Taylor Swit’s Poignant Statement About Slut-Shaming & Misogyny In The Music Industry Is Profound

Taylor Swift
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She wants to be known for her success, not her dating life. Taylor Swift’s reaction to “slut-shaming” in the music industry is important. Despite being a wildly accomplished best-selling singer whose sixth album, Lover, is breaking records, Swift says her artistry was routinely diminished in her early career by people more fixated on her romantic interests. And Swift is pulling the issue into the light in the hope that younger female artists won’t have to deal with the same sexist double standards.

In an Apple Music Beats 1 interview last week, Swift got vulnerable with host Zane Lowe about her struggles with sexism in the business. “When I was, like, 23, and people were just kind of reducing me to… kind of making slideshows of my dating life and putting people in there that I’d sat next to at a party once and deciding that my songwriting was like a trick rather than a skill and a craft,” she said, continuing, “In a way, it’s figuring out how to completely minimize that skill by taking something that everyone in their darkest, darkest moments loves to do, which is just to slut-shame, you know? That happened to me at a very young age, so that was a bit hard. That was one of the first times I was like, ‘Wow, this is not fair.’”

Swift admits that the thought of up-and-coming artists dealing with the same thing — more chatter about romantic life than their music — takes her to a “real sad place.” It’s a toxic pattern rife with embedded misogyny, and Swift isn’t afraid to say so. “I don’t want that to keep happening and I don’t think people understand how easy it is to infer that someone who’s a female artist or a female in our industry is somehow doing something wrong by wanting love, wanting money, wanting success,” she explained. “Women are not allowed to want those things the way that men are allowed to want them.”

She is hopeful for the future, though, because she recognizes that change is taking place.

“We have amazing women out there like Jameela Jamil saying, I’m not trying to spread body positivity. I’m trying to spread body neutrality where I can sit here and not think about what my body is looking like.’ We have made incredible progress. We’ve made incredible strides. I can look back at those lessons I learned when I was younger and I really truly don’t think I did anything wrong by having a normal dating life in my early 20s,” Swift said.

We weren’t quite there yet when Swift was a starry-eyed artist jumping into the music biz. So now, she’s using her platform to help empower young female artists today who might be dealing with the same noise.

“I tell a lot of new artists and a lot of people who I ended up talking to who are like, ‘Hey, so you’ve been through a lot of things. I’m freaking out, I’m getting my first wave of bad press, what do I do?’ And I’m like, ‘Do not let anything stop you from making art. Just make things. Do not get so caught up in this that it stops you from making art, [even] if you need to make art about this. But never stop making things,’” Swift shared, adding, “Just keep making things.”

Originally posted on SheKnows.

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