What Happened to Taylor Swift?

If anything, I’ve been a vague fan of Taylor Swift since she became famous. She made average but catchy music that I would always end up humming at a later point, and was nothing special but was generically inoffensive.

Also, she was a non-sexualised, intelligent role model for girls – which is always something positive.

Although she did have songs that praised her ‘wearing sneakers’ and ‘sitting on the bleachers’ rather than wearing high heels or cheer-leading in a problematic depiction of girl on girl hate, but whatever – she was young, right?

But she has recently spawned into something awful, beyond just her white feminist values, but being so blinded by her own fame she believed herself untouchable.

Taylor was brought back to reality by Kim Kardashian’s fool-proof evidence of Taylor’s lies against Kanye, and crushed the curated image of the victimised little girl and showed the world the truth of Taylor’s false and dangerously orchestrated image.

Now, Kanye’s use of the word ‘bitch’ to describe Taylor is offensive, and the use of the word by men is a minor logistical part of sexism that I am uncomfortable with. So if she was unaware of this line then I appreciate her annoyance.

However, she never said it was the use of misogynistic language, but argued that she was never told about it, and never agreed to the lyrics saying Kanye made her famous. She even alluded to it in her Grammy acceptance speech, saying that ‘people will try and take credit for your fame and success’ and preached to women to stay strong. Removing any ambiguity to the fact she was taking an issue with the whole lyric, not just ‘bitch’.

Tearing down a black man for being misogynistic and cruel, while victimising yourself as an innocent white woman being preyed on, creates an uncomfortable racial edge which is only heightened when it’s revealed that she in fact lied about it.

A line that succinctly sums it up in this article put it into perspective for me, ‘In 2016, [Taylors] get people fired. In 1916, [Taylors] got people lynched.’

Taylor labels herself a protector of women’s rights, along with her ‘girl crew’ of Lena Dunham and other White Feminists™. When in reality, Kim Kardashian is a far better and real version of feminism than Taylor ever will be.

Although not perfect, she has risen from the misogynistic ashes of her sex tape used to smear her name, and created an empire around herself.

She has taken autonomy of her own body – defining the sexual side of feminism, and how women can love their body and project it outwards, as long as they own their own rights and the image isn’t created by the male gaze.

She has managed to create an image of herself and a version of feminism without being outwardly vicious to many other people, (Amber Rose being an exception, which she partially rectified).

Taylor has been outed as a falsely victimized, mean girl, white feminist – and it makes perfect sense as to why she’s been leaving such a bad taste in my mouth for a few months. She wasn’t the young, country girl from 2009 – she was very much a mean girl who knew how to manipulate the media for her own means, and throwing other people and including women (Katy Perry) under the bus while doing so.

Taylor, your facade is over and the dream is gone – you can keep your version of ‘feminism’ because it’s not working for me, or apparently for you anymore.

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Why Women in Power Doesn’t Equate to Feminism

It’s 2016, and the world is on the brink of being run by a lot of women in high places.

Theresa May takes the role as recent Prime Minster, Hillary Clinton as likely and predicted (according to current opinion polls) president of the United States, Angela Eagle a potential labour leader in the recent vote of no confidence, and with Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood needing a brief mention as women who are more progressive and awe-inspiring than the leaders of the ‘free world’.

Surely, this idea should bring joy, with the possibilities ranging from every side of an albeit white woman in a position of significant power.

But it’s undoubtedly a shallow victory.

Focussing more upon the US and UK leaders, of Theresa May and Hillary Clinton – these are not women who have views to support women or the ideological left.

Unsurprisingly, Margaret Thatcher is hardly heralded as the feminist icon of the 80s, stating herself she ‘owed nothing to women’s lib’ – throwing women under the bus as soon as she had the chance. Freezing child benefits, criticising working mothers and wholeheartedly supporting the efficiency of a man over a woman.

The idea of being an ‘iron lady’ is where the issue lies. Compassion is seen as a weakness in women, a typical female feature that would ‘cloud’ their judgement in times of extreme pressure and need. So do women of power become this ruthless, cruel persona to prove wrong the men who decide their path to the top?

I’d argue it’s not necessary, but within the system is it needed to prove your female worth?

Theresa May is notoriously anti-immigration, parading a van with the slogan ‘go home or get arrested’ directed towards illegal immigrants. And her ideas of promoting gay rights is questionable – voting against local authorities ‘promoting homosexuality’, against gay adoption in 2002, and only dropped her opposition to gay marriage in 2013…hardly a shining resume.

Although she has spent time on promoting funding for rape crisis centres and dealings of domestic abuse cases by the police, it still falls short – surely that is the minimum should expect rather than applauding?

She continues to pedal the cuts that severely hit the less fortunate sector of society, with a high proportion of BAME women being hit, because – fundamentally, you can’t be a tory AND a feminist.

Angela Eagle is a politician who I willed forward previously, but her Machiavellian tearing down of Corbyn, who has worked furiously to protect all women within society, has made me question her judgement slightly.

And Hillary Clinton’s chokingly white feminist ideals can’t cover up her support for acts such as her 2008 campaign focussing rhetoric around getting rid of Muslims and Mexicans, and her unanimous support for the Iraq war. Clinton is the lesser of two evils, but one that is grown from rich, white privilege and is far too right wing to be lorded as the feminist’s dream.

Women are getting into positions of power, but at what cost? Giving fuel to the argument ‘sexism is over’ while the females in power pedal the institutions that perpetuate the levels of misogyny and oppression which prevent equality to ever be obtained.