Taylor Swift is getting into some hot water during her most recent media tour. Her last Cosmopolitan interview was distributed across the internet with headlines that she wants to be a stay-at-home mom. She missed the point of feminism when she said she wasn’t a feminist. Now in December’s issue of Harper’s BAZAAR, she talks about “wearing the pants” in a relationship and how she feels like she does it far too often. I wonder if she sees the irony in the picture she’s painting of a 1950s housewife staying home to tend to her soccer team of children while she is…Taylor Swift.
Ms. Swift is the picture of female career dominance. According to Forbes, Taylor Swift is the highest-paid entertainer under 30 and she is only 22. In the past year alone she made a reported $57 million. She manages her own career, she writes all her own songs, and she has awards to prove she is good at all of it. But more importantly to me, Taylor Swift writes songs that I hope my daughter listens to and identifies with. The ballad “Fifteen” talks about waiting to have sex until you are sure the relationship is real rather than doing it so he will like you more. The catchy “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” has the voice of a young woman who will not be a doormat to a man’s slick pleas.
Whether she calls herself a feminist or not, she has the voice of a strong, smart, and independent woman. Hers is the voice of a much-needed role model for our young daughters. Except lately she’s been saying things I wish she might have thought through a little more. The latest “oh-no” quote from Harper’s BAZAAR came after a statement about her preference for dresses.
Whether it’s a summertime dress that makes me feel carefree, an evening cocktail dress that makes me feel fancy, or a vintage dress that makes me feel like a ’50s housewife—which I enjoy feeling like, for some reason—I just really like dresses.
Ok, a silly completely misguided reference to what it feels like to be a 1950s housewife. I thought I could move past the faux pax. Surely she didn’t mean she wants to stay home, grow bored and sad with her one-dimensional life until she has to paint on her happy face to pick up the kids from school and cook daddy a nice dinner. She means she likes petticoats, right?
Sadly, she only added to the problem. Swift explains how she enjoys letting go of her need to control in her relationships. She uses the word “equality” but what she describes sounds closer to domestic submission.
If I feel too much like I’m wearing the pants, I start to feel uncomfortable and then we break up.
[I]t’s wonderful to hand over the reins to your boyfriend when you control so much of these big, high-pressure decisions, you know? That is a huge defining factor in who you choose to be with.
I hope Swift abandons her confused notions of SAHMs, feminists, and 1950s housewives and realizes she could never be who she is today if she believed in the antiquated and misguided concepts she describes. She might be singing songs that I want my daughter to hear but the interviews that go with them are just bad history lessons that no one needs.