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]
Yes, men cleaning. Who’d've thunk, right?! Just a T-shirt, Swiffer? Not a Boy Scout badge? Or the Nobel Prize, perhaps? I mean, men cleaning is obviously such a rare and uncommon practice that you think guys deserve a T-shirt bragging “Caution: Men Being Awesome” for wiping a Swiffer across the floor. (Which, as someone who also does not like to clean, I don’t think we can justifiably call “cleaning.”) It’s all part of the world’s dopiest Facebook contest called “Man Up, Clean Up” for men who are “clean, dirty, skilled or clueless” to go to Swiffer’s page and share stories of why it is “worth it” to help with household cleanups. More blowjobs? Not getting roaches? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. And just think, when you win that T-shirt, you’ll have something to use as a rag. [BusinessWire]
“I’m not going to apologize for being female or human. But I will apologize to the party I’ve wronged. About a month ago, I posted this video on my Facebook page about being pro choice and why. There was this conversation that ensued in the comments about whether abortion should be legal. And this man who is a fan of ‘Wild’ and ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ said, well, I’m against abortion, but I do think it should be legal. And Cheryl, the thing about you is, you had an abortion but you regret it. And you’ve told us how that does stay with you and how many regrets you have about it. And I was like, uh, no I haven’t. I thought, I can’t let that stand. I said, actually, you’re mistaken. I do not regret it. I wish I hadn’t gotten pregnant. I don’t think it’s this great, exciting chapter of my life that I treasure. But I certainly think that having an abortion was the best thing I could have done in that situation. And I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever, nor am I scarred by the experience. I think it’s really important to assert that. Because the generation of women before us, they could do things like have an abortion or have sex in ways that are conceived as promiscuous, so long as they felt bad about it afterward or have been, like, oh, but what I was really looking for was love. When really it’s — a lot of times what I was really looking for was sex.”
–Cheryl Strayed on the balance between claiming responsibility for your actions and apologizing for yourself. This is just a snippet from an interview published in The Millions. I highly recommend reading the entire interview. At least twice. And if you haven’t already, I implore you to read Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl’s collection of Dear Sugar columns from The Rumpus. She is my inspiration/life hero at the moment. Amelia and I went to see her speak a couple of weeks ago and the best thing she said, which has been my mantra ever since, was: “True motherfuckerhood has to do with being humble.” [The Millions]
“I can’t stand whining. I can’t stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into because they’re not happy with the choices they made. You live in a time when there are endless choices. … Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs … Other women don’t break a sweat.”
— Da-yum, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Tell us what you really think. Marie Claire asked Clinton about The Atlantic‘s infamous Anne-Marie Slaughter piece “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”; I hope that in the context of the actual piece it doesn’t sound so much like she’s dismissively saying “deal with it.” I’m certain Clinton knows all about the larger, structural institutionalized sexism and workplace flexibility issues that families face, so I’m not sure why that wasn’t reflected in her response. [Jezebel] Keep reading »