The Daily Beast: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Taylor Swift: I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.
Are we surprised that Taylor Swift doesn’t really consider herself a feminist? Not really. But it’s still completely dismaying that “guys versus girls” and that when women don’t succeed it’s because we just didn’t work hard enough is apparently what she thinks feminism is. It’s actually about men and women being equal to each other and deserving the same opportunities; it’s also about women being able to make choices for themselves. Call the Feminism PR Department, we have a pop star to educate! In all seriousness, though, I do suspect feminism within the pop music industry can be hard to come by. At the very least, the messages are complicated — Beyoncé, anyone? Taylor has been pursuing her career since she was about 14 and she’s probably drank the industry Kool-Aid about how she has to be marketed — sweet, innocent, uber-feminine, wearing dresses — to appeal to tweens and teens (and the parents who buy their music for them). Still, she’s 22 now and has been exposed to a lot in these past few years. I do not expect that Taylor Swift would have the politics of Kathleen Hanna, India.Arie, Ani DiFranco or even Alanis Morrissette. But I do wish she could correctly identify what a feminist is — even if she does not want to identify as one. [The Daily Beast]