I know that she’s probably too busy taking Instagram photos of her cat, going on road trips with Victoria’s Secret models, and rolling around on piles of money to care, but it pisses me off when gossip sites abuse their making-fun-of-Taylor-Swift privileges. I’m not saying that she should never be the butt of jokes– she’s given us plenty of things to roll our eyes at– but I’m starting to see a pattern here. It seems like making fun of Taylor Swift is becoming an easy way to make thinly veiled comments against women in general.
Today’s perpetrator is RadarOnline, who claim that Taylor Swift’s people are “setting her up on dates only to have her strange personality scare men away.” They go on to say that she’s “impossible” to find dates for, since her music “focusses heavily on heartbreak and ex-boyfriends.” According to Radar,
None of the guys she shows interest in want to be the subject of a mean song six months down the road or be painted the bad guy, so Taylor’s team want her to take a break from boys.
Oh, okay. First of all, there’s absolutely no evidence to suggest that this is even slightly real. Second of all, shut up.
I’m sick of seeing male confessional songwriters– everyone from Bob Dylan to Eminem– get praised for their openness and honesty while their female counterparts are continually accused of being overly dramatic man-haters. Most of Taylor’s songs that deal with breakups are either silly and light-hearted (nobody’s crying themselves to sleep over “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”), or they’re accounts of problematic or even abusive relationships.
If you take the time to listen to the lyrics in “Dear John,” which is basically a captivity narrative about an emotionally abusive relationship between an adult man and a teenage girl, her decision to call out John Mayer by name is actually incredibly brave. It’s about taking back her dignity, chipping away at the power he has over her, and publicly shaming a grown man who manipulated and took advantage of her when she was nineteen. To act like that song is petty, mean, or melodramatic? That’s just blatant victim blaming.
She doesn’t have to be your taste, and I can totally understand why someone wouldn’t be into her, but choosing to write off a young woman completely because she “has too many feelings” is just typical, old school misogyny. Don’t like her music? Cool. Don’t like her style? Cool. Don’t like the way she words things in interviews? Totally reasonable. But if you’re willing to paint this woman as the CRAZY BITCH EX-GIRLFRIEND because she uses her platform to call out men’s bullshit behavior, you’re contributing to a culture that assumes all women’s feelings are irrational and worthless. It’s mean, it’s boring, and we can do better.
If you want to make fun of Taylor Swift, make fun of Taylor Swift. Don’t resort to mocking femininity in general and trying to pass it off as pop culture news. By turning Taylor into a Crazy Bitch, you might be sending the message to other women writers that it’s not worth it for them to express their feelings at all.
Via Gossip Cop / Photo: Getty images