Taylor Swift may be best known for writing songs that portray her as a wholesome, virginal sweetheart who is victimized by sexualized, boyfriend-stealing “other women.” Within this, there has been increasing critical discussion of the role gender-based stereotypes play in her music.
3. This Her Campus article sums up the issue neatly:
“Part of Taylor Swift’s shtick is to slut-shame in her lyrics. In ‘Better Than Revenge’, she takes a swipe at a girl who apparently stole her boyfriend, ‘She’s an actress/But she’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress.’ The Queen of Wholesome often employs guilt-mongering tactics to put down the mean girl/cheerleader types who, she assures us, are more sexual than her.”
4. Tumblr users have also noticed that Swift’s lyrics frequently villify the sexuality of other women, as in this post by Sherlocks:
“As shown through her songs that feature comments about ‘the other woman’ this other woman is always sexually available, dresses provocatively, and is DEFINITELY NOT A VIRGIN. Because obviously, a woman’s worth is based purely on the amount of sex she has had.”
5. Sady Doyle, for the feminist magazine Bitch, says Taylor Swift organizes the women in her music into two camps:
“Teen Girls of America, here are your choices: have sex and wind up broken and sad and feeling as if you’ve lost ‘everything you had,’ or wait until your untouched vagina accumulates enough charge to make you rich and famous. Because your sexuality should never be an end in and of itself; it should be something you strategically employ to get what you want.”
7. Here’s every song Taylor Swift has written about having a romantic rival:
“Teardrops on My Guitar”
I’ll bet she’s beautiful, that girl he talks about
And she’s got everything that I have to live without
She better hold him tight, give him all her love
Look in those beautiful eyes and know she’s lucky ‘cause
“Should’ve Said No”
I can’t resist
Before you go tell me this:
Was it worth it?
Was she worth this?
You should’ve known that word, with what you did with her
Get back to me… (get back to me)
She can’t see the way your eyes
Light up when you smile.
She’ll never notice how you stop and stare
Whenever she walks by.
She don’t even know you,
She’s never gonna love you like I want to.
She’s never gonna see the light
No matter what you do.
She don’t even know you.
Baby, let me love you,
She can’t see the way your eyes
Light up when you smile.
“The Other Side of the Door”
And I broke down crying, was she worth this mess?
After everything and that little black dress
“You Belong with Me”
You’re on the phone with your girlfriend ‒ she’s upset,
She’s going off about something that you said
‘Cause she doesn’t get your humor like I do.
I’m in the room ‒ it’s a typical Tuesday night.
I’m listening to the kind of music she doesn’t like.
She’ll never know your story like I do.
But she wears short skirts
I wear t-shirts
She’s cheer captain
And I’m on the bleachers
Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time.
I sneak in and see your friends
And her snotty little family all dressed in pastel
And she is yelling at a bridesmaid
Somewhere back inside a room
Wearing a gown shaped like a pastry
She floats down the aisle like a pageant queen
But I know you wish it was me,
“Better Than Revenge”
She came along, got him alone and let’s hear the applause
She took him faster than you could say “sabotage”
I never saw it coming, wouldn’t have suspected it
I underestimated just who I was dealing with
She had to know the pain was beating on me like a drum
She underestimated just who she was stealing from
She’s not a saint
And she’s not what you think
She’s an actress, whoa
She’s better known
For the things that she does
On the mattress, whoa
Soon she’s gonna find
Stealing other people’s toys
On the playground won’t
Make you many friends
She should keep in mind
She should keep in mind
There is nothing I do better than revenge
She looks at life like it’s a party and she’s on the list
She looks at me like I’m a trend and she’s so over it
I think her ever-present frown is a little troubling
And she thinks I’m psycho ‘cause I like to rhyme her name with things
“I Knew You Were Trouble”
And the saddest fear comes creeping in
That you never loved me or her, or anyone, or anything, yeah
17. The “other woman”-as-enemy trope is visually represented in many of Swift’s music videos, as well. Tumblr user Sexistculture points out the recurrence of villains played by evil brunettes:
Taylor Swift the Product (who I’m sure varies a great deal from Taylor Swift the Person) strikes again with “Mine” which will no doubt be played 12 times an hour on every friggin’ station from now until the next time she comes out with another single about being pure and innocent while wanting a boy who is an angelic being filled with light and winning his heart from the evil girl who wears colors and probably fucks.
Seven out of 15 of Taylor Swift’s music videos feature brunette bad girls who use their feminine wiles to steal Taylor’s Prince Charming. And what’s even weirder is that sometimes, the “other woman” in a video isn’t even mentioned in the accompanying song’s lyrics.
19. “The Story of Us” — A brunette makes out with a guy in the library, unrelated to anything else in the video.
20. “Teardrops on My Guitar” — The boy Taylor likes makes out with a brunette in the hallway.
21. “Picture to Burn” — The boy Taylor likes is now dating an edgy-looking brunette.
22. “White Horse” — The woman who tells Taylor about her boyfriend cheating is a dark-haired girl who is later implied in the video to be the “other woman.”
23. “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together” — Taylor’s boyfriend is being groped by a brunette at a bar.
24. “You Belong With Me” — The mean, popular girl is played by Taylor Swift in a black wig.
25. “I Knew You Were Trouble” — There’s a montage of Taylor’s boyfriend making out with dark-haired girls in a nightclub.
It’s important to note that Swift doesn’t think of herself as a feminist. When asked whether she considers her music empowering to women in an interview with Ramin Setoodeh of The Daily Beast, she said this:
“When people say things about me empowering women, that’s an amazing compliment. It’s not necessarily what I thought I was doing, because I write songs about what I feel. I think there’s strength when you’re baring your emotions.”
In a follow-up question, Setoodeh asked whether Swift thought of herself as a feminist. This was her answer:
“I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.”
27. Swift might not think of her songs as “guys versus girls,” but many of her songs make much of “girls versus girls.” And that’s much of the source of the backlash against a singer who actively presents herself as a role model for young women.
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- dalilap thinks Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women? is Ew
- pumpinstallation thinks Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women? is OMG & WTF
- erecliners Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women? and thinks it’s Win & LOL
- alexc20 thinks Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women? is Win
- elizabethd13 Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women? and thinks it’s Win
- Amanda S. Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women?
Taylor Swift is simply a songwriter who’s music is directed to young women. I am seeing too much jealousy around here and that is pathetic. Nobody is perfect. Taylor’s song ‘Back to December’ is one song you have forgot to mention. She is apologizing to a boy who she did wrong when dating. And also what girl does not dislike her rival? Of course It was not only Camilla’s fault. But what do you expect? You want Taylor to write a fucking ‘thank you’ song to her? And what Taylor is saying about clothes, it is very true. It is important what you are wearing when you are an idol to young girls. You have to watch what you wear. Taylor just doesn’t write hate music. She has her love songs here and there to see which one you can connect with, which one most matches your situation. If you even have one that is. She does deserve to be looked up too. Despite her relationships, she is a talented songwriter and singer and that is the only thing people should really look at. Unless your envy gets in the fucking way.
- rebeccam36 thinks Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women? is Fail
It’s kinda funny, because in her video “You Belong With Me” - even though she pretends to be the innocent girl through the lyrics - she’s the one who’s eventually stealing an other girl’s boyfriend and is basically being a big bully to that girl (who she ironically brands as ‘the popular girl’, when now it is Taylor who takes her place in the video; as the popular girl who dates the jock and bullies other girls). Taylor Swift herself has now become that girl that people hate in the media for being a ‘slut’. But hey, I guess those people learned from the best; Taylor Swift herself. So yes, I think the message she sends out is absolutely disgusting and definitely anti-feminist. Also a little newflash to the parents of young girls who like to think of Taylor as a virginal rolemodel; it may be hidden, but all Taylor does is sing about sex and is learning young girls that they are just f*ckdolls for guys and who are good for nothing if they don’t have a boyfriend.
- cutmylifeintopizza Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women?
- LetMeLogin thinks Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women? is WTF
- Nicholas S. added Gangnam Style (강남스타일) to the mix about 3 months ago
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Shes a lame popstar with lame lyrics. She isn’t writing anythign inherently mean to girls but she could write stuff that is more “GIRL POWER Themed” and she definitely needs to realize that your clothing does not determine your character, and wearing revealing clothes just shows young girls that they should be able to be empowered to wear what they want and that it actually desexualizes the womans body by saying that there is nothing wrong with seeing it.
I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned, but in her song, “Innocent”, she is actually forgiving Kanye West for rudely interrupting her during an award show speech. She says: It’s alright, just wait and see
Your string of lights is still bright to me
Oh, who you are is not where you’ve been
You’re still an innocent
It’s okay, life is a tough crowd
32, and still growin’ up now
Who you are is not what you did.
You’re still an innocent. In the song “Long Live”, she’s thanking her band, her producer and others for helping her make it big. The idea that all of her songs are about bashing someone who did something to her is preposterous. There’s just way too much of a big deal being made about a short time in a young lady’s life. If I had a daughter, I’d much rather she listen to Taylor who writes her own music, plays guitar and actually has some talent and doesn’t get by on T&A, auto-tune and a team of song writers. If her music is able to mature and grow with her, then she’ll have a long career ahead of her.
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I, for one, do not care who Taylor Swift dates. She’s got a really great PR person who has built up this wholesome virginal girl image, and that’s fine. If she writes her own songs and this is the only topic she can handle, I suppose that’s fine as well. But if she does write her own songs and really believes that “all the mens don’t like her because she’s suuuuuch a goooooood girl”, then she most certainly has a problem.
Interesting video analysis, but the brunette seductress vs. the angelic blonde is a meme that consistently shows up in David Lynch films (Mulholland Drive, Eraser Head, Blue Velvet) as well as other films of other directors. Perhaps TS’s vids are just guilty of lack of creativity.
- katiep5 Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women?
- fanaca Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women? and thinks it’s Fail & LOL
I don’t think you understand what the very essence of being a feminist is. For me, and a lot of people would agree, feminism is about standing up there, showing to everyone what women can do and inspiring women to pursue their life goals and dreams. In whatever form that may come in, may it be songwriting or acting or modeling I think the moment a girl becomes a feminist is when she shows everyone that she can succeed and inspire others in her field. It’s shattering the idealism that girls can’t get even with guys in this society. And if her way of inspiring younger girls and girls her age or even older is writing about her life experiences and her emotions and feelings, let her be. I don’t even understand why you had to snoop around the Internet take apart the songs she’s written bit by bit just so you could criticize her, I mean did anyone ask you to do it? You should learn from Taylor.
- kainoar Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women? and thinks it’s LOL & Win
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- Whydothingshappen thinks Does Taylor Swift Hate Other Women? is Fail & Win
Taylor swift is definitely not hating woman her songs are great and come from her life experiences why don’t you talk about the filthy sex promoting songs other trashy singers sing i think that’s more of a problem as i consider that hating woman degrading them in songs making out like all cool woman are drunk and sluts……
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Even if one disagrees with Taylor Swift’s music being anti-feminist, they can’t ignore the obvious egotism in her lyrics. 90% of the samples BuzzFeed gives involve her singing about how much of a better girlfriend she is than the one who “stole” her boyfriend. This is middle-school emotional immaturity. If she actually believes these things, she needs to learn to grow up and not constantly blame others for the failure for her relationships.