The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Or is she?
Taylor Swift has had her long share of criticism from feminists and misogynists alike. She has been called out for only writing songs about men while also representing what it means to be a powerful woman in a male-dominated field. Looking at her journey with feminism, through her public persona and her personal lyrics, I don’t think it’s fair to call her a feminist icon. She only recently started speaking out about feminism, and even what she has said hasn’t exactly been radical in any sense. Sure, “The Man” highlights the double standards she and many others have faced, but does one song make someone a feminist icon?
I don’t think Taylor Swift is a feminist icon. I think she is a feminist. And that’s more inspirational.
The conversation of Taylor Swift’s feminism really comes down to the fact that she is a just woman figuring out life one song at a time. She doesn’t need to be a feminist icon to do good for the feminist movement. Rather than being the model of what perfect feminism looks like, Taylor is showing her fans what real feminism looks like. Through her music, the fans are able to watch her grow and progress from a teenager being consumed by romance and is a “good girl,” to someone who talks about sex and inequality. Her feminist journey is not perfect, but it does show how much she is trying to be a better feminist.
And for those who argue that Taylor isn’t a feminist at all, I raise a question: What makes writing about relationships anti-feminist? We cannot be caught up in the idea that good feminists don’t need men. Singing along to a Taylor Swift song can be empowering and make women (or anyone for that matter) feel seen. We need to start looking at feminism not through a lens of hatred, but rather a lens of love. Once that happens, I think it will be clear that Taylor Swift is not only a feminist, but encourages her listeners to be feminists as well.
We don’t all need to be feminist icons, but we do all need to be feminists.