Remember when people would use words like boy-crazed and serial dater to define Taylor Swift? Or maybe you thought she was the perfect break-up song artist? Well, that Taylor Swift is no longer, as she has been replaced with the new feminist Taylor Swift — and she is awesome. Gone are the albums where each song was allegedly about a different ex, because Swift's new album, 1989 , is all about empowering women, and Swift herself. Don't believe me? Listen closely to her lyrics, because the entire album is essentially a letter to the haters, saying she doesn't give a Swift about who you think she is dating, how many people she has dated, or even needing a guy to be happy. Say hello to feminist Swift.
When "Out of the Woods" was released, I was a little worried the T-Swift we had seen in interviews was just a figment of our feminist imagination, as it didn't scream stamped with a Ruth Bader Ginsburg seal of approval (if only that existed). But before that, there was "Shake It Off," which was an epic f*ck off song to those that criticized Swift for her lifestyle. So which was it going to be?
Look, not every song is screaming feminism, and I don't expect it to. While there are a few songs that seem to err on the side of the male dependent nature of her past albums ("How You Get A Girl"), others are totally empowering to women. Swift's messages in the album are obvious: don't listen to the haters, do what ever the hell you want, and do what makes you happy — whether that means being single, getting a lob, and buying a cat (a la, Swift recently) or, dating whoever you want to date and not feeling like you need to answer to anyone.
Let's look at some of Swift's best feminist lyrics in 1989.
"You look like my next mistake"
Got a long list of ex-lovers/ They’ll tell you I’m insane/ But I’ve got a blank space baby/ And I’ll write your name.
If you're a woman and a guy looks like your next mistake, but you decide to go for it anyway, more power to you, girlfriend! Likewise, I love that she admits to having a "long list of ex-lovers" (whether she does or is just playing into the media's perception of her love life) but she is just saying "screw it" and dusting off the ole pen to write down the next mistake. Because she can do whatever the hell she wants.
"All You Had To Do Was Stay"
People like you always want back the love they pushed aside/ But people like me are gone forever/ When you say goodbye.
If a guy screws it up and says "goodbye", she isn't going to be waiting around for him to come back to her. She is moving on, and "gone forever".
"Shake It Off"
I go on too many dates [chuckles]
We've listened to this song a million times by now, but the message behind it never gets old. This wink that T-Swift gives all those crazy media outlets that say she is a serial dater says that she hears it, but she isn't going to let it get to her, because she is above the haters.
"I Know Places"
Let them say what they want/ We won't hear it
Oh man, this song is so good. Again with the "say what you want" motto that Swift adopted in her new album, she knows that the rumors and judgement that people pass on her — even though they don't know her life — are just that, words, and she doesn't need to hear it. She is her own person, powerful in her own ways, and she is going to rise above the comments unfazed.
And by morning, gone was any trace of you/ I think I am finally clean.
She doesn't need a guy! Gone are the "scars" and "bruises" that it seems every person has ever written about in songs, because Swift is clean.