Last week, I was thrilled to see Taylor Swift setting a new record as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Album twice. Upon hearing her name called, she leapt up and shared a fancy handshake with producer Jack Antonofff, and then, with the wingspan of a wandering albatross, enveloped the boy warmly before inviting him and other contributors to join her onstage. I have huge admiration for Taylor Swift. She’s tall, talented, young, thin and beautiful. More importantly, she seems focused, generous, vulnerable and kind. But if Spotify, Katy Perry, Kanye, or anyone else dares to mess with her, the world stands with Taylor. She’s powerful. Want to date a Victoria’s Secret lingerie model? You’d better start sending Swifty fruit baskets. They’re her gorgeous army. She is the gatekeeper of all the most exquisite pussy in America. Her friends listen – the WORLD listens – to Taylor Swift.
So that’s why, when she addressed young women directly during her Grammy acceptance speech, it stuck out as notably odd to me that there were no women standing behind her. One hundred per cent of the people who helped make that album and who were present on the night were men. (Imogen Heap was in South Africa). They knew it would be on TV! Yet Team Swift decided it would be a good idea for the quintessence of millennial feminism to deliver a sermon to her congregation while looking like a bombshell Margaret Thatcher in a sea of 20 suits. Can’t a lady get a job at Taylor Swift Inc? “I want to say to all the young women out there…”. That’s every single one of us on Earth apart from you, Tayoncé. Oh, and that babe handing you the trophy.
Then there was the time Nicki Minaj questioned whether she’d have been nominated for more awards if the women featured in her videos were ‘slim’ (and essentially, I think; white). Taylor, who was nominated, responded by inviting Nicki to join her on stage if she won. That’s, um, nice, but missed the point Ms Minaj was making. Would Taylor Swift be satisfied if she were overlooked but asked to tag along as an afterthought? No. Nicki suggested Taylor ‘speak on this’ issue instead.
Ms Swift hasn’t said a word about Kesha losing her legal battle to be freed from her contract with Sony after claiming she was sexually assaulted by her producer there. Instead, Taylor gave her $250,000. What’s that? A donation? Is this a fight for a woman’s freedom or The London-fucking-Marathon?! There are people who don’t believe Kesha. Can you imagine – God forbid – Taylor were in her shoes? There’d be flooding and bush fires for months.
Criticising such an incredible woman makes me feel like shit. It’s not my place to tell anyone what kind of feminist she should be. I love her music, so why can’t I let this stuff slide? I guess I talk about her because I’m interested; I’m listening. Taylor Swift’s words are so valuable to so many young people, not just her #GirlSquad.
*Sends apology fruit basket*