I confronted a guy who tried to cut me in the Immigrations line at Bandaranike International Airport in Sri Lanka a few months ago. He fired back by calling me Taylor Swift...
I was all, "Taylor Swift IS the music industry. I don't see how that's a diss."
His second clever retort: "You think you're Taylor Swift, in your ELEPHANT SKIRT?"
Why, yes. I was wearing an elephant skirt. I bought it for about $2 in Krabi, Thailand, and it's long enough to double as a dress!
Regardless of your thoughts on elephant skirts, I think we can all agree that Tay Tay rocks. She's a savvy businesswoman. She's a feminist who fights for women's rights. She donated $250,000 to Kesha after she was drugged, raped and abused by Dr. Luke; took pervy ex-radio host David Mueller to court for groping her (during the trial, she made many powerful statements, including, "“I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is anyway my fault because it isn't.”); and donates to sexual assault survivors.
Which is why I was surprised, then disappointed, by her new song, Gorgeous -- which is creepy, victim-blamey, pathetic, and neg-y.
Here's the lyric video.
Sure, it's catchy.
But if a dude were to sing those lyrics, feminists would be pissed, for several reasons:
1. The weird victim blame-y stuff.
Consider the following lines:
You should think about the consequence
And you should think about the consequence
This is some creepy-ass shit.
And I've heard creepy-ass dudes say very similar things to me. Here's a lovely little excerpt of an email an ex friend-of-a-friend sent me after he sat in a dark corner waiting for me to fall asleep, then crawled into my bed and started rubbing my back:
Consider how you make eye contact with men. You are a magnificent woman, physically, mentally, and emotionally. When a woman like you looks at a man, deeply, she needs to be very careful and very responsible, otherwise havoc can ensue. When a man who never thought he had a chance with a woman of your calibre begins to think that you are considering him, he might 'fall head over heals,' and when you tell him that you don't want him, he might go crazy. Be careful! You have amazing power.
Honestly, when I heard "Gorgeous," my first thought was, "Did Joao quit his night job of assaulting people and start writing lyrics for Taylor Swift?"
It also kind of directly contradicts what Swift told David Mueller's attorney, Gabe McFarland, when he asked Swift if she had any feelings about Mueller losing his job for sexually assaulting her.
Swift's reply: "I’m not going to let you or your client make me feel in any way that this is my fault. Here we are years later, and I’m being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are the product of his decisions—not mine.”
Should Taylor have thought about the consequence of her magnetic field? Should she have thought about the consequence of... being in a photo... with a perv?
And, look. I get that sometimes, lyrics sound a certain way. I was working on this duet a while back about a couple who had WAY too much fun together. One of the lines was, "I'd rather have a hundred bruises than to stay away from you."
I was talking about the kind of bruises you get from playing sports and exploring the outdoors... but once I realized how easily it could be misconstrued as an abusive relationship thing, I began rethinking the line.
I still haven't made a decision. Art is art, and artists are allowed to say whatever they want.
But it's hard to imagine an interpretation of these two lines that isn't totally gross.
2. The weird, entitled, hateful Elliot Rodger stuff.
The other person I thought might have helped Swift with her "Gorgeous" lyrics is the late Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old loser who killed six people and wounded fourteen others in the Isla Vista massacre.
Before killing himself, he left a creepy, gross "manifesto" that basically said:
You're so cool, it makes me hate you so much (I hate you so much)
You've ruined my life, by not being mine
And I'm so furious
If you've got a girlfriend, I'm jealous of her
You make me so happy it turns back to sad, yeah
I'm not going to link to the Elliot Rodger post. I'm not going to quote it. Because it was so disgusting, it ruined my day.
Just suffice it to say, it was 141 pages of "Gorgeous."
And plenty of men on social media sympathized.
And, again. Sure. Artists can say whatever they want, and people will always interpret things in ways you didn't expect.
But it's hard to imagine no one saw this interpretation coming.
Quick reminder: no one is entitled to any one else's love, sex, or attention. Whether you're male or female, gay or straight, cis or trans. No one owes you shit. (See also: Dear Dudes: If You Think Women Are The Problem, YOU Are The Problem.)
3. The mind games and negging.
For those who don't know, here's a webcomic that explains "negging":
Some feminists would go so far as to call negging "abuse." Personally, I don't see it that way, and I object to taking words that mean an important and specific thing ("racism," "violence," "abuse," "gaslighting")... and watering them down till they mean nothing.
Nevertheless, I would never, ever date someone who thought it was cute or clever or a good idea to neg me. A guy tried once. Here's what happened, as I wrote in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Gif All Women Need To See ASAP:
I was playing frisbee with a friend of mine and a dude we'd met in a cafe. Though he'd been nice all afternoon, he suddenly started negging me.
No, I'm not down with negging -- even when Taylor Swift is the one doing it:
You should take it as a compliment
You should take it as a compliment
And, like, sure. Maaaybe what she means is that they've achieved a level of closeness in which this isn't "negging," but "teasing." Maybe this is just a bizarre form of positive politeness (not to be mistaken for negative politeness -- e.g., saying please and thank you).
But... that's not what it feels like.
And I don't like it.
"Gorgeous" is like a much more pathetic and creepy version of Radiohead's Creep:
They've even got some extremely similar lines, like:
"You're so cool, it makes me hate you so much" vs. "You're so fuckin' special I wish I was special."
"You make me so happy it turns back to sad, yeah" vs. "Your skin makes me cry."
"You're so gorgeous I can't say anything to your face" vs. "When you were here before Couldn't look you in the eye."
For good measure, it's also got a touch of Blank Space:
"Cherry lips, crystal skies, I could show you incredible things" vs. "Whiskey on ice, Sunset and Vine, You've ruined my life, by not being mine"
Which is fine, right? I mean, as I wrote in Taylor Swift's New Single, "Look What You Made Me Do," Is The ULTIMATE Example of A/B Testing:
Blank Space reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 -- following Shake It Off. Swift became the first woman in the Hot 100's 56-year history to succeed herself at the top spot. It was also included in numerous year-end critics' lists and topped charts in Canada, South Africa and Australia.
If it works, keep doing it, right?
But as far as I'm concerned, this is definitely not working for me.
But I still love you, Taylor! (After all, you don't have to censor, disinvite, and hate other feminists, just because they disagree with you.)
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
Want to support The Happy Talent? CLICK HERE!
Or Find me on Patreon!
What's Popular on The Happy Talent:
Trending in Dating and Relationships:
What's Popular in Science:
Playfulness and Leisure Skills:
Popular in Psychology and Social Skills: