[description: Photo of Taylor Swift playing guitar. Taylor is a white blond girl. Her hair is pinned up in a braid and she is wearing a red, blue, and white plaid shirt. She is playing a wood acoustic guitar and singing into a microphone]
Before I critique Taylor, I want to state I am actually a fan of her. Liz (goodbyemidnight) will forever make fun of me for that. My one professor wont let me live it down. I will have many posts about Taylor and her music.
Fairy tales, princesses, girl-on-girl hate, crushes, boys, butchering Shakespeare, heart break, first love, body image, high school, and cheating ex’s. We all know who Taylor is. She is your stereotypical “American Girl” (blond hair, thin, chaste, etc) but is making millions of dollars.
Reasons why she is not a feminist nightmare:
She controls her own career. She has decided the fate of her career since she was 13 years old and giving demo’s to record labels. She worked for Sony (Capital Records maybe? Hell, I don’t remember which one) on a trial basis when she was 13 and could have continued doing that until they decided they wanted to hire her. She told them no and had no record label until she was 15 and met Scott Borchetta who started Big Machine Records. She was their first artist. She is also their most well known/best selling artist. She has controlled what was on all her albums while with Big Machine Records.
Her song “Tied Together With a Smile” which was written for a friend with an eating disorder (that is all I am going to say about ED, otherwise I’d have a trigger warning). Lyrics to the song, though they do not mention the eating disorder.
While some of the songs are beyond awful, she writes her own music and performs her own music.
So that is all I’ve got for why she isn’t a feminist nightmare.
Why she is a feminist nightmare:
Her lyrics. In her music there is girl-on-girl hate, heterosexism, sexism, slut-shaming, treating people like things and not people, etc. While there is nothing wrong with writing about fairy tales, love, high school, dating, etc. it is a problem when you put in everything listed before. Her most problematic songs: “Better than Revenge,” “You Belong to Me,” “Picture to Burn,” and ”Fifteen.”
“Better than Revenge” is just one big old slut-shaming song. Chorus of the song:
She’s not a saint and she’s not what you think She’s an actress, Whoa She’s better known for the things that she does On the mattress, Whoa Soon she’s gonna find Stealing other people’s toys on the playground Won’t make you many friends She should keep in mind, She should keep in mind There is nothing I do better than revenge, Ha
While I think Joe Jonas is a horrid singer and have many problems with the JoBro’s, it is not okay to view men (or anybody) as a toy. That is dehumanizing and degrading. I don’t remember who “stole Joe” from Taylor, ‘cause I frankly don’t care, but implying that she is a dirty slut is not cool. Slut-shaming is never okay and shaming women for their sexuality is problematic. It is upholding the notion that women are only worth something if they are virginal. I will probably do a whole post on this song and how the media viewed Taylor/Joe’s break up. So I’ll go more into this song and the other songs about Joe in a different post.
“You Belong With Me” is problematic for similar reasons as “Better than Revenge.” Austro Saddle and Bitch Magazine have post about YBWM. Bitch also critiques “Fifteen,” which is another problematic song.
“Fifteen.” The whole ‘you cannot have sex with your high school boyfriend or you will regret it forever’ message isn’t cool. Bitch Magazines article about the song and YBWM.
“Picture to Burn,” is incredibly heterosexist and ableist. I wrote a post about that on feminist slut. Ableism- using obsessive and crazy to mean something bad. Heterosexism - lying about ex’s sexuality because being gay is oh-so-horrible. -rolleyes- Taylor did remove the line about lying about her ex’s sexuality when the song became a single, not that it makes the line any better.
The “Back to December” video. The song is about Taylor Lautner. The guy in the music video for the song is a fucking pale white guy. While I now try to avoid anything with Twilight like the plague, I do know Lautner isn’t as pale as a freaking ghost. Even in the song there is a line about his tan skin. The guy in the video would probably burn in the sun, not tan.
Her public image. The whole virgin goody-girl image. The shocked look on her face whenever she wins an award because she is never expecting it. Once you win 4 Grammy’s in one night, are you really surprised that you win awards anymore? The whole “I can do no wrong” thing has gotten old. I could go on about her image, but that will be in its own post. Bitch Magazine actually just had a really good article about her in their Spring 11 issue.
There is more I can (and will) say about Taylor Swift but I’ll save it for another post. Each bullet point as to why she is a feminist nightmare can easily turn into their own post.