Friday, 17 June 2011

Taylor Swift, Slut-Shaming And Better Than Revenge Snarking

Watch out. She steals
sweet innocent virgins
on the playground.
It's no secret I dislike Taylor Swift. I won't go into all the reasons why since A) I have other things to say and B) Other writers have already explained it in much better terms than I would be able to. (Plus, that guy's article has a symbolic flow chart of eyeballs and princesses. You know the one).

But I can't let go of the whole brouhaha with "Better Than Revenge" (AKA Camilla Belle is oh-such-a-meanie-slut-who-stole-the-lovely-and-saintlike-Joe-Jonas-from-my-heavenly-clutches. Honey, it's more likely he left you because he didn't want to be featured in any more of your "country" songs).

It's not just the blatant slut-shaming and the idea that a grown woman who bitches about her ex's new girlfriend being a slut is the same woman who is being held up across America as the ideal role model for young children. It's that the Better Than Revenge lyrics - as well as that they should be blacklisted by the Council Of Half-Decent Music - also hold examples of hypocrisy, classism and creepy-clingy-girlfriend-ism;

Now go stand in the corner
And think about what you did


Wow, Taylor Swift is so incredibly mature and not childish and petty at all. I wish I could've had more role models like her as a child. Then maybe I'd be making millions by bitching about my exes. Sigh...

Ha, time for a little revenge


Yup, really seeing the maturity here.

The story starts when it was hot and it was summer,
And I had it all, I had him right there where I wanted him
She came along, got him alone and let's hear the applause
She took him faster than you can say sabotage.


Here's where it gets bad. Taylor Swift, your boyfriend is not your possession, and people do not steal him from you. You cannot hold people "right there where I wanted him" as if you owned him. Seriously, it's impossible to see why she's held up as so saint-like once her lyrics have been analyzed. If these lyrics were gender-flipped, and it was about a weak-willed woman being stolen from her boyfriend by another man, the artist might not be declared such a role model for young kids anymore.

Also, the idea that she's blaming the "other woman" entirely for her boyfriend's infidelity doesn't sit right.  The idea that "hey, maybe my boyfriend's a flaky idiot" never crosses the narrator's mind. In fact, the boyfriend doesn't get any elaboration throughout the lyrics apart from being the token "virtuous pretty boy stolen by the slut." The fact that the narrator finding it conceivable that her boyfriend either didn't fancy her or was being a dick, but that she instantly assumes that it was the evil slut who corrupted her perfect boyfriend sends out a disconcerting double-standard.

(Good news, adulterers! It's not your fault that you're cheating on your girlfriend! It's the mean girl in short skirts and low cut tops that manipulated you into ditching your partner!)

I never saw it coming, wouldn't have suspected it
I underestimated just who I was dealing with
She had to know the pain was beating on me like a drum
She underestimated just who she was stealing from


Again, with the "stealing" and "dealing with." Swift acts like her designer jewelry or pet poodle was stolen, rather than, y'know, a human being.

Yes, it's completely wrong to try and get with someone already in a relationship - the lyrics aren't clear as to whether the boyfriend and the girl where cheating on the narrator, or whether he simply left her for another girl - but still, unless you're dating a programmable robot, it's highly unlikely this woman deserves all the blame.

This is even more disconcerting than the Actress/Mattress stanza, not only because it seems to be ingrained into Taylor Swift's brain that the woman is obviously the slutty man stealer, and the man is obviously the corrupted innocent, but because she believes all of her listeners will immediately agree with this. (And sadly, to look at the sabotage on Camilla Belle's Wikipedia page, she was right).

She's not a saint, and she's not what you think
She's an actress, whoa
She's better known for the things that she does
On the mattress, whoa


Whoa, Swift, I know Camilla Belle isn't exactly the greatest of actress, but - oh wait, she's calling her a slut. I R DUM.

Here's the famous stanzas that's had feminists amongst myself up in arms. Slut-shaming at its most crudest.

I may be being overly nitpicky, but something else isn't right about this. The concept here is that Swift is hammily implying that Belle is a slag, but she is unable to say it outright. She's like a preteen embarrassed about giggling at naughty words like "sex" and "boobs." It's as though she's so afraid of being labelled inappropriate or "naughty" and instead clumsily implies the accusation instead of outright saying it. In a way, that's even more despicable than actively calling Belle a slut.

Soon she's gonna find stealing other people's toys
On the playground won't make her many friends
She should keep in mind, she should keep in mind
There is nothing I do better than revenge, ha


And once again, a boyfriend is not a toy to be stolen on the playground. And I very much doubt that is cheating ass was as innocent as a child's toy.

She lives her life like it's a party and she's on the list.
She looks at me like I'm a trend and she's so over it
I think her ever present frown is a little troubling
She thinks I'm psycho 'cause I like to rhyme her name with things.


... And I find it difficult not to be sympathetic towards Belle for that.

But sophistication isn't what you wear or who you know
Or pushing people down to get where you wanna go


This is the one line in the song that makes me laugh. Hypocrite much, Swift? Why write this song if not to push Belle down in order to sell records?

Oh, they didn't teach you that in prep school, so it's up to me
But no amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity


This is uncomfortably snobbish. Calling someone unsophisticated because of their background is out of order - whether wealthy or poor. Swift is no longer having a go at Belle for going out with Jonas, she's become unnecessarily bitchy by criticizing her background and personal life. It's dangerously close to bullying and an attitude that a woman who takes so much pride in her perfect role-model image should not be demonstrating.

*********

Am I overly critical here? Swift's attitude in these lyrics is a sharp contrast to the sweet innocent girl she is portrayed to be to create the mould she is slotted into to present her asa perfect role model.

42 comments:

  1. Really? Get a life and stop analyzing Taylor's.

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    1. yeh, don't actually THINK about the messages being fed to you, just mindlessly worship Taylor Swift.

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    2. maybe you like sluts better than you like people who get hurt because someone broke their heart and yes there is no better term than "steal" when it comes to a boyfriend being seduced by slutty bitches. At least Taylor has talent. unlike you who likes analyzing her songs like some stupid interpreter. Camilla Belle is indeed a slut, on number of occasions she has proved how easy she is.

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    3. There are much worse songs out there about "praise rape" and "cheat on your bitches", a song about some slut who stole a slut from a slut isn't as bad. Get the stick out of your ass and do something useful.

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  2. Really? Get a life and stop criticising people who are analysing Taylor's lyrics.

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  3. I really agree with your points! I can't believe that this anti-feminist, unmature and untalented girl is considered a role model. I feel like I'm not the only person, who feels like she isn't oh so innocent and genius...

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  4. And Taylor Swift wonders why Joe Jonas left her...

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  5. FUCK YOU Bitches you are just insecure of your lousy scheming life.I think you can also be subjected to pushing people down to get where you wanna go.Bcoz of saying this to swiftie Bullshit means.

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    1. haha wow...you're a fucking idiot

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  6. I don't think Joe cheated. I think he left before that could happen. I hate Taylor. She ruined this girl's image. She can't go anywhere without being hated because Taylor's stupid ass fans are everywhere.

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    1. Perhaps she should have thought of that before being a nasty boyfriend thief!

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  7. what makes me laugh is that whole video where she steals the cheerleaders boyfriend by being all kooky and virginal...like, it's ok to "steal" someones boyfriend if they're somewhat promiscuous/they don't dress in a covered up manner. "You belong with meeee!" "she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts!" and when the reverse happens she acts all angry? WTF?

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    1. It was obvious in that video that the cheerleader treated her boyfriend poorly and he didn't want to be with her anyway. Swift didn't steal anyone. He left of his own accord.

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    2. And how do you know It's not the case in this song just cause Taylor swift says so

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  8. No lies detected

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  9. This is why I hate Taylor Swift so much, she's such a slut-shaming hypocrite. And the people who defend her are just as equally idiotic. Living in a delusional world is gonna get you anywhere sweetheart. The world is a mean place and if you keep acting like an innocent little lamb, you might as well send yourself to the slaughterhouse. Damn, we need real music in this world

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    1. Actually she's one of the biggest stars on the planet. So I'd say whatever she's doing, it got her right where she wanted to be.

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  10. I listen to taylor swift and I like her..BUT I do not defend her actions..yeah, your points are right at how taylor brought belle's personal life into this song and all that. Taylor shouldn't have done this. And you're right about how she blames belle entirely for something that's entirely (Or mostly) Joe's fault. :) I don't know her as a person that well but I still think her songs are good :) (Ty, btw)

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  11. I think it's cause Taylor always needs someone to blame...In this case, I guess it was the new GF rather than the guy. No wonder she goes through guys like underwear, they all think she's psycho.

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  12. dude. shut up. She wrote the song, she sang the song, and she meant it. It doesn't matter if you or any other idiots like it or not. If your precious boyfriend was taken by another girl, you'd be pretty mad too, so shut up. >:/

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    1. Even if our opinion doesn't matter to you that doesn't mean we don't have a right to express it. Besides, Taylor could have just fumed and settled this matter privately but she wrote a song about it and put it out for people to hear, which means that criticism is inevitable.

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    2. This was actually a response to joe Jonas song about how much better his life is with camomile. I'm not defending Taylor but I don't see this guy analyzing Joe's song. He was the one to publicist this fuse.

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    3. joe's song was a response to taylor's forever and always song. And about the comment above, her boyfriend wasn't "taken" by another girl, that's impossible. You can't force someone to be with you... Joe fell in love with Camilla and broke up with taylor because he wanted to. He was not taken, stolen. grow the fuck up. swift fans are just as immature as taylor is. that's so annoying.

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  13. Yeah like you could write a song as good as as better than revenge... Better than revenge is just a fun song! Listen to Jonas Brothers song 'Much Better' about Taylor, thats a shitty song...

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    1. That's like saying I have to be a cook to tell someone their food tastes like shit.

      And both songs are equally shitty. Are you happy now?

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  14. errrr now that I know who that song is about I dont like Taylor Swift as much anymore, I'm pretty sure Camilla is not a slut like she's making her sound. Ugh grow up! & accept the fact that he left you bcos you're childish not bcos she sabotaged him.

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  15. First of all, haters gonna hate. What she wrote in the song was true. And it's not like she's all over Joe, which was and still is a complete douche. He was the one who broke up with her over the phone. I mean, who the hell does that? Taylor had every right to make that song and millions of people are standing right behind her with that. So go ahead, hate. And see how that contributes to the world of hatred.

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  16. I'd just like to point out that she DID blame Joe for what he did. Have you not heard what she said(and sang) about him? The comment about the Joe doll coming with a cell phone so he could break up with Barbie over text message(paraphrased, but that's the gist of it) and Forever and Always, was about Joe.

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  17. I'd also like to point out that her(Camilla) mother was a fashion designer and her father owned his own business, also she started appearing in print ads at 9 months. I doubt she was ever poor. And she attended prep school, that's what Taylor was poking at. She was saying it takes more than prep school to learn how to treat other people.

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  18. Taylor Swft didn't write the song to shame a girl for being sexual, which is fine. But, she wrote the song to get revenge on a girl for causing her ex to cheat on her. I'm very much against slut-shaming, but this wasn't it here. Taylor was giving out a dose of revenge to a nosy girl who got involved in a relationship when it wasn't her business. No slut-shaming here, just some deserved revenge.

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  20. I completely agree with everything you said. This is not "overly critical", you simply see what's actually there, and I command you for it.

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  21. I read this, and hang my head in shame. You put her down for seeming to bully, when you're doing the same thing. I'm not a die hard Taylor Swift fan. I enjoy some of her music, but I don't go out of my way to listen to it. So please, no replies saying I'm just defending her because I'm one of her crazed fans, because I'm not. I actually stopped and thought about the situation before getting mad about this song.

    Taylor actually wrote this song in 2008 after she found out Joe was leaving her for Camilla. Of course her feelings are going to be raw and full of anger. That's how girl's are when their 18. An 18 year old is hormone fueled and not by any means mature yet, so expecting this out of Taylor, just because she's famous, is idiotic.

    Using the phrase "stealing my boyfriend" isn't implying that a guy is an object, that's what people say when a girl or guy get's someone to go out with them even though their dating someone else. What better, to the point, way is there then saying stolen? Same with the line "stealing other people's toys on the playground". I admit, that did strike me as objectifying at first, but it's just a play on the fact that Joe was stolen from her, like how a kid steals another kids toy on a playground. When a kid does that, they run it, grab the toy, then run off. That's how Taylor saw this whole situation.

    She's hardly putting all the blame on Camilla. She's written more then one bashing song about Joe.

    The actress/mattress stanza. Most likely she put that in because mattress rhymes with actress, which is what Camilla is. Taylor was 18 and angry, while this is a low blow, what teenager doesn't think things exactly like this at someone their angry at, especially if that girl is someone your ex boyfriend left you for. She didn't want to say shes a slut outright because she has young girls, and maybe even guys, listening to her songs. She has to stay relatively clean for them, not because she wants to seem innocent.

    Taylor didn't write this song just to sell records, she's venting her anger so she can move past it. If it was just to sell records it would have come out a lot sooner then 2 years later. Some people scream, some people cry, Taylor writes songs. If that song happens to be good, why not publish it?

    "Calling someone unsophisticated because of their background is out of order". If someone acts unsophisticated then that's what they are. If I were to sleep around with a bunch of guys for fun, would I not be called a slut? Considering this song was written right after Taylor and Joe broke up, that is how Camilla seemed. It wasn't in her "background" at the time.

    So to answer your question, yes you are being over critical. I get the feeling that this was written right after you herd the song, and wanted to vent your opinions, which is exactly what Taylor did by writing this song. Instead of just going by what your first impression was, you need to stop and think about Swift's side of the story and how things are instead of just bashing her because you don't like her and got caught up in the moment. At least when it comes to Taylor doing that, it's just on paper, and there's no guarantee that the song will be good and get published. With you, however, your venting gets put on the internet right away, and you know it will. Everyone is human and by no means perfect, but just take a step back and look at all sides before reacting.

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  22. Taylor Swift flirts. After publicly humiliating Harry Styles at the Brit Awards she was flirting with his black friend Jordan Stephen of Rizzle Kicks. After whoring with so many white men it’s about time Taylor Swift started whoring with niggers as well.

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    1. I hope you feel proud of yourself seeing as you had to point out Harry's friend was in fact black.

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  23. Taylor Swift is a perfect example of the quote "Villainy wears many masks, none of which so dangerous as virtue."

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    1. couldn't agree more.

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  24. What I find so annoying about Taylor is that she never takes the blame for anything. She always has to be the "little innocent girl" whose heart was broken, when that's not the whole story. Worse than that is that there are people who actually buy that shit and think Swift's an angel.
    Swift got angry at Tina Fey and Amy Poeler (I don't know how to spell her name) after the Golden Globes because they made a joke about her love life, and then said to that magazine that "there is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women" like she is some kind of saint who is surely going to heaven. Like c'mon, is she helping Camilla with this song? I don't think so. Is she going to hell because of it? I don't think so either.
    Camilla isn't the one to blame if Joe fell in love with her. Joe left Taylor because he wanted to. Taylor should just grow up. Or at least write something better, because that song is not classy at all, it's actually very poorly written.

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  25. Holy Ground from her 2012 album Red is about finally accepting what happened between her and Joe after she saw he attended her concert in 2011

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  26. She is still a better role model over other stars. Like Mily, encouraging people to do drugs, and hardly wereing any clothes. Taylor is a song writer, thats what song writters do, they WRITE SONGS ABOUT EVERYTHING. She was young and that was what she was thinking about at the time. She has since then says she wished she handled it differently. We are ALL growing up and learning as we go. And we ALL do things we wish we could take back. Incase you haven't noticed most songs are about love and breakups so don't act like she is tge only one who writes those kinds of songs.

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  27. Taylor Swift is a whiny don't blame me asshole. Any woman that slut shames another woman because he dropped her needs to pick better men and stop playing the fucking victim.

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