Recently, a blog post from Bust magazine's website featured Taylor Swift, implying she has outdated notions of women and their stereotypes. Calling her a “professional pissed off ex-girlfriend”, she is receiving a lot of flack from the feminist community due to her failure to identify as a feminist in a Daily Beast interview, as well as the female roles portrayed in her music video “You Belong With Me”.
Let’s break this down here. In Taylor Swift’s interview (mentioned above) she stated, “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls,” instead of saying she identified as a feminist. Now, I really don’t have an issue with Taylor not being a feminist. Whatever, that’s fine. But it is rather silly to disregard the differences in ways women and men are treated: unequal pay, unfair female stereotypes, etc. Basically, implying that it is “guys versus girls” is way too simple to even scratch the surface of feminist stances.
Secondly, this whole “You Belong With Me” video debacle makes sense, but may also be a little blown out of proportion, in my opinion. In the video, Taylor takes on the characters of two different stereotypes: the virginal good girl and the promiscuous mean girl.
Okay, so maybe Bust has a point. As an influential person in the media that many teens and young adults alike admire, she is, in fact, reinforcing negative black and white stereotypes that simply aren’t true. However, I don’t think it’s out of malicious intent. I seriously think that she just doesn’t get it/think about it ever. Maybe that’s even more harsh than her having stereotypical opinions, but I’m just calling it as I’m seeing it.
Granted, it’s very easy for us as an audience to form opinions of celebrities who we know nothing about when their images are completely contrived, but that’s just part of the fun of it, I guess.
I’m not really here to debate whether or not Taylor Swift thinks that women are too promiscuous, but I must say that the whole thing is pretty funny. It’s partially funny because Swift seems to be practically unaware that these rumors about her are flourishing or why they are. Even if she is aware (which one can assume she is), she certainly isn’t doing anything about it to prove anyone wrong.
It’s also funny that the feminist community is so riled up about the whole debacle, considering Swift’s messages weren’t even intentional.
Very reminiscent of Mean Girls, we are living in an extremely interesting period of time where women are struggling to find the true equality they desire, while women are also a large reason they aren’t. Personally, I think it’s just a cruel to beat down Taylor Swift as it is for Taylor Swift to influence young female fans to be cautious of boyfriend-stealing girls and play into unfair stereotypes.
So Lovelies, here comes the big question: how do we enforce ending women hating on women when we also want to call out women who are giving into harmful stereotypes? Do y’all think Swift is being unfairly judged? Or do you agree that she is sending out a negative message?