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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Taylor Swift still has some growing to do

Taylor Swift is calling the media out for sexism, and while I agree with her general message, I don’t think she specifically is right in this case.

Swift said on the Australian radio station 2DayFM that she was sick and tired of being called out for writing about her past relationships and ex-boyfriends, because no one says that about Bruno Mars or Ed Sheeran, both of whom have famous songs about an ex.

She said it was sexist and offensive to constantly be criticized about her love life, the love life that she has made so public.

I understand and fully support her message.

We shouldn’t be calling female artists out for things their male counterparts get away with, and we shouldn’t be slut-shaming female artists for discussing past relationships.

Here’s the thing, though. Taylor Swift’s music isn’t anything ground-breaking, it’s just passive-aggressive, and often inappropriate.

She blatantly calls out ex-boyfriends, making it obvious who they are and what they did.

When performing “We Are Never Getting Back Together” at the 2013 Grammy’s, she affected a bad London accent to call out her ex, Harry Styles, who is from the United Kingdom.

Styles was sitting in the audience, and the awkwardness was painful to watch.

In one of the songs on an earlier album, she names past boyfriends, people who aren’t necessarily famous but are now openly criticized.

It’s a cheap way to get back at someone for participating in and terminating what should have been a private relationship.

She did not suffer from domestic abuse or sexual violence.

She’s just mad that they broke up.

That’s not grounds to publicly shame someone.

It is wrong of her to profit off an ex-boyfriend and exploit the emotions of the men she entered into consensual, private unions with.

It’s childish, and frankly, annoying.

No one cares as much about another person’s love life as Taylor Swift apparently thinks people do.

Moreover, I have a serious issue with the fact that she slut-shames and criticizes other women in her songs, operating on unoriginal Disney-movie tropes about the mean popular girl who wears short shorts and gets boyfriends ?because she bullies them.

Other female artists have successfully used their love lives as subject matter in their work.

It’s compelling and honest, and in no way does it sound like an angry 14-year-old who’s mad because Johnny was talking to Suzy by the lockers.

That’s why I’ve never liked Swift’s music, and have a hard time enjoying her presence in the media.

Not because she’s bubble-gum and mainstream, but because the content of her songs are immature and demeaning, and she seems to be using the music industry as her personal vengeance machine.

So while I agree with her points, I don’t necessarily think she can be upset that people are criticizing a part of her life she has made so incredibly public.

I like that Swift has started to push back against sexism. After Emma Watson’s U.N. speech, Swift came out in full support for equality of women.

In an interview with Tout Le Monde En Parle, Swift referred to a 2012 interview in which she said she did not believe that she was feminist, refuting her own points. In the 2012 interview she, like many who say they are not feminist, said she thought feminism was too strong of a word, and that she believed in equality rather than the domination of women.

She laughed at herself, and claimed now to be a steadfast believer after learning about and understanding the cause. I love that an artist is willing to be so public about a change of beliefs and admit they were wrong before.

I like that she wants to educate and empower women. But Swift has made a name for herself with her passive-aggressive music and middle school antics, and I have yet to see her come out with a song or work that is as mature and meaningful as something produced by those same male artists she claims get passed over.

If we’re comparing apples and oranges, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran are simply better writers, ?gender aside.

I want more female artists and actresses demonstrating what it means to be feminist.

I want them calling out sexism, teaching young girls how to stand up for themselves and give women from all walks of life a voice.

But I also want them to grow up.

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