Taylor Swift’s Feminist Evolution. An Editorial.

(Source: Taylor Swift)
(Source: Taylor Swift)

She makes up the moves as she goes, Taylor Nation.

This is an editorial. There will be a lot of words. You know the drill.

This is not the first time I address the topic of Feminism and Taylor Swift. I previously talked about how she’s a potential feminist back on June, 2013 on another editorial, The one about Feminism. You’re encouraged to read that if you want to know what was T-Swizzle’s stance in the past.

This time, however, we’ve got a breakthrough from Lightning On Her Feet herself (new nickname, woot!) via The Guardian:

“As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities. What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means. For so long it’s been made to seem like something where you’d picket against the opposite sex, whereas it’s not about that at all. Becoming friends with Lena – without her preaching to me, but just seeing why she believes what she believes, why she says what she says, why she stands for what she stands for – has made me realise that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so.”

– Taylor Swift via The Guardian

It’s clear enough, but the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar will still get flack over certain lyrics of her past. It seems strange to call any of her lyrics controversial, but if we’re going to talk about songs that rub people the wrong way, then I guess it’s fair to talk about “Better Than Revenge”. The subject and the song came up in this interview as well and Taylor addressed it. “I was 18 when I wrote that,” she told . “That’s the age you are when you think someone can actually take your boyfriend. Then you grow up and realise no one [can] take someone from you if they don’t want to leave.”

You can read the original article at The Guardian. It’s one of her most revealing interviews.

Taylor Swift is often compared to a lot of her peers in the music business, either to put her down or bring her up. To put her down, she’s often pictured as bland against controversial performance artists that bring loud and furious innovation at the risks of shock or oversexualization. To bring her up,  she’s often compared to the same artists but praised for her lack of controversy via shock or oversexualization. Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry are often named in those comparisons. I prefer not to make these comparisons because they just bring animosity from other fandoms and to top it all off, Taylor Swift is often an admirer and a friend of all her peers.

That means that the Queen of Sparks is usually mislabelled as bubble gum pop or even worst, bland. She’s neither. I will accept that some of her songs do follow the radio pattern of more beat and less lyrics, but she has demonstrated she can do both earworms and beautiful deep ballads. I am anxiously awaiting to hear what else 1989 has to offer. The blandness she’s often accused for is hardly fair. The Princess in Red is known for keeping it civil and not raising her voice, a politeness that is often mistaken for lack of enthusiasm. She’s actually being more intimate with her audience.

I do resent the fact that often enough the Enchantress’ lyrics are used against her. There’s plenty of songs about heartbreak which detail emotion, impulse, passion. They are amazing because we can relate to them, but they aren’t tracked back down to the artist’s own psyche. Many, many songs depict downright criminal activity like breaking and entering, slander, assault and damage to private property. When Carrie Underwood takes a bat to his cheating boyfriend’s beloved truck in a song nobody thinks she’s actually green lighting the act of vandalism. It’s tongue-and-cheek humor but in real life a person doing that would be arrested. I do love Carrie Underwood, please don’t get me wrong.

The fact that the Enchantress draws from her own experiences used to be a plus. Often enough she’s call on to answer her own lyrics. You probably remember the old dig at her inspired songwriting that she used to take in stride: the old “Is it true guys won’t date you because you’ll write a song about them?” Just so we’re clear and on the level here, could we stop asking Taylor that fucking question? Taylor writes a song using all of herself. That means that sometimes she’ll be inspired by someone else’s experience, but her life remains her first resource of inspiration.

The past might have included more than one relationship that the Shaker and Baker (I’m not sure this nickname works yet) might want to forget, but the feelings and emotions that gave birth to four – soon to be five – albums of songs are still valid. Here’s the shocker though: they don’t represent her now. She will still sing them to you, perhaps in the B stage at the next tour, and she will still have a soft spot in her heart for some songs. However, at this point I’d everyone to divide Taylor’s beautiful songs from Taylor’s personal events. It’s not going to happen, people will still draw the connection (albeit very often to the wrong individual) but I prefer to enjoy the song for what it is: a great work of her art.

The Enchantress may have taken a leave of absence in the dating department. The result is she has become richer in friendships. Her new album, scheduled for October 27, may be her most unique yet since heartbreak might not be the central theme anymore. Taylor’s current career status is the dream of an independent woman. She calls her own shots with her own company, 13 Management, and makes her own decisions. Helps a lot if you write your own songs, but that doesn’t mean she’s above writing collaborations.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who supports feminism as an ally, we’re glad to learn that Taylor’s life and career will continue along that path.

Random Factoid: When I met Taylor Swift in 2013, I told her all the nicknames I use for her. “The Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar” made her laugh out loud. I can still remember that laugh.

Taylor is performing at the iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 19. Let’s go to the video!

Watch on YouTube

You should really enter the 1989 Swiftstakes to win stuff including meet and greets and concert tickets!

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • September 19: Taylor Swift performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • October 27: Taylor Swift’s 1989 is released.

(Sources:The GuardianTime)

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