The National Organization for Women publishes a blog featuring popular topics pertaining to women. I came across a blog criticizing Taylor Swift for being anti-feminist, and the accusations seemed weak and trite. While I am not a big fan of Taylor Swift or her music, I felt I must defend her against ridiculous criticism.
The NOW blogger identifies four problems with the Taylor Swift phenomenon. She references quotes Swift made in the past and criticizes her for being anti-feminist.
The first problem the blogger highlights is her sexist lyrics:
Sexism is often the theme of Swift’s music. Constant references to fairy tales and loss of innocence are insulting to women who don’t desire pedestals and princes and the never-ending narrative of ‘he done me wrong’ is not only grating, but places women in the role of injured puppies.
There are so many problems with this statement, but I suppose I need to begin somewhere. Firstly, I just do not see how her lyrics are insulting. I personally don’t desire a pedestal or a prince, but I certainly don’t feel offended or insulted. It’s possible to not identify with a musician’s lyrics without being offended. Why not campaign against someone who actually is offensive? Ever heard of the rapper Ludacris? Not only do I not identify with his lyrics about strip clubs and cocaine, but constantly objectifying women for sex and sex only is actually offensive. Perhaps I’m insensitive, but a girl who sings about wanting a good boyfriend does not offend me.
The latter half of the blogger’s criticism is equally as ridiculous as the first because feminists DO place themselves in the “never-ending narrative of ‘he done me wrong'” and in “the role of injured puppies.” I agree that Swift does this often, but feminists blame men and victimize women. Swift plays that game, so to speak, and if this blogger takes issue with it, I advise her to reconsider this radical feminist movement she endorses.
The second problem the blogger has with Taylor Swift is that Swift stated she wasn’t a feminist, that her parents never taught her to think in terms of men versus women, and that if she works hard she will go far in life. This NOW blogger implies that Swift’s comment gives false hope to young girls. Is Swift supposed to tell young women their individual efforts for success are worthless because men hold them back? What a horribly uninspiring response that belittles the greatness of human potential! Swift was honest in her answer; men didn’t hold her back. She worked hard and got far in life. Perhaps we should praise the work ethic Swift’s parents instilled in their daughter because she is, in fact, “far in life.” The blogger denies that this method works because “a recent study indicated that women with college degrees on average make the same amount across their lifetimes as men without. Working just “as hard as guys” will not get you as far because of the unfortunate circumstances in our society.” Citing a “recent study” without any explanation of what the study measured and the factors that were taken into account is terribly unconvincing. I could write a blog solely on the myth of the wage gap, but for now, I’m interested in these so-called unfortunate circumstances in our society.
Women in the USA are among the most liberated in the World. My mother, for example, came from a modest farming family in a small town in Indiana. She was ambitious and hardworking and was the only one of her siblings to leave Indiana and receive higher education. She worked her whole way through undergraduate and law school, received excellent grades, and made Law Review. She was able to pay back all her student loans without any aid from her family. Through sheer hard work and dedication, she became successful and established her own law firm with my father. My mother and father, like Swift’s parents, never pitted me against men or tried to make them out to be opponents to my success. The real unfortunate circumstances in our society are liberal feminists who teach women that their sex is the end-all be-all basis for where they stand in society.
Thirdly, the NOW blogger slams Swift for not taking a political stance. The blogger states that she has no excuse for refusing to take a political position because she has an established fan base and has already achieved success. First off, who are you to cap someone’s success? Just because she has a large income, does not mean she has reached the threshold of her success. Secondly, Swift thinks like a good business woman. She could potentially double her market share by not taking a political stance, which would undoubtedly alienate some fans. Nothing screams “modern and feminist” like a woman who thinks like a man.
Finally, Swift stands as an example of true feminism. Just because she is not a political figure pushing a radical feminist agenda doesn’t mean she’s a backwards woman. The left only accepts one type of feminism, and they simply cannot accept a strong and successful woman who thinks differently than they do.