Pop Culture

Tweeting TSwift Feminism

I am a Twitter junkie, and this led me to see a retweet by Upworthy of the Twitter account “Feminist Taylor Swift.”

A fan of Taylor Swift’s music since middle school, I will admit that she was a role model for me. At the time, it made sense; she was pretty, nice, “clean” (and yes, Catholic-raised me means virgin-like). Her slight awkwardness was adorable, which reassured me that I could reach adorkable levels. One day.

She also spoke to every insecurity I had during the years of her first few albums. Even now, I bought her Red album and had her first single off of it memorized after the second time I heard it on the radio and suspected it was her (never, ever, getting baaack together!). But I have also become a fan of this feminist thing (have you heard of it?) and this has resulted in reevaluating Swiftie. For example, it started back when Red came out, and an article cropped up by the Daily Beast:

“Do you consider yourself a feminist?”

“I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.”

I later heard this described as a non-answer, at best. Then, there are some of her lyrics, which suggest all sorts of things, like purity being all you’ve got to offer, slut-shaming, and boys are your only happiness. I do think that this is an accurate reflection of Taylor growing up in our culture, and I’m willing to bet that she’ll embrace feminism eventually, or at least be comfortable with the concept. But someone else is less willing to wait.

Feminist Taylor Swift was created by a college student who, a fan of Taylor, “Wishes she were more progressive,” and I agree. So Clara Beyer created an account, and started plugging in feminist ideas into lyrics of Taylor’s songs. Here are some of my favorites:

Tweet reading "She wears short skirts / I wear t-shirts / Neither of us is asking for it."Tweet reading "I'm not a princess / This ain't a fairytale / I'm writing my own story / with a strong female hero."Tweet reading "If you just said you're sorry / I know that we could work it out somehow / But if this was a movie it would probably fail the Bechdel test."Tweet reading "The stakes are high / The water's rough / But these reproductive choices are ours."Tweet reading "Abigail gave her virginity to a boy who changed his mind / but virginity wasn't all she had to offer / she had been duped by the patriarchy."Tweet reading "I just wanna know you better / Know you better / Know you better now / If I want to date you later that's my call / I don't owe you anything."

There are many more that I wish I could put in, but you would be better off reading them all on your own time. I love this handle, and the thing is, some of the tweets are not too far off the beaten path of Taylor’s own points of her lyrics. Sure, you have some that are opposite entirely, but others, like this one actually have the same meaning as when I hear the song:

Tweet reading "In your life you'll do things greater than / Dating the boy on the football team / But many girls abandon their ambitions at 15."

In the end, Taylor Swift may not be an out feminist, but I do think that Feminist Taylor Swift knows she’s in there. Join us Taylor? We have lots of fun here, gunning for equal rights and all that jazz.

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