It’s not uncommon to find yourself in conversations with women that include at least one woman declaring, “Taylor Swift is such a ho!”
This of course is the sentiment of those who feel a young woman who dares to date more than one guy ever is a bonafide whore, skank, trollop.
The less than savory remarks make me wonder about the women expressing them.
How many men (or women) have they dated? Slept with? How many one night stands have they had? Most importantly, do they also identify with their inner ho?
Usually, if you ask, you will not be met with a pleasant or easily believable response.
And then there’s the question of why they care… Why does it bother you that a 23-year-old isn’t so hung up on one guy, and denying her dreams to cater to the “soulmate” that romantic comedies and Disney have promised her?
Should she be planning her wedding before she even finds her groom, not unlike most of the women I know? Then she can have a nasty public divorce for you to laugh at? “Haha, she’s miserable like me!!!”
While I could personally not give a single shit what Taylor Swift sings or does because I’m not her demographic, I’ve admittedly wanted to her to fight back a little.
In the April 2013 issue of Vanity Fair, for which she’s also the cover girl, the pop star finally does just that:
“The fact that there are slide shows of a dozen guys that I either hugged on a red carpet or met for lunch or wrote a song with. . . it’s just kind of ridiculous. It’s why I have to avoid the tabloid part of our culture, because they turn you into a fictional character.”
“If you want some big revelation, since 2010 I’ve dated exactly two people. [...] For a female to write about her feelings, and then be portrayed as some clingy, insane, desperate girlfriend in need of making you marry her and have kids with her, I think that’s taking something that potentially should be celebrated-a woman writing about her feelings in a confessional way-that’s taking it and turning it and twisting it into something that is frankly a little sexist.”
She also goes in on comediennes/known feminists Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who mocked her highly scrutinized love life at the Golden Globes, by quoting one of her favorite people, Katie Couric:
“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
And boom! It almost makes you cringe with shame, like the moment a man uses the “women don’t even like women!” line in a group argument that they are clearly losing. You agreeably laugh and the topic instantly changes.
We only support each other when we are victims or “survivors” of a traumatic experience at the hands of men, and sometimes not even then.
At the 2013 Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, actress Gabrielle Union made an emotional confession related to this very issue:
“We live in a town that rewards pretending. I had been pretending to be fierce and fearless for a very long time. I was a victim masquerading as a survivor. I stayed when I should have run. I was quiet when I should have spoken up. I turned a blind eye to injustice instead of having the courage to stand up for what’s right. I used to shrink in the presence of other dope beautiful women. I used to revel in gossip and rumors, and I lived for the negativity inflicted upon my sister actresses or anyone who I felt whose shine diminished my own.
It’s easy to pretend ‘to be fierce and fearless because living your truth takes real courage. Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and they work to correct them. We stand up and we use our voices for things other than self promotion. We don’t stand by and let racism and sexism and homophobia run rapid on our watch. Real fearless and fierce women complement other women and we recognize and embrace that their shine in no way diminishes our light and that it actually makes our light shine brighter.
So many of us in this room are sisters. We don’t always get to see each other and its good to see you here today. Women who we’ve laughed with, cried with, and struggled with, thank you for not turning your back on me, thank you for not tap dancing on my misery, even when I wasn’t always returning the favor.”
It is undeniable that while we’ll condemn young men who swear that feminism has met its goal and should end for the sake of modern-day relationships, we (women) seek any and every opportunity treat each other as less than human… just like men do. Are you okay with that?