Thanks To Lena Dunham, Taylor Swift Now Calls Herself A Feminist

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Yes folks, we’re still here, reading about celebs debating whether they are a feminist or not. *Sigh*

But since it is an ongoing conversation, and there are so many different emotions and viewpoints being played out online (twitter feud using the hashtag #womenagainstfeminism anyone?) it’s important for us to promote the messages that cut through the crap, especially when it comes to celebs bandying about the word.

And we’re not just talking about women either. Men of all ages have been speaking publicly about equality such as Joseph Gordon Levitt, Alan Alda and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

But when women such as Katy Perry, Shailene Woodley and Lana Del Rey use the word feminism in interviews and either say it is boring or that they don’t like to call themselves a feminist because they like men, it’s clear we still have some work to do to clear up any misnomers.

Taylor Swift, arguably the world’s biggest pop star under 30 right now, had to have a lesson in clearing up the confusion herself. In 2012 in an interview with The Daily Beast, she was asked whether her music empowers women, and if she calls herself a feminist.

“When people say things about me empowering women, that’s an amazing compliment. It’s not necessarily what I thought I was doing, because I write songs about what I feel. I think there’s strength when you’re baring your emotions,” she said addressing the empowerment question.

“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,” she said about the feminist question. Now before you go thinking “here we go again!”, thankfully Taylor, like her music, her love life and her style, she has had an incredible revolution and two years later has something different to say about the topic.

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In an interview with the Guardian about her new album 1989, she talks about her breakout single ‘Shake It Off’ which has gotten everyone talking. It’s no secret she is famous for writing break-up songs, and dating plenty of famous guys. But she is also very honest about her life, and prefers to shed layers in her music rather than in her clothing.

The Guardian lays claim to the fact that she has had a “feminist awakening” lately, especially after she was spotting browsing the aisles of a feminist section in a New York bookstore. The news site also points out some of her closest friends are proud feminists: blogger Tavi Gevinson, singer Lorde, and actress, and ‘Girls’ creator Lena Dunham.

So throughout the last couple of years things have certainly changed for Taylor, and here is what she has to say about the movement now:

“As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities. What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means,” she says.

“For so long it’s been made to seem like something where you’d picket against the opposite sex, whereas it’s not about that at all. Becoming friends with Lena – without her preaching to me, but just seeing why she believes what she believes, why she says what she says, why she stands for what she stands for – has made me realize that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so.”

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Yes girl, we heart you!

Sometimes it just takes a little extra information from Lena Dunham to set things straight. Now when it comes to Taylor’s message about not wanting to expose herself via her image, and display all her vulnerability in her music, nothing has changed. She whole heartedly stands by that message and we think it’s a good one. Her priority is definitely not to be sexy.

“Every artist has their set of priorities. Being looked at as sexy? Not really on my radar. But nice? I really hope that that is the impression. I don’t care if that’s not cool, to seem nice or not. I’m not that focused on being cool and I never have been.”

She doesn’t necessarily like how people trivialize her songwriting to how often she breaks up with a guy either.

“I really resent the idea that if a woman writes about her feelings, she has too many feelings,” she says. “And I really resent the ‘Be careful, buddy, she’s going to write a song about you’ angle, because it trivializes what I do. It makes it seem like creating art is something you do as a cheap weapon rather than an artistic process. They can say whatever they want about my personal life because I know what my personal life is, and it involves a lot of TV and cats and girlfriends. But I don’t like it when they start to make cheap shots at my songwriting. Because there’s no joke to be made there.”

Just so we’re clear, Taylor Swift is an awesome feminist, artist, girlfriend to a handful of stars, and representing real young women by baring her soul in songs that many of us can identify with. Cool? And if there are still haters out there who aren’t on board with who she is, well it doesn’t bother her anymore. She knows who she is, and has learned to shake it off! Guess what, so can we. Thanks Tay!


 

5 Comments

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