In the December issue of ‘Cosmopolitan,’ Taylor Swift speaks out about how unfair it is that women are called sluts while men skate. Here’s why I think that comment is so important, and why Taylor is becoming a legitimate feminist icon.
Nobody is blowing up more than Taylor Swift, 24, right now. She’s on the cover of every magazine and featuring on every chat show imaginable. And she’s doing it all as a single woman preaching feminism and the importance of female friendships! It’s a pretty incredible thing to see — young girls need a role model they can relate to and understand, and Taylor is that girl. In the December issue of Cosmo, Taylor speaks out about her idea of feminism and why it’s so unfair that women are called sluts for the same behavior that men are applauded for. Find out what she said and for my thoughts on feminism and why it’s so important that Taylor has educated herself and seeks to educate others, in turn.
Taylor Swift On Feminism In ‘Cosmopolitan’: It’s Not Fair Girls Are Called Sluts
“My girlfriends and I talk a lot about feminism and the inequality between the way men and women are talked about,” Taylor told Cosmo. “The kind of things we say are: ‘Why is it mischievous, fun and sexy if a guy has a string of lovers that he’s cast aside, loved and left?
“Yet if a woman dates three or four people in an eight-year period she is a serial dater and it gives some 12-year-old the idea to call her a slut on the internet?’ It’s not the same for boys, it just isn’t and that’s a fact.”
Taylor is totally right. It’s an absurd situation we’ve found ourselves in when women can’t go on a date with a man with more notches on his belt than she does, and yet she’s the one called desperate, or a slut, or whatever other horrible name.
That said, this policing of sexual behavior is totally unnecessary. As long as you’re of age, safe, and not hurting anyone, why do we feel the need to judge other people for their private behavior? Why the need to expect women to be virgins while men get to be experienced players?
The ‘1989’ Taylor Swift Is A Far Cry From ‘Speak Now’ Taylor Swift — Remember ‘Better Than Revenge?’
Of course, women have to be kind to each other, as well. Taylor, who once refused to label herself a feminist, wrote a song called “Better Than Revenge” in which she sang: “She’s an actress, but she’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress.” The song, from 2010’s Speak Now, is pretty clearly about Camilla Belle‘s relationship with Joe Jonas following Taylor’s split from the Jonas brother.
That was four years ago, though, and it’s clear that Taylor has become a more mature young woman in the intervening years. Her attitudes on relationships have changed for the better, and that’s reflected in her music. “Blank Space” from 1989 is an amazing anthem in which she becomes the man-eating character that the public has painted her as.
“Got a long list of ex-lovers,” she sings, “They’ll tell you I’m insane, but I’ve got a blank space, baby, and I’ll write your name.” To quote my Twitter meltdown over 1989, “I want young girls to think of themselves as beautiful and powerful nightmares to be unleashed upon men. … Do your worst, you dumb idiot, because when I’m done with you I’ve got a blank space, baby, and I’ll write your name.”
I’m being hyperbolic, of course, but it’s so important that Taylor’s feminist attitudes are being expressed through her music. Women need to feel powerful. They need to feel like their bodies and behaviors are not the property of any man or woman to comment upon.
The Much-Talked About Street Harassment Is A Side Effect Of A System Which Feels Its OK To Call A Woman A Slut
Like any video about stress harassment will tell you, women have to feel conscious of their bodies every day because some men don’t have any impulse control. It’s a scary world out there, and women need to support each other. It’s obvious Taylor’s got that going on with her circle of friends including Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez, and Karlie Kloss.
As Jessica Williams said on The Daily Show, “Our walk to work is not there for him to comment on. It’s not a red carpet, it’s not a Fashion Week runway, it’s a sidewalk. And believe it or not, getting the horny clap of approval from ANY guy does NOT improve my day, it ACTUALLY creeps me out. So guys, get some impulse control, cause I’ve got some sh** to do.”
These things are all related — they’re part of a patriarchal system which dictates control over women’s bodies. Calling a woman a “slut” is telling them that you think they’re using their body wrong, when it’s really not up to anyone to decide how a woman should behave. Taylor, finally, is beginning to understand this.
Any man or woman who calls any woman a slut for their sexual behavior or for any reason is a garbage pile in sore need of an education.
That’s the best any feminist can do — educate. Clearly, Lena has done that with Taylor; bit by bit, women can work to change attitudes and to eventually gain true equality. Feminism is not about bringing men down — it’s about a level playing field.
The Reason Why ‘Feminism’ Is A Bad Word And Why Taylor Swift Once Refused To Label Herself As Such
The only reason “feminism” is a bad word is because there are people in this world that benefit from a lack of equality and it makes them anxious to see women paid the power and respect owed to them.
If you have all the power and respect in the world, of course you would feel nervous about someone trying to have that for themselves. However, equality is not a zero-sum game — feminism is not about taking anything away from men. There’s room for all of us, here.
Here’s a tip that I often like to point out — if the thing you’re saying about a woman sounds absolutely ridiculous when applied to a man, it’s probably sexist. Who’s calling Harry Styles a slut?!
What it means to be a woman is to just be you, however you are — there’s no right or wrong way to be a woman. Taylor Swift would agree!
HollywoodLifers, what do you think? Do you agree with Taylor’s statements? Have her comments on feminism opened your eyes at all? Let us know.
— Amanda Michelle Steiner