Don’t Trash Taylor Swift For Not Wanting To Be A Feminist
11:30 am, October 23rd | by Laura Donovan
Singer Taylor Swift has a ton to be thankful for: she’s worth $57 million, she’s a billboard sweetheart, she has a decent reputation in Hollywood, and for better or worse, she has dated several gorgeous heartthrobs in the business. But she’s not excited about her accomplishments merely because she’s a woman who has achieved a lot, and some aren’t too please about this. In a recent Daily Beast interview, Swift was asked whether she thinks she empowers women with her tunes and whether she’s a feminist. Here’s what she said:
I write from a place of my personal feelings about things. It’s funny when you write a song and you don’t expect it to turn into what it turns into when it goes out in the world. I wrote a song called “Mean” about a critic who hated me. I put it out, and all of a sudden, it became an anthem against bullies in schools, which is a refreshing and new take on it. 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.
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.
She wasn’t being controversial by any means, but the second remark didn’t set well with those who felt she lacked a concrete understanding of feminism. Jessica Wakeman wrote of the comment:
Are we surprised that Taylor Swift doesn’t really consider herself a feminist? Not really. But it’s still completely dismaying that ‘guys versus girls’ and that when women don’t succeed it’s because we just didn’t work hard enough is apparently what she thinks feminism is…I do not expect that Taylor Swift would have the politics of Kathleen Hanna, India.Arie, Ani DiFranco or even Alanis Morrissette. But I do wish she could correctly identify what a feminist is — even if she does not want to identify as one.
Jezebel had a similar reaction to the 22-year-old’s thoughts:
Yes, what you’re describing is equality, and equality is what feminism is all about! Except we live in a country where, when you work as hard as guys, you make less money if you’re a woman, or worse, a woman of color. It’s like she doesn’t understand what a feminist is. Is this what happens when you’re homeschooled after the age of 15?
Come on, guys, she isn’t a total moron. She was simply trying to say that she believed she could become whatever she wanted no matter her gender, and luckily for her, she wanted to be a musician, which many women are. If Swift had had dreams of growing up to be the first female president, she would have probably given the publication a different answer, as we’re still not there yet, but for now she’s content in the music world, and I don’t want to clip her wings for refusing to identify as a feminist. Other famous women, such as Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and actress Melissa Leo have gotten backlash for not wanting to call themselves feminists, and such a reaction is downright absurd.
Don’t bully someone for not being interested in joining your club. There are plenty of other powerful women out there who would gladly be a part of it, so don’t ostracize those who would rather not box themselves up.