Here’s a little history of Taylor Swift and me – I have loved her since her namesake album dropped in 2006 (I also was all over her “Bad Blood” music video, which aired this past weekend during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards). When haters were hating against her “sick beat,” I was bopping along and enjoying every confessional libretto. But one thing stuck out to me that wasn’t so cool – Ms. Swift didn’t seem to be on board with feminism. What!?
Photo: Giphy | Say it isn’t so, T. Swift!
All right, so Tay admittedly was maybe a little less than swift (bare with me, I couldn’t resist) to the draw with her feminist identification, but in the past year she’s been making up for lost time. Last August, Taylor came out loud and proud as a feminist, stating in an interview with The Guardian, “Becoming friends with Lena [Dunham]… has made me realize that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so.” (Yes, Lena Dunham inspires us all – check out our past profile of the triple-threat during the Women Crush Wednesday series.)
Photo: Giphy | Time to fight the patriarch
T. Swift continues to explain her journey into feminism in a Maxim article published this past Monday where she was celebrated as numbero uno (naturally) on its Hot 100 list. While the Hot 100 has traditionally been an excuse to take suggestive photos of models and celebs, Swift used the opportunity to do something a little different. In the article that went along with her nomination for top artist, she is quoted; “I didn't have an accurate definition of feminism when I was younger. I didn't quite see all the ways that feminism is vital to growing up in the world we live in. I think that when I used to say, 'Oh, feminism's not really on my radar,' it was because when I was just seen as a kid, I wasn't as threatening.”
Continuing, Swift nails an approachable, and very true reason that feminism is such an important movement to understand and identify with, “A man writing about his feelings from a vulnerable place is brave; a woman writing about her feelings from a vulnerable place is over sharing or whining... so to me, feminism is probably the most important movement that you could embrace, because it’s just basically another word for equality.” Drop the mic, Taylor. Girl, you can preach!
Photo: Giphy | Tell it like it is, Tay!
And for the pièce de résistance of Taylor bringing home her feminist vision; “Misogyny is ingrained in people from the time they are born.” And is institutionalized through “the double standards in headlines, the double standards in the way stories are told, the double standards in the way things are perceived.” Professor Taylor! Your lessons are good as gold!
I have to applaud Tay for using her superstardom to give a strong definition of feminism clear visibility. Particularly considering her less-than-feminist comments stemming from 2012 and before, it’s refreshing to see a starlet come out and give a thoughtful, reasoned approach to how and why her opinion on an important subject has changed. That’s what makes personal ideology so cool and important – people’s views can change, evolve, and become more nuanced with time. Taylor Swift is living proof of that.
Photo: Giphy | Yeah, girl
Bottom-line, Tay-Tay “does it so well” and continues to be my celeb-crush. You got to give the multi-platinum selling lyricist props for her perfect attunement to modern culture, evolving with the mainstream to be the uber-successful artist she is today.
Want to play your own part in the feminist movement? Sign on to the petition to support equality for Girls & Women globally. While the likes of Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Aziz Ansari have all shown their support for a feminist agenda, girls and women still have a long-way to go before gender parity is reached. But this can (and will change) with your action and support in the campaign to increase gender equality. As for now, let’s “shake off” global oppression as we keep fighting for the improved status of girls and women!