There is a trend unfolding in front of my academic eyes that I must gossip about, or else I’ll incite a Facebook Revolution.
So, I have been busy reading some of those hardcore feminist blogs and columns, and really, some of them are quite entertaining on their own terms. Take this for example. About a year ago, when this article was written, Maren H, the author of this highly thrilling column, starts off by saying „I don’t hate Taylor Swift“, then goes on to bashing her to bits to the ground, not leaving room for a leap of faith at least, that maybe, this girl does do music that’s soothing to the ears. As if there is a fixed set of requirements for an artist to be considered „worthy of a Grammy“, Maren continues to express her anger at the fact that she had won album of the year at the Grammy’s in 2010, an „honour that had previously been bestowed upon the likes of Ray Charles, U2, Norah Jones, Bob Dylan, JOHN FREAKING LENNON, Michael Jackson, Alanis Morissette“. Maren’s claims are the following:
– success in the music industry isn’t really dependent on any actual talent anymore
I’ll give Maren that. But – let’s exclude the „anymore“. It has always been like this. So, the argument stands there naked, unworthy of any critique.
Then comes her more interesting critique and the one that many feminist blogs have been talking about ever since our little songbird grabbed the international microphone:
– Little Taylor secretly strengthens the Madonna / Whore Complex: “the deep dichotomy in modern culture used to oppress women via a sexual double standard, establishing rigid categories for female sexual behaviour while permitting male sexual behaviour to range from abstinence to promiscuity without similary disparaging social judgement.”
Not to mention that Grammy’s do not choose based on lyrics or personal character, feminist critics continue to reduce Taylor to what she sings about – a girl who „has spent her entire life waiting for phone calls and dreaming about horses and sunsets.“ The condescendence is obvious. Yet I find it hard to agree to the claim that America, and most of all Grammy voters, do not want to believe in those clichés anymore, that overnight America has let go of the annual Oscars to show its appreciation for movies such as „The Blind Side“ or „Slumdog Millionaire“, which are fairytales in their worst shape. Little Taylor’s lyrical talents do not reach up to Bob Dylan’s eclectic songs, I admit, but how come that what she does is more annoying than having your whole nation feel exceptionally fascinated with „Avatar“, a story on the American Knight Complex, that on top of that gets banned in China for its implications which never become that obvious to many American reviews of the same movie? Or movies such as „Slumdog Millionaire“, written by an American from an American point of view, which still viewed India as this hell-like place on Earth (just very different from the US), that only with the power of love you can get out any misery you’ve been put yourself?
The American film industry has an as strong influence on people’s behaviour, if not stronger, than any Taylor Swift album of the year at a venue that rarely gets followed that closely overseas, not as much as the Oscars anyway. In Germany, I don’t even get to see the Grammy’s live, so much for its popularity and range of importance.
So, really, the critique is falsely positioned. Even mine so far. The American film industry is like an artificial sweetener, in that it’s in everything and turns every reality into either a Disney-related, hope-giving happy ending, or into a dramatic apocalpytic tale that can only be told by heroes who have survived with the help of their overly common principles like „loyalty to oneself“, whose existence I highly refute and would despise if.
Or, another influencing industry would be that of the kids’: We’ve all had a girlfriend who posted „I blame Disney for my high expectations of men“ after each breakup.
And that of men: Pornography, the perfect scapegoat for their high expectations of women.
Soon, Lady Gaga will be blamed for every sexually depressed, weird, bipolar girl out there who likes to wear actual telephones on her head.
So, by now, I hope you will have come to the same conclusions I had come to before I decided to write this article: that feminists are self-important cunts, that romantic people should sue Disney and men should title their porn videos according to the current state of the majority of women’s stance on world domination (thank you for that, Beyoncé): Independent, career-oriented Girl rides Guy to death.
So, Taylor, poor girl, I’m going to let you finish this time.
For another fun feminist read: riese on Autostraddle