a feminist. My simple definition is: you believe in equal rights.

Most people don't realize that there are types of feminism. Liberal, radical, eco ... And not all involve burning bras, not wearing make up and hating men. (Thanks Rush Limbaugh for that.)

In my opinion, every woman is a feminist. In her own way, Taylor Swift is - she's having a huge career in the music industry that wouldn't have been possible in the past. She's deciding important parts of her career for herself, not by her manager, father or husband. She's able to date as many men (or boys) as she wants. And the list goes on.

My problem is that she takes all these things, and like so many women, she doesn't realize how lucky she is to have them. Because she is able to make $xx million per year and wear what she wants, she can choose to blissfully unaware of the problems that women - even those in the US - still face. (Unequal pay. Rape culture. Etc. Etc.)

And the things she says about feminism ...

I don't really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.

 Yeah, that's called equality.

Her saying these things and clearly not understanding what feminism is makes all her impressionable tween and teen readers believe that feminists hate men. That it's boys vs. girls. Which, once again, it's not!

Throwback to 2009: who remembers You Belong With Me? Taylor Swift plays the Madonna and the Whore in a video that perpetuates the dichotomy of the good girl and the bad girl and shames sexuality. 

And then, since we're on the topic of equality and equity, I just have to point out her blatant use of "gay" as an insult in Picture to Burn. The exact phrase was: so go ahead and tell you're friends I'm obsessive and crazy, that's fine, I'll tell mine you're gay. But of course because she does a NO H8 photo shoot no one talks about it. Yes, other singers have used terms like this (I did a post about Homophobia in Hip Hop and how Will Smith rapped about gay men and AIDS) - but they've apologized.

As Jennifer Wakeman wrote for The Frisky,

[Taylor is] 22 now and has been exposed to a lot in these past few years. I do not expect that Taylor Swift would have the politics of Kathleen Hanna, India.Arie, Ani DiFranco or even Alanis Morrissette. But I do wish she could correctly identify what a feminist is - even if she does not want to identify as one.

Written by Stephanie Geske

No comments:

Post a Comment