Well, the debate over whether one of our era’s most renowned pop stars identifies as a feminist appears to have finally been put to rest.
“As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities,” Swift said in an interview with the Guardian. “What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means. For so long it’s been made to seem like something where you’d picket against the opposite sex, whereas it’s not about that at all.”I suspect the main reason why feminism has become a bit of a punchline of late is precisely because it is a sort of Rorschach test. It means whatever one wants it mean. So, for some, feminism means supporting basic political equality while for some it means stacking the legal and political system against men. More to the point, the mere fact that feminism is used to both condemn and defend female stars* should indicate just how useless of an ethic it really is. Fittingly, deciding whether something or someone is feminist is merely a matter of picking a plausible rationalization for one's position. (Consequently, every assertion is subject to endless debate because every position conceivable can be rationalized in a plethora of ways.)
In fact, it’s Swift’s friendship with the indefatigable Lena Dunham that appears to have swayed her view. According to the Guardian, Dunham and Swift became friends when the creator of Girls sent the pop singer a direct message over Twitter that said “Can we be friends please?” Things pretty much went naturally from then on.
“Becoming friends with Lena – without her preaching to me, but just seeing why she believes what she believes, why she says what she says, why she stands for what she stands for – has made me realize that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so,” Swift said.More likely, Lena Dunham is a dishonest self-admitted pedophile who is used to manipulating more naive females in to giving her what she wants, and probably said whatever it took to get Taylor Swift to feel comfortable admitting she was a feminist. Or maybe Ms. Swift was all along. Still, it feels like more than a coincidence that Taylor Swift didn't come out, so to speak, until after the Human Toad hung out with her.
* On one hand, some feminists view porn as demeaning to women. On the other, some view it as empowering. That both views are plausible indicates how little moral fiber feminism, as a philosophy has. Perhaps that's why its best to not let women be moral leaders.