Taylor Swift‘s on the cover of the March issue of Glamour and inside, she is spouting some seriously weird shit about relationships. It’s purported to be advice, but it’s the most terrible, unrealistic advice I’ve ever heard. Not quite as weird as Gabrielle Union‘s, but it’s still pretty off.
Here’s Taylor Swift on why you should never yell in a relationship:
“Silence speaks so much louder than screaming tantrums. Never give anyone an excuse to say that you’re crazy.”
It’s misogynistic to say that women shouldn’t raise their voices if they’re angry, out of fear of being pegged as harridans or harpies. No one ever calls men crazy if they voice their displeasure or get into a screaming fight, do they? No, they do not. Expressing your anger isn’t having a tantrum. It’s called being an adult woman who stands up for herself and her rights in a relationship.
And WTF about silence? Yeah, ok, not speaking up when you feel you’ve been slighted or when something goes wrong is clearly the mature route.
Here’s Taylor Swift on doing the “freeze-out” when dating:
“I think everyone should approach relationships from the perspective of playing it straight and giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Until he establishes that this is a game. And if it’s a game, you need to win. The best thing to do is just walk away from the table.”
I could quibble with her use of the word “he” here—Hey Taylor, not everyone who reads Glamour and not all of your fans are in relationships with men!—but I’m much more taken aback by the game thing. ‘If it’s a game, you need to win?” That scares the hell out of me. And is it a poker game? Why is she walking away from a table? Are we in Atlantic City? What does it mean to “play it straight?”
What she’s saying is just such an unrealistic way of understanding how living, breathing, human adults relate to one another. I think I understand what Taylor’s getting at under her weird poker game metaphors, which is that you need to look out for yourself and walk away before you get hurt. That in and of itself isn’t the worst thing ever. But characterizing romantic relationships as games that needs to be won does a disservice to the real work of romantic relationships: the compromising, the give-and-take, the honesty, the love…all of that. Taylor’s certainly not the first person to say that dating is a game, but it’s an old-fashioned, outdated mindset that doesn’t reflect the reality for many daters.
I’ve never been one to wring my hands over how many famous dudes Taylor’s dated, or shame her for writing about them in her songs. She’s an artist, she’s in her early twenties, she can do whatever the fuck she wants with her body and her music. I’m much more inclined to be upset that her music has lost its country twang than I am to pointedly raise my eyebrows over her latest breakup.
But after reading these quotes, I want to take Taylor on a long girls’ weekend in Sedona where we drink tons of wine and burn every copy of The Rules that’s ever been in print.
Photos: Glamour, Getty Images Europe