Whether you love or hate her music, you have to admit that Taylor Swift has created some of the most empowering songs ever written. Not only are her songs fun and entertaining, but there is often hidden meaning behind the lyrics. What may at first seem like just a song actually has some feminist undertones.
1. “No one likes a mad woman / You made her like that.”
In my opinion, the song “mad woman” from Taylor Swift’s album folklore is grossly underrated. It tells a story of figurative and literal witches being hunted by the patriarchy, made up of both men and women. Not only does this song draw on underrated feminist themes, but the lyrics are just so melodic. This lyric in particular, so short and sweet, best exemplifies the song’s feminist themes.
2. “I’ve been Miss Misery for the last time.”
This lyric comes from Taylor Swift’s newest released song from her vault, “Mr. Perfectly Fine.” Although this song is filled with plenty of angst and heartbreak, this one lyric is all about empowerment. Not only does the speaker take control over her story, but she vows to change her life for the better.
3. “There goes the maddest woman this town has ever seen / She had a marvelous time ruining everything.”
This lyric comes from another song from the folklore album, “last great american dynasty.” The whole song is a story inspired by the life of Rebekah Harkness, a famous socialite that used to live in Taylor Swift’s current home. In Taylor’s narrative, Rebekah is depicted as a feisty feminist intent on living her best life. This specific lyric is one of the most popular cited from the album, with good reason.
4. “We all know now, we all got crowns / You need to calm down.”
Not only has the song “You Need to Calm Down” from the album Lover has become a gay anthem, but everyone can really feel empowered by the lyrics. This particular lyric celebrates what makes everyone special and the futility of women competing against one another. The whimsical, peppy background sounds don’t hurt either!
5. “Pushed from the precipice / Climbed right back up the cliff / Long story short, I survived.”
folklore‘s sister album, evermore, is equally full of feminist bops. For example, “long story short” is not only full of whimsical Alice in Wonderland references but underneath the obvious references are strong feminist messages. This song is all about finding the inner strength to keep going no matter how many people doubt you. It’s definitely a positive message that all women can appreciate!
6. “I forgot that you existed / It isn’t love, it isn’t hate / It’s just indifference.”
“I Forgot That You Existed” is part of Taylor Swift’s album, Lover, and unfortunately no one ever talks about what a feminist bop this is! While the Lover album is best known for its soft, romantic vibes, “I Forgot That You Existed” stands out for its sassy and unapologetic appeal. This lyric in particular discusses how freeing it is when we as women stopping caring about how society perceives us.
7. “But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time / Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time.”
“Look What You Made Me Do” is a track from Taylor Swift’s Reputation album, one of her most experimental and badass albums thus far. This entire song is filled with empowering lyrics, so it’s difficult to choose just a few. However, the raw and powerful energy in this specific lyric really stands out. It draws on themes of women’s fortitude, individual strength, and ability to adapt to toxic environments.
8. “There’s no time for tears / I’m just sitting here planning my revenge.”
“Picture to Burn” is a song from one of Taylor’s earliest albums, in fact, named after herself. This was one of the first Taylor Swift songs I ever heard, and I immediately fell in love with the empowering story she tells in it. Not only is it about a woman reinventing herself after a bad breakup, but the song contradicted a lot of popular post-breakup songs of its time that instead explored feeling sad versus powerful. Instead of reusing the old trope of a woman in a song crying over her ex, in “Picture to Burn,” Taylor Swift makes the woman stand up for herself instead.
9. “If a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing / I don’t regret it one bit, ’cause he had it coming.”
This fiery lyric comes from “I Did Something Bad,” another empowering song from the album Reputation. This song deals with women having to deal with manipulative men and figuring out how to best overpower them. In this lyric, the female speaker is reclaiming her power and taking a stand. Talk about an uplifting moment!
10. “I’m so sick of running as fast I can / Wondering if I’d get there quicker / If I was a man.”
This is arguably Taylor Swift’s most empowering lyric to date. It’s from the song “The Man,” one of the most beloved songs from the album Lover. This specific lyric is so iconic, as well as the music video that Taylor Swift directed herself. The entire song is a statement on male privilege and how the patriarchy has infiltrated society. If this song isn’t on one of your playlists, take my advice and add it right now.