Taylor Swift is not exactly known for writing female empowerment anthems and speaking up for women’s rights. Although the singer is twenty-two years old, most of her songs sound like they’re taken from the diary of a sixteen-year-old girl, opining over boys, playing the victim during a break up and perpetuating the Madonna/whore complex by whining that the boy she likes doesn’t like her, and instead favors the cheerleader who wears short skirts, what an icky girl!! So in an interview with The Daily Beast posted earlier today, reporter Ramin Setoodeh asked Swift if she considered herself a feminist. Swift’s response?
“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.”
Although I can’t say I was surprised by her response, I was still slightly pissed upon seeing this. She could have answered with a simple yes or no. Not everyone has to be a feminist. That being said, she’s helping to perpetuate the notion that feminism is about women trying to outdo men at every turn. No. That is a terrible message for an alleged role model to be spreading. Again, not everyone has to be a feminist. Not everyone has to agree. And fine, sometimes the definition of feminist can be murky. However, women against men is not part of any definition.
I don’t get why parents want their kids to look up to her. Okay, fine, she doesn’t wear whipped cream bras or sing about sex all the time. She writes her own songs and dresses off-stage in a style that’s not hard for girls to imitate. That’s fair. But that being said, she’s uninformed, she sings about how she’s a misfit while she’s a multi-award winning singer/songwriter who goes to the award ceremonies dressed like the girls she’s talking (singing?) shit about, and a good percentage of her songs are about opining over boys. That’s not a good role model to me. I mean, opining over boys is natural. I don’t want to discourage that. But when most of your songs are about this subject, you’re not a good role model. You’re saying that boys are the be all and end all, and if you break up, play the victim and write songs about them, and you too can be a success!
“Kathleen, you’re like, what, twenty-six? Who cares, she’s marketed to teenagers!” I care because she’s putting out toxic messages to impressionable girls and young women. If you’re going to say, “no, I’m not a feminist,” leave it at that or else make an attempt to discover what the word means. Comments like hers are especially bad in this political climate, when feminism is needed more than ever. We have lawmakers who want to control our bodies, who tell us things like, “Rape is another form of conception.” It’s sick. Feminists aren’t fighting against men, we’re fighting against people who want to keep us down. There’s a difference.