Taylor Swift On Shaking It Off & Why Feminism Is Vital To Women

taylor-swift

Now that Taylor Swift has recently discovered the true meaning of feminism thanks to her pal Lena Dunham, it seems a new horizon might be on its way in terms of the types of lyrics we will hear in her songs.

Already her song “Shake if Off” is setting a different tempo not only with its more pop-rock style (as opposed to her country roots) but also with its message: ignore the haters, do what you gotta do and don’t let negativity affect you.

Another thing on Taylor’s radar that has inspired her to stand up and speak out in the name of feminism is Emma Watson’s powerful speech about feminism and gender she gave for UN Women recently. After delivering a rousing call to action for men and boys and why the gender equality issue affects them too, the internet was set ablaze with supporters and critics alike (naturally).

But in a recent interview with French-Canadian show Tout Le Monde En Parle (translated as ‘Everybody’s talking about it”) Taylor Swift spoke about her music video, feminism and the reaction to Emma Watson.

You can see in the video below that the majority of the questions are asked in French, but there is an option to translate them on the Youtube player. However, the translation is kinda bad and you don’t really need it because Taylor answers in English and that’s all you really need to hear.

On ‘Shake it off’:

“Honestly I felt this was an important song to write not only for me and what I’ve gone through, but also my fans…Mine is a different situation, where they get a rumor spread about them at school and it devastates them, where as I see a rumor about me that wasn’t true on a tabloid. Its different in that aspect but the same in the way that you have to get past it and let things go and shake it off,” she said.

“If people are making fun of you and spreading false rumors about you, just live your life having more fun than they’re having.” Good advice! Later in the interview she says the song was a product of hearing rumors about her for 5 years straight that she HAD to write a song about it.

Taylor-Swift-shake-it-off

Taylor goes on to talk about her career beginnings in Nashville as a Country artist, and how she was signed as a songwriter, before becoming an artist. One of the uphill battles she faced was record labels telling her that it was only older women who listened to country music. Yet she has more than proved that young girls like Country music with her huge success and relate-ability in her lyrics.

She also talks about her song ‘Mean’:

“That song was a song I wrote about getting intense, brutal criticism. What’s weird about my life is that in the times that I’ve experienced the most about of humiliation and rejection, those times of pain have caused me to write songs I am most proud of. That song ended up winning two Grammys. Not to say that I’m happy to experience pain, and that pain equals Grammys, but kind-of!”

Her opinion on how women are treated in the media:

“I think when it comes to females in the media, something that upset me is that females are pinned up against each other more so than men,” she says, which comes hot off the heels about the rumors of a feud between her and Katy Perry which she spoke about in a recent Rolling Stone interview.

“Daily I see these polls: who’s sexier? Who’s the hotter mama? One thing I do believe as a feminist is that in order to have gender equality we have to stop making it a girlfight and we have to stop being so interested in girls tearing each other down it has to be more about cheering each other on as women.”

Bravo Taylor. This is pretty much the reason why GTHQ exists, because we too are sick of seeing the culture of girl-hate perpetuated everywhere we look, and have it passed of as “entertainment” when all it does is divide and conquer us, and distract from the true message of equality.

taylor-swift

She was asked what she thought of the negative response about Emma Watson’s speech, and Taylor responded that she was only focused on the positive reactions because of her fan base who love strong females.

“I wish when I was 12 years I had been able to watch a video of my favorite actress explaining in such an intellectual, beautiful and poignant way the definition of feminism. Because I would’ve understood it, and then early on in my life I would’ve proudly claimed that I was a feminist,” which is another way of reiterating how much of an impact Emma’s words will have on a whole new generation of young men and women.

“So many girls out there say ‘I’m not a feminist’ because they think it means something angry or disgruntled, or they picture rioting and picketing. It is not that at all it simply means that you believe that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities. To say that you’re not a feminist means you think that men should have more rights.

The interviewer then asks her about her thoughts on other female artists like Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears and how their image is vastly sexualized compared to Taylor’s.

“I cheer on anybody who is living their life on their own terms, wearing what they wanna wear and representing what they wanna represent. No other female artist should tell me to wear less clothes and I’m not gonna tell any other female artist to wear more clothes.”

Taylor certainly made some strong points in this interview, which you can see more of in the video below. It’s refreshing to see a young woman who stands by her beliefs, but also doesn’t judge others for their different ideals. The fact that the conversation about women’s sexuality and how it is expressed by female artists is such a dominant topic in interviews shows we as a society are needing to have this discussion and we need as many voices at the table as possible. And preferably more female voices, as who better to represent our gender than ourselves.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift & The Problem With "Takedown Culture"

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.