Why We Shouldn’t Forgive Taylor Swift
Since her musical debut in 2004, Taylor Swift has been making pop culture headlines. In the decade that she has been an active musician, Swift has caused a lot of controversy, from her feud with Kanye West to the debate about the cultural appropriation in her music videos. However, after the recent debut of her album Reputation in 2017, which became one of the 2017’s best selling records, Swift seems to have “redeemed” herself, and now is considered one of the most popular musicians ever.
Just because the media seems to forgive Taylor Swift for her past scandals, however, does not mean she has earned it. Though I’m all for a good revenge album, Swift’s success is most often directly tied to her putting down other people; it seems she’s always working backwards, rather than moving forward. Taylor Swift may be framing Reputation as her way of turning over a new leaf and leaving her bad reputation behind her – but how much has she actually changed? And can we even forgive her for her past mistakes?
What Really Matters
I’ll be the first to admit that people who hate Taylor Swift often hate her for the wrong reasons. The media likes to joke about how Swift uses her past relationships for inspiration and as such has called her a man-eater (and many other words we shouldn’t repeat). I don’t think this is right – she has just as much right to write about her heartbreak as every other musician who does it.
To give her credit, Taylor Swift covers this open and honestly: she’s actively worked to dismantle the sexism of these comments and has even proclaimed herself to be a feminist. Since 2015, she’s branded herself as a “woman who supports women.” But is she?
In reality, there is little that Swift has actually done for the feminist movement. She really only supports a certain type of woman, and it seems that a lot of women do not fit this role. Though she’s posted pictures on social media, she has not really supported any actual change. Yet her whole brand is about supporting the feminist movement.
The Revenge Story
Swift constantly conveys the message that you have to burn bridges between your enemies. For certain situations, of course I understand, (I’m on her side about Kanye West, for sure), but there comes a point where you can argue that Taylor Swift teaches you how to hate instead of how to move on. When you consider songs like Kesha’s “Praying,” that teach both forgiveness and retribution, it’s hard not to find Swift just a little tired.
Taylor Swift definitely has some bops that I can get behind, but we have to recognize that she is not that different from any other artist. She just seems to be another artist that will fall in and out of favor until she is forgotten.