Yet Another Open Letter to Taylor Swift, aka, DAMMIT, TAYLOR, DO WE HAVE TO KEEP DOING THIS?
First, she came for our John Mayer, and I did nothing, because “Room for Squares” was, like, a really long time ago.
Then, she came for Jake Gyllenhaal, and I did nothing, because I didn’t really care.
Then she came for Amy and Tina.
I swear to God, sparkles. I will strike you down. So help me.
So, Swifty Lazar, in your new Vanity Fair interview, you acted pretty hunty. Which was actually refreshing, except you were whiny. Which is fine, I don’t think famous people should be above whining. But the things you chose to whine about? Dear Christ, child.
And there’s a lot of “dear Christ, child” moments in this interview. I will be bolding my favorites.
“[T]he fact that there are slide shows of a dozen guys that I either hugged on a red carpet or met for lunch or wrote a song with… it’s just kind of ridiculous.” As she sits drinking lavender lemonade in her “Tim Burton-Alice in Wonderland-pirate ship-Peter Pan” apartment, Swift continues, “It’s why I have to avoid the tabloid part of our culture, because they turn you into a fictional character.” When Sales asks Swift if she’s boy-crazy, Swift smiles. “For a female to write about her feelings, and then be portrayed as some clingy, insane, desperate girlfriend in need of making you marry her and have kids with her, I think that’s taking something that potentially should be celebrated—a woman writing about her feelings in a confessional way—that’s taking it and turning it and twisting it into something that is frankly a little sexist.”
Okay, that was only the second paragraph of the interview, and I’m already done with you. A) Of course you were drinking lavender lemonade (which sounds delicious, actually, and I’m a tad parched if you want to pass some this way) in your ridiculous lady-child apartment. Because of course you were, leading to B) YOU HAVE TURNED YOURSELF INTO A FICTIONAL CHARACTER, YOU TWEE TWIT OF A TEACUP DOILY. You have fabricated an entire existence based on Anthropologie showrooms and woe-is-me heartbreak songs. That is not a vicious act of a cruel, unforgiving, misogynist media. That is what you, YOU, have delivered to us on a silver fucking platter, adorned with Lisa Frank dolphins. These are not out-of-context, misquoted references—these are songs you, YOU, wrote, with heart-dotted ‘i’s and daisies in each corner. That is the persona you have generated, profited off of and served out to tween and teen girls like maple-soaked candy violets in the world’s most adorable lunch line.
You do not get to act somehow hurt by your own message. Release a single about not needing a man, or going out with friends or literally anything other than about someone not loving you, and then we’ll talk.
Now, let’s talk sexism, and let’s start with the Tiffany-blue straw that broke the vintage sock monkey camels’ back:
“You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people,” Taylor Swift tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Nancy Jo Sales on the subject of mean girls in general and in response to an incident at this year’s Golden Globes, where Amy Poehler and Tina Fey mocked her highly scrutinized love life. “Because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved, that said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’”
First and foremost, you just came for two of the most universally beloved, highly respected women in the entertainment industry and beyond, women who ignite passion and hope in young girls, inspiring them to be more than just sweet and pretty, letting them yearn for more than just the insipid notion of longing for boys to love and fulfill them. And you came for them with that garbage?
Fucking Taylor, god damn.
There is a legitimate issue of misogyny in entertainment, gossip culture and female society, perpetrated by our very own kind. This is true—anyone who went to high school knows it. But the idea that women need to stand by and support every single woman who comes along, based not on shared opinions or interests, but solely upon a shared genitalia, is ridiculous. People pulled that shit with Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann—I’m not doing this with you Taylor.
Yes, people pick on you because you are a woman who dates and hooks up a lot. I’m not gonna fault you for that. Get it, girl. And that aspect of criticism against you is not fair—however, again, you invite it. You bring it on yourself, painting yourself as this innocent virgin, “the girl in the dress” who “cried the whole way home,” lambasting these hypothetical other girls in your songs because you’re not like them, you’re better than them, and, yet, somehow these boys just don’t like you like they like them.
The issue is not that you are a woman. It is not that you are a slut. Far from it. The issue is that you are a hypocrite. A smug, nose-in-the-air hypocrite who puts on this front that you’re just one of the girls, just like your young, YOUNG, IMPRESSIONABLE, fans. But you’re not. The facade is cracking. You imply that there’s a special place in hell for two women who have done more for womankind than your Moleskin dream journal could ever imagine just because they made a totally innocent joke about you. You thank your fans for having your back when that mean, horrid beloved icon responded to their joke by saying he didn’t want his son as a subject of one of your songs, when apparently “having your back” meant making unfathomable Parkinson’s jokes until he called you and apologized to call off the troops.
Taylor, you need to take a good look at your image—the one YOU have perpetuated. If you don’t like the way the media is portraying you, fix it. Stop bearding every young performer with a gay rumor on his Tumblr dash. Stop writing poor-me songs and grow the fuck up, because, seriously, boys just cannot matter that much. And, if you do like it, if you like who you are, the songs you write and the image you’ve meticulously crafted, then who fucking cares if people don’t like it?
Hmm. That sounds familiar. I wonder who once said something to that effect…
And while we’re rolling along on the Amy Poehler quote machine, Taylor, I invite you to grow a pair. And if not, Tina and Amy can lend you theirs.