The Sexist Taylor Swift Jokes Have Never Been Funny


Courtesy of Vanity Fair

Taylor Swift posing with her three Grammy’s back in 2016 for her fifth studio album, 1989, making her one of two female artists who have won “Album of the Year” twice.

Riley Pietsch, Editor-in-Chief

Taylor Swift, the ten-time Grammy winner, rose to fame during the peak of her adolescence. She signed a music publishing deal with Sony back in 2004, at the ripe age of 14, making her the youngest singer in company history. While she might have started her career young, Swift has gone on to win countless awards over the years and was even titled the Billboard “Woman of the Decade.”

Taylor Swift giving her infamous “Woman of the Decade” speech in which she details the hardship that comes with being a female in the music industry. (Courtesy of Pop Sugar)

With such accolades as Swift holds, one could imagine she would hold well-deserved respect from colleagues and the public; however, the singer-songwriters’ personal life, of all topics, has become the brunt of pop culture jokes for over a decade now. 

Similar to other popular artists such as Shawn Mendes or Drake, Swifts’ lyrics tend to discuss heartbreak and past relationships. While these are among the most common topics for popular songs, Swift has been deemed the “crazy ex-girlfriend” for writing about her love life. 

People have even shamed her for the number of men she has dated over the years. As an audience, we have watched this 14-year-old aspiring singer turn into a household name at, now, 31-years-old. To think that Swift would not go through several relationships over the 17 years she has remained in the media would be simply, childish. Like any other young adult, Swift has dated guys, and broken up with guys, and dated some more, and broken up with some more. 

Shaming Swift for her lyrics and dating life is not only cruel but also sexist. The problem lies in the fact that male singers simply do not receive the same criticism as female singers. Back in 2014, shortly after the release of her pop album 1989, Swift told 2Day FM You’re going to have people who are going to say, ‘Oh, you know, like, she just writes songs about her ex-boyfriends’. And I think frankly that’s a very sexist angle to take. No one says that about Ed Sheeran. No one says that about Bruno Mars. They’re all writing songs about their exes, their current girlfriends, their love life, and no one raises the red flag there.”

While the critics have seemingly cooled off in recent years, the same, overused joke reappeared in the newly released Netflix show Ginny & Georgia. The current number-one Netflix show is a mother-daughter drama series that has gained major attention since its arrival to the streaming site on February 24 of this year. 

When speaking on her mother’s past dating habits, Ginny, the teenage protagonist, exclaims “You go through men faster than Taylor Swift.” Though she may not be new to these sly remarks, Swift did not stay silent, as she took to Twitter to clap back at the shows writing and Netflix. 

Swift wrote “Hey Ginny & Georgia, 2010 called and it wants its lazy, deeply sexist joke back. How about we stop degrading hard working women by defining this… as funny. Also, @netflix after Miss Americana this outfit doesn’t look cute on you. Happy Women’s History Month I guess.”

Last year, Swift worked with Netflix to produce a documentary detailing her life on and off stage in which she, again, tackled the sexism she faces in her line of work. Ironically, Netflix allowed for this attacking line to make the final cut of the drama show, leading viewers, and seemingly Swift herself, to question Netflixs’ loyalty.

Taylor Swift has been pestered with constant sexist remarks since she entered the limelight almost 20 years ago, but unfortunately, she is not the only one. As Shayda Roshdieh (12) confirmed, “female artists are held to a higher standard than male artists.” Women in the industry are always having to prove themselves to others, reinvent themselves, and “behave,” to just survive in the music industry.

Iggy Azalea has had to come out and validate that she writes her own lyrics just to prove her work as a songwriter. Miley Cyrus has gone from the innocent ex-Disney star to the promiscuous lyricist to the pop-rock singer we know now. Nicki Minaj has spoken on the fact that when she has high standards in the recording studio, she is seen as “bossy,” whereas her male peers are a “boss.”

Female artists have to work non-stop to stay relevant in their industry. Taylor Swift has faced endless amounts of hate for being a normal young adult. These jokes have really never been funny, but rather have solidified this upsetting truth that women in the music industry are continually scrutinized for actions that men are praised for.