Taylor Swift-- Gender Pollution

February 8, 2010
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Taylor Swift is quickly becoming as omnipresent as Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers. I turn on the T.V. and see her sliding across a stage like Tom Cruise in Risky Business so that she can promote Guitar Hero. I turn on the radio and I hear her childlike voice serenading the world. I can foresee Taylor Swift Barbie dolls™ lining up store shelves in a year's time. Welcome to Taylor Mania.
Do you remember how everyone first fell in love with Taylor Swift? She won our hearts with the
Photo credit: Tabitha M.,
Kannapolis, NC
laid-back, country-feel of "Our Song," back in 2006. But, her following singles have a different feel to them. She moaned to us about Drew breaking her heart in "Teardrops on My Guitar." She then illustrated for us a fairytale romance between a modern day Romeo and Juliet in "Love Story," although Juliet spends 90% of the song waiting around for Romeo. Taylor pines away for a boy who obviously isn't interested in her in "You Belong with Me." In "Fifteen," Ms. Swift blabs about a poor freshman girl and "politely" tells the whole world that fifteen year-old Abigail was nothing but a booty call.
What do Taylor's songs suggest? Girls and young women generally are portrayed as objects used by guys and easily disposed of. We girls are supposed to sit down and cry on our guitars when the Drew's of the world (and boy are there quite a few of them) hurt us. We're supposed to "cry on the staircase begging [Romeo] 'please don't go'," and after getting "tired of waiting, wondering if [he was] ever coming around," we're supposed to forgive him two seconds after he returns because supposedly, he spent all of the time that he was away "talking to our dad" (... right). Instead of moving on with out lives when a guy doesn't like us, we have no option but to wait as long as it takes for him to realize that he "belongs with us." Oh, and "when we're fifteen and someone tells us they love us, we're gonna believe them." No ifs, ands, or buts.
Now, don't get me wrong; I truly believe that Taylor Swift is a talented songwriter. In fact, she writes more candidly than most musicians out there. But, her talent is wasted on songs that leave little room to encourage young, blossoming girls and women. Rather than showing us that we don't need the guys that will hurt and use us, her songs suggest that we are the victims of an inevitable fate: guys will continually break us down. Even if we often do find ourselves heart-broken because of a guy, we do not need to STAY heart-broken. I'm not here to bash Taylor, but how about some songs that prove how strong we young women really are? Let's not sit around crying forever because "it's too late for him and his white horse to come around." Let's stand proud as we filter the losers and duds out of our lives. Maybe his white horse isn't coming around, but we can wait for the stallions.

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This article has 18 comments. Post your own now!

vazenitran98 said...
Dec. 28, 2011 at 11:48 am
This article is beautifully written and doesn't show signs of negativity towards Taylor Swift. I wish other people's opinions would be as well written as this.
josikevan said...
May 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm
I would have to disagree with you. Yes I am a fan of Taylor Swift, but I honestly believe that her songs are made to tell us what is awaiting in our lives. She explains how so many things can happen in our lives and how we must be able to overcome them not matter how much pain. She also writes how we all wish we can have a fairytale life, and that one day we will. I LOVE Taylor Swift songs and she is a great role model
NicoleS This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm

im going to have to disagree on this one, and not just because im 16 and every 16 year old girl loves taylor swift

i dont think that her songs give negative impressions to girls- at all. hearing her songs, i have never felt the way you do, that her songs are saying that we are supposed to submit ourselves to boys, like "cry on the staircase begging [Romeo].."

her  songs have never made me feel badly about myself the way the article implied- if anything, they act as s... (more »)

normgrl replied...
Apr. 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm
It was a nicely written article, I have to say. But I also have to admit with NicoleS with the fact that Taylor's songs allow a girl to be able to relate to them with their very own problems that they may be going through in terms of guys. Aside from their friends support and encouragement at tough times(and sometimes people think that their friends may be saying that just because, well...because they're your friends), I guess it's safe to say that the song's make them feel even bett... (more »)
chocolatechip said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 10:46 am
wow!!! you are right (you must get that alot) about the white horse and all and guys that will hurt us but now a days the musicans in society tend to write about finding love the never write about the truth wat happens after you find love , how to deal with it all, how hard  it will be and all.They write about the good times .But non e the less you are right you stole the word right out of my omuth.hahahahahahahah( you must have heard that one before )
pencils_4_hands This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 16, 2010 at 7:35 pm
stole the words right otu of my mouth.. tagged this in my faves :) ur officially my hero
ReflectionsofYou said...
Jun. 1, 2010 at 8:26 am

Good points. I like Taylor, but she does limit herself to writing about boys.... She has a reason, I know, but I'd like to hear about something else...

 A few songs for you to look up on youtube--

 "Anthem", "bowlingball", and "wishes"-- by superchick


Keilah This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm
Looooove Superchick!  Great recommendations! :)
ZadaRox101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm
Wow. You said that better than I ever could have. I feel the exact same way. I love her songs, but she ttly wasted her career on guys.
kenziep. said...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 5:10 pm
If you think she is talented and good then why are you complaining about every little thing she writes about in her songs??? I like Taylor Swift. But the way you look at a song maybe different of her purpose and meaning of the song she wrote. I know you said you are not trying to talk bad about her but that is how it sounds a little bit.
MMAGirl replied...
Nov. 22, 2010 at 9:23 am
Because you can think someone's talented without liking what they sing about. Think about it: Have you ever listened to a song, thought the singer was talented but hated the song? Um, I'm sure you have. Don't get all uptight when someone says something you don't like about one of your favorite singers when they have a legitimate reason for not liking them. Seriously.
Angel*music*lover This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 18, 2010 at 9:35 am
I dissagree with you. I think Taylor Swift is amazing. Taylor is all about love, and just because she writes about what she feels... Give her and Miley a break.
Austenesque replied...
Feb. 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm
I never said that Taylor Swift wasn't amazing. Lots of artists sing about love; I just think she's encouraging a negative image for girls. Her songs are rarely, if ever, empowering and I'm arguing merely that it would not hurt if she sang a song or two that showed us girls that it's not the end of the world if a guy doesn't love us or that we're beautiful with or without a guy.
MMAGirl replied...
Nov. 22, 2010 at 9:26 am
Taylor Swift is NOT all about love. For every one love song, she has about ten break-up "I hate you" songs. Austenesque, I completely agree with you! There are so many other female singers (like Superchic[k], Barlow Girl, Carrie Underwood, Demi Lovato even) that are better role models for girls. At least they sing about more than just love and when they do sing about love, they sing two-sided songs.
QuestionAuthority said...
Feb. 14, 2010 at 8:53 pm
This was very well written and I totally agree with you :)
Haha that's ironic, As soon as I finished reading your article an ad came on the side of the web page advertising a trip to see Taylor Swift performing in LA lol
esist said...
Feb. 10, 2010 at 5:52 pm
Haha, yeah I do have to agree with you. She could write books about love songs and have sequels after sequels of them.
!~Totally agree with you~!
slightlymad said...
Feb. 9, 2010 at 8:44 pm
SOAD is great. They're a band for all genders and (almost) all ages.
Austenesque replied...
Feb. 10, 2010 at 6:12 am
Maybe not all ages, haha, but yes they are a great band :D
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