I read some feminist blogs, though what I read there doesn't always make it back to The Chaliceblog. But it has been interesting to watch a slow backlash to the popularity of pop singer Taylor Swift creep across the blogosphere. It started with this post a month or two ago, and it appears to be picking up steam. CC-favorite blog The Sexist wrote about Swift this week.
On one level, I totally get it. Swift writes about hating the girl who is dating the guy she likes, how a friend of hers felt totally humiliated and ruined after she slept with a boy who turned out to be a jerk* and about wanting her boyfriend to rescue her by marrying her so she won't be alone. None of those themes delight me either. Actually, I'm sort of embarrassed to think of them.
Because I remember those feelings. I was very worried that no boy would want to marry me ever and I remember desperately wanting someone to want me enough to want to marry me. (I ended up turning down the first marriage proposal I got.) I know of at least one woman whose under-duress though not exactly date rape "first time" really REALLY screwed with her. (She's ok now.) And yes, I really owe a completely innocent girl an apology for my bitchiness to her because a boy I liked at 14 or so preferred her. (I ran into this boy awhile ago and he is WAY less awesome than theCSO.)
I have listed to some Taylor Swift songs, and while I don't adore the implicit social messages, I certainly don't see those messages as at all original to Swift. What's original to Swift is pop music that might not be your taste, but is well-written great stuff and the work of a 19-year-old. If she's reflecting things about our culture that we don't like, maybe it's time to change the culture, or at least sit down with our favorite teenage girl and have a talk about these sorts of cultural messages.
Anyway, I get really sick of people letting TV raise their kids then whining about it when TV screws up.
*It says something that when Buffy the Vampire Slayer slept with a boy who literally TURNED EVIL, this was regarded as more or less symbolic truth and I don't recall any feminist critiques of the matter.