‘If I was a man, then I’d be the man’
Let’s be real; even Taylor knows that, if she was a man, she never would have faced such vicious hatred for simply existing as a successful artist.
In the early days of her career, she was criticized because she “only sang about love and boys”.
Even though there have been countless artists through the decades who have made singing about romance their “thing”, it was suddenly the worst music sin one could commit when Taylor did it.
Never mind that the same thing could be said about plenty of current male artists, like John Mayer, who Taylor dated, and Ed Sheeran, who she’s collaborated with.
"You're going to have people who are going to say, 'Oh, you know, like, she just writes songs about her ex-boyfriends'. And I think frankly that's a very sexist angle to take,” Taylor said herself in 2014.
“[Male artists are] all writing songs about their exes, their current girlfriends, their love life, and no one raises the red flag there."
Then the problem became that she was dating too much, according to people who have probably dated just as much.
Google headlines from the early 2010s and they’re all about who Taylor was last photographed with, calling her “boy crazy” or a “man eater”. Ew.
Ignoring the fact that half of the stories about who she was dating were made up, we doubt anyone would have cared how many dates Taylor went on if she was a bloke.
Just look at Taylor’s ex Jake Gyllenhaal: he’s had 10 public relationships since he became a star (the same number as Taylor), but no one cares because he’s a guy. Sounds like a double standard to us.
WATCH: I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor's Version)
‘They're burning all the witches, even if you aren't one’
The media has an issue with the way it portrays, criticises, and demonises women – especially women who have done nothing to deserve it.
Taylor has talked openly about how negative press affected her in her teens and 20s, revealing she battled an eating disorder and low self-worth because of cruel tabloid headlines.
As we all know, the media plays a massive role in how we view people, especially public figures like Taylor, and seeing her constantly slammed in glossy magazines affected young women everywhere.
Girls hated Taylor because they were told to; they were told she was cringey, too emotional, she dated too much and sang silly songs about love.
Sadly, millions of women and girls turned their backs on Taylor because they didn’t know any better. We have to admit, we were among them.
So, what changed? Well, we did.
‘How can a person know everything at 18, but nothing at 22?’
When we were younger, we thought we knew everything – about life, about ourselves, and about Taylor Swift.
Even as recently as five years ago, the general consensus was that hating her was funny and “normal”.
But as we’ve embraced a new wave of feminism and a better understanding of how the media – and the world – pits women against each other, we’ve all started to realise what we probably should’ve seen from the start.
It was never cool to hate Taylor Swift. We only did it because of the misogyny in the media, society and in ourselves (hello, internalised misogyny) and it took us all a while to un-learn that grossness.
But now that many of us have, and many more are on the journey, it’s high time we apologise to Taylor. For the hate, the backlash, the trolling, the snide comments – for all of it.
Taylor Swift was the pop icon we needed, she was ahead of her time, and she didn’t deserve all the crap we piled on her.
You don’t have to like her music. You don’t even have to like her. But the age of hating Taylor Swift for fun is over, we’re not playing into it anymore – and neither should you.
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