Taylor Swift, the flaxen-haired, cat-eyed girl who grew up on a Christmas tree farm, who makes millions of dollars out of the teardrops on her guitar, who this weekend wrapped up the first full-stadium Australian tour by a female musician since Madonna, has a way of inspiring a lot of venom in people.
Sure, she’s adored by millions of girls around the world, and parents are pretty happy about that – let’s just say, she’s not likely to pull a Miley any time soon. From interviews, she seems genuinely down-to-earth, considerate and poised. The girl has talent, and she works hard – she’s been writing her own songs since she was 14, she plays guitar, piano and the banjo with reasonable skill, and at just 24 years old she’s won seven Grammy Awards and sold over 26 million albums and 75 million digital single downloads worldwide.
But to a lot of people, she’s ‘a feminist’s worst nightmare’.
Being a feminist who loves Taylor Swift comes with a set of challenges. From first glance, it’s understandable why people would take issue with her. Some say she plays up to an image of innocence, reinforcing patriarchal ideas that a girl’s worth is based on her purity. Some say she dates too many boys, that she’s fairytale obsessed and hopelessly dependent on male affection and approval. Some say she’s like a bitter black widow, always waiting to ensnare a new boyfriend, just so she can write a song about how badly he treated her. (more…)