A Lesson In Internalized Misogyny: I’m Sorry Taylor Swift

emilytreadgold #17, Editorial Leave a Comment

My relationship with Taylor Swift is complicated. When her first album came out, I was 15 and pretty much a loser. I was in high school, and Taylor to me, despite what she said in her songs, embodied everything I could never be. She was pretty and popular and rich. Her music seemed immature to me, princesses and romance. It wasn't near to the angsty wannabe rebel I thought of myself. I firmly planted myself in the "I hate Taylor Swift" camp and stayed there well into my 20s.

When Kanye stole her moment at the VMA's, I was disappointed in Kanye, and I felt awful for Taylor, but this started this narrative in my head that Taylor always paints herself as the victim. To be fair, the media paints her that way. It's always "poor Taylor." She looked like she cycled through heartbreaks, which, to be honest, so did I. I listened to "All Too Well" on repeat but never admitted it. I was above that. She just seemed so planned and perfect and I hated it.

I've even had a review taken down by the one and only Tree Paine herself for how slanderous it was. That's what y'all are getting into. I'm not proud of that but, kind of a weird flex, right?

I don't like mainstream music.

I'm rolling my eyes so hard at my past self thinking this was a key personality trait. I've overcome this in spades, but it's worth mentioning that just because a song is popular doesn't mean it's bad, it means a lot of people like it.

She only sings about love.

Oh, kill me, love is a great subject, and the nuances she finds in specific situations is fascinating. The reason people write a lot of songs about love is that it's universal and timeless. Taylor's ability to write detailed perspectives from different people is an incredible skill.

She's always the victim.

Okay, but sometimes she is, though? Taylor's strength shows in different ways, but after the groping trial and her endless fight to OWN HER OWN MUSIC. There's strength in vulnerability and transparency.

She has terrible taste in men.

So do I! As we know in her song "The Man," that's such a double standard, and I hate myself for ever thinking this. I date a lot, and no one cares about it because I'm not a celebrity, fancy that. If she were a man she'd be applauded and idolized and high-fived for this.

Overall, I'm riding the waves of newfound, late-in-life Swiftdom. So forgive me. Admitting my mistakes is the first step. It took me until "Evermore" and my eternal loneliness in 2020 to take this dive, but I hope, even with my faults, I'll be welcomed into the Swifties with open arms. I think I will, though, because if there's anything Swift has taught me, it's that vulnerability is always welcomed.

Emily Treadgold

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