Taylor Swift talks sexism, allyship & cancel culture on the September issue of Vogue

SOCCER : USA vs Netherland - Final Women s world cup - 07/07/201

I’m so glad that we’re done with the era of “Taylor Swift will not speak on behalf of Taylor Swift.” That era was exhausting. It was exhausting for Taylor too, because she loves to talk, and she loves to explain herself and she loves to casually Darth Susan her way through interviews, ensuring that she will always be seen as the biggest victim, no matter what. So Taylor stored up a lot of stuff for more than three years, and she’s letting it all out for her cover profile in Vogue. Taylor covers the September issue, a giant “get” for Vogue, although it’s not that big of a surprise – Taylor’s Lover is coming out, and Taylor would of course want to give her first MAJOR magazine interview to a major publication like Vogue. This interview was at times genuinely emotional (the part about her assault and subsequent lawsuit), genuinely interesting (the parts about her process, sexism and allyship) and genuinely infuriating (the rest of it). So, Classic Tay. I’m so glad she did this. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Why she’s been performing her LGBTQ allyship this year: “Maybe a year or two ago, Todrick and I are in the car, and he asked me, What would you do if your son was gay? The fact that he had to ask me . . . shocked me and made me realize that I had not made my position clear enough or loud enough. If my son was gay, he’d be gay. I don’t understand the question. If he was thinking that, I can’t imagine what my fans in the LGBTQ community might be thinking. It was kind of devastating to realize that I hadn’t been publicly clear about that.”

Whether she tried to get her masters from Big Machine: “It was either investing in my past or my and other artists’ future, and I chose the future.”

Her assailant paying her the symbolic $1 with a Sacagawea coin. “He was trolling me, implying that I was self-righteous and hell-bent on angry, vengeful feminism. That’s what I’m inferring from him giving me a Sacagawea coin. Hey, maybe he was trying to do it in honor of a powerful Native American woman. I didn’t ask.” Where is the coin now? “My lawyer has it.”

Why she’s getting louder about LGBTQ rights now? “Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male. I didn’t realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of. It’s hard to know how to do that without being so fearful of making a mistake that you just freeze. Because my mistakes are very loud. When I make a mistake, it echoes through the canyons of the world. It’s clickbait, and it’s a part of my life story, and it’s a part of my career arc.”

On sexism: “I think about this a lot. When I was a teenager, I would hear people talk about sexism in the music industry, and I’d be like, I don’t see it. I don’t understand. Then I realized that was because I was a kid. Men in the industry saw me as a kid. I was a lanky, scrawny, overexcited young girl who reminded them more of their little niece or their daughter than a successful woman in business or a colleague. The second I became a woman, in people’s perception, was when I started seeing it… It’s fine to infantilize a girl’s success and say, How cute that she’s having some hit songs. How cute that she’s writing songs. But the second it becomes formidable? As soon as I started playing stadiums—when I started to look like a woman—that wasn’t as cool anymore.”

On being “canceled” in the wake of the Kimye drama: “A mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are quote-unquote canceled, is a very isolating experience. I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly. When you say someone is canceled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being. You’re sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as, Kill yourself. I realized I needed to restructure my life because it felt completely out of control. I knew immediately I needed to make music about it because I knew it was the only way I could survive it. It was the only way I could preserve my mental health and also tell the story of what it’s like to go through something so humiliating.”

At the end of the day, she found a silver lining to being canceled: “It’s so strange trying to be self-aware when you’ve been cast as this always smiling, always happy ‘America’s sweetheart’ thing, and then having that taken away and realizing that it’s actually a great thing that it was taken away, because that’s extremely limiting. We’re not going to go straight to gratitude with it. Ever. But we’re going to find positive aspects to it. We’re never going to write a thank-you note.”

She won’t even take responsibility for the Katy Perry situation: “We decided the metaphor for what happens in the media, is they pick two people and it’s like they’re pouring gasoline all over the floor. All that needs to happen is one false move, one false word, one misunderstanding, and a match is lit and dropped. That’s what happened with us. It was: Who’s better? Katy or Taylor? Katy or Taylor? Katy or Taylor? Katy or Taylor? The tension is so high that it becomes impossible for you to not think that the other person has something against you.”

[From Vogue]

It bothers me because it’s clear with every year that passes that Taylor is such an intelligent woman, that she really thinks about things and tries to figure sh-t out and tries to work out the best way to approach this or that issue or problem. She’s smart, she’s capable, she’s got all the money and access in the world and a global platform to do and say anything. Yet with all of that intelligence and access, she just can’t quit certain narratives. The fact that she’s still gracelessly blaming “the media” for the Katy Perry thing is a perfect f–king example of that. The fact that she’s still framing the Kim Kardashian-receipts issue that way is another example.

Beyond that stuff, I really enjoyed her growth in other sections of the interview: “I didn’t realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of.” That’s a great realization to have, and to discuss in detail.

SOCCER : USA vs Netherland - Final Women s world cup - 07/07/201

Covers courtesy of Vogue.

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63 Responses to “Taylor Swift talks sexism, allyship & cancel culture on the September issue of Vogue”

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  1. lily says:

    Since Taylor Swift thinks she can explain everything away, I would love to know her reasoning behind dating a teenager who just lost his mother to suicide when she herself was in her early 20s….

    Also this cover is really bad.

  2. Tiffany says:

    I would have preferred Stacey Abrams on the cover.

  3. Maria says:

    Her on the September issue? Good Lord.

    • Char says:

      So Anna Wintour MO is Kardashian/Jenner/Jadir/Taylor Swift and an occasional Serena Williams cover cause she isn’t a racist?

      Taylor Swift is the embodiment of white privilege: everybody is wrong but her, with a white savior complex that shows up when it’s convenient.

    • Pixelatedboat says:

      Even more annoying than the quoted bits are her trying to absolve herself from not coming out to support Hillary in 2016 by blaming… Kim Kardashian?

  4. Anna says:


  5. Neners says:

    “Taylor Swift talks…” And that’s where they lost me.

  6. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Yes she wanted to make sure she is clear in her stance regarding LGBTQ rights but doesn’t mind the association with white supremacy. I truly despise this chick. And I don’t say that lightly.

    • Kebbie says:

      I think she’s done enough to separate herself from that right wing nonsense now

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Well I’m glad YOU feel that way. As a WOC I do not.

      • DS9 says:

        I’m with VV. All she’s done is established that she’s not an utter asshole. Seems like a pretty low bar.

  7. Origi says:

    That sounds a lot like when men say “I have a daughter of course women should be equal” And if you didnt have one? What about women who arent your daughter? It took Taylor thinking about her own child to think about LGBT community.

    • Courtney says:

      I didn’t take it that way at all.

    • LolaB says:

      … But isn’t she part of the LGBT community?

      • Arizona says:

        Not officially, it’s just speculation at this point. She’s never indicated that she is.

        I think she had already been thinking about it, but just realized that she hadn’t broadcasted those thoughts loud enough. Not that she hadn’t been thinking about it at all.

      • Daisy says:

        She literally said in this interview she’s not part of the community. The quote goes “[…] I could advocate for a community I’m not part of”.

      • Vv says:

        @Arizona I also interpreted it in that way. Her response about sexism her industry is spot on too. I don’t think she will ever give up certain narratives,but I’d say that since last year she’s showing a more mature and self-aware part of her personality.
        The covers are quite bad,though. I expected something better from Inez &Vinoodh.

    • Kebbie says:

      Her point was that she couldn’t believe her friend didn’t know how she felt, not that the question itself made her realize her own position

  8. Léna says:

    What is she talking about with this Native American thing? Can someone explain? I’m a bit lost

    • Arizona says:

      The $1 that she won from her lawsuit was paid in the form of a $1 Sacajawea coin. Sacajawea is a famous Native American woman. Her assumption is that by choosing a coin with a woman on it (I think the only one in American currency), he was making a statement about women, but she supposes it’s possible he was supporting Native Americans instead.

      • Léna says:

        Thank you for the explanation! It makes more sense now.

      • Rosalee says:

        Sacajawea was Lewis and Clark’s guide as they were tasked with exploring and mapping the newly acquired area and to find a route across the western part of the country. They did this while being lead by a pregnant Indigenous woman.

        One day I am going to give myself a concussion with those hard eye rolls.

  9. PrincessSlackerella says:

    ” I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly. When you say someone is canceled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being. You’re sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as, Kill yourself”

    Seriously dont feel sorry for this girl. She is finally getting a taste of what her fans d0 to everyone she has a little beef with. She needs to be cancelled.

    • virginfangirls says:

      Taylor, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. She thinks it’s ok to sig her rabid fans on all these people, especially her exes. I mean she doesn’t actually say attack. But she gives hints about everything, so fans love to look for them, & her songs make it out as if someone has literally broken her with their very bad behavior towards her. And they include the biggest hints about who that horrible person is (she may tell the model of car they drive, or mention a very famous necklace they wore). And then she fuels the fire of hatred by her fans towards that “enemy” by liking social media post about it. She clearly has some kind of narcissism. And then blaming the media for her feud with Perry, after Taylor literally and willingly slammed Katy. Remember how Taylor divulged who her own nasty song was about in an interview which is what started the whole damn thing. I think she’s afflicted with a similar condition as Trump.

  10. demented says:

    We all know why you took a stand on behalf of the gay community (bis are as usual treated as invisible), Taylor: your reputation was in tatters, and it was an easy cheap way to get people on your side and signal yourself as a “good” person.

  11. ff says:

    her victim complex is out of control

  12. Betsy says:

    I still don’t mind her.

  13. Arizona says:

    “We decided the metaphor for what happens in the media,” Swift explains, “is they pick two people and it’s like they’re pouring gasoline all over the floor. All that needs to happen is one false move, one false word, one misunderstanding, and a match is lit and dropped. That’s what happened with us. It was: Who’s better? Katy or Taylor? Katy or Taylor? Katy or Taylor? Katy or Taylor? The tension is so high that it becomes impossible for you to not think that the other person has something against you.”

    THIS IS NOT AT ALL WHAT HAPPENED. Ugh. It had nothing to do with the media pitting anyone against anyone. No one even knew there was an issue until she started speaking in code in Rolling Stone, AFTER she had written Bad Blood and the album was about to come out. Ughhhhh. I like Taylor enough, but her constant rewriting of history and never taking any responsibility for how her own actions inform a situation drives me absolutely nuts. Like how she focuses on “that bitch” and doesn’t acknowledge how she claimed that he didn’t share any of the lyrics with her but she “cautioned him not to release such a misogynistic song” – which she didn’t do, and he clearly called and spoke with her. Ughhhhh.

    • holly hobby says:

      She sounds right for the Suckabee’s job. Maybe she can go work for racist in chief. They play the same game.

    • Kebbie says:

      Not only that but Katy has publicly owned up to her part in it, so any “we decided the metaphor” claim is nonsense. Katy isn’t saying anything like that.

    • virginfangirls says:


    • Lulu says:

      My interpretation of what she said – and I obviously could be wrong, is that she meant she felt the media pitted them against each other BEFORE she wrote the song. So she let thoughts creep in that they were rivals and that Katy had something against her. So, when the dancers on Taylor’s tour left her tour to go and dance for Katy instead, Taylor took it as a personal attack because those two pop stars had been “pitted against” each other. And then we all know Taylor took it too far, wrote a song about it, and then made it a big deal. When I read what she said, I took it as her explaining why she thought Katy “had it out for her” and “took” the dancers, and Taylor viewed that as Katy trying to sabotage her – that was the false move, the match that was lit and dropped and then it all went cray and she wrote a mean song about it.

      I could totally be wrong, but that’s what I thought she was saying.

  14. Nev says:

    there’s nothing new to see here.
    should have been Adut (top amazing new model) on the Sept cover but sigh….

  15. hype says:

    Humiliating? Most people grow from experiences as such. But not her. She’s forever stuck believing she’s a victim. How about seeing the flip side of the coin? How she did everything in her girl power to take down Katy Perry? Jeez. Reading the Vogue article, Katy wanted to establish ties after they reconnected. It was not about the gimmick for her but in re-establishing a relationship in the now. That’s growth and maturity. As for Tay Tay – she’s still cancelled. Somebody please tell her that.

    • Arizona says:

      Yep, Katy was the one who was mature enough to send the literal olive branch even though Taylor was the one who publicly started it and released a song about it. Then Katy was the one mature enough to be like, sure we can use our reconciliation in your video, but it needs to be totally truthful and we need to talk/hang out. Meanwhile, Taylor has decided that it’s the media pitting women against each other because that’s a hot topic, rather than acknowledging that the way she handled the situation exacerbated it.

      I agree that she is very intelligent and thoughtful, but she seems to have a really hard time acknowledging her own less than awesome actions. At least in public.

  16. Pixie says:

    Hmm, it’s interesting that people think she is smart or intelligent because she always comes across as a slightly smarter than average 17 year old with a tumblr blog, and not to be age shamey but she is turning 30 this year and her lyrics are as juvenile as ever. I always wonder how people write these articles about her ‘genius songwriting capabilities’ and ‘intricate and riveting use of metaphors’ and then quote ‘Baby doll, when it comes to a lover. I promise that you’ll never find another like me’…. Like, is this a joke and are they in on it, or are they serious? The most interesting thing about Taylor is how time seems to move so slowly for her. It’s been 3 years and the Kardashians barely remember her but here she is STILL talking about the ‘grieving process’, of getting mean tweets. She is so profoundly self obsessed I almost feel bad for her.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Yeah, I’ve never understood the “genius songwriter” claim in particular. I remember listening to All Too Well (one of her most acclaimed songs by her fans) and wondering if this was seriously what people were waxing poetic about. I just don’t get the hysteria over her painfully average songwriting.

      • Pixie says:

        SO AVERAGE, it’s honestly painful. I don’t even hate her songs, she makes good pop music and her songs seems pretty generically likable. But nobody else that makes pop music goes on and on about how ‘genius’ the songwriting is because anyone with a basic grasp of English knows there is nothing genius about it. I just don’t know why people humour Taylor so much, it’s odd.

    • Pixelatedboat says:

      It’s amusing that she is called “smart” just because she’s boring, like the way she’s called a “good role model” just because she’s sexless.

  17. Monsy says:

    I missed the part in which feminist icon Taylor Swift publicly apologized to Camille Belle for writing a song about her saying “better known for things she does on the mattress”. She’s a smart woman but her victim complex is exhausting.

  18. Ann says:

    I like it. I like Taylor. I’m looking forward to the album and I’m loving the hype. She will never take responsibility for the feuds. It’s annoying but I’m over it. Tay Tay has won me over. I like the cover minus the bangs.

  19. Daisy says:

    Can Anna just retire already, please. Vogue is fashion magazine and it’s almost the end of the year and there hasn’t been a single model on the cover (Hailey doesn’t count).
    Also, as an actual gay, this whole thing Taylor did for promo makes me uncomfortable. Yeah, good you think I deserve rights but it all feels like it’s something she did for some pats woke points. And the only people calling her song a gay anthem are straight people and this says everything.

  20. DS9 says:

    It’s amazing how she has all these deep thoughts but cannot connect them.

    She blathers about cancel culture and how isolated she felt in the midst of dumb beef bit then owns nothing in the Katy Perry thing, to say nothing of her deal with Scooter Braun

    And I notice she does not answer the question regarding her masters. I’m taking that as confirmation that she did not.

  21. Kadie says:

    This interview makes me like Taylor even less. I don’t believe that was its intended purpose.

  22. DS9 says:

    I’m also impressed by how isolated she claims to have felt during the Kimye Saga given that the majority of her friends held on tighter than ever and her fans never faltered.

    She didn’t feel isolated. She felt embarrassed by the fact that she wasn’t the clear, sympathetic winner she usually is.

    She might be intelligent but there is no wisdom.

  23. Beach Dreams says:

    That second cover is hilarious. Taylor doesn’t do covers well. Certainly not like Rihanna.

  24. jammypants says:

    Speaking of intelligent young people, Variety did a very good interview on Cole Sprouse. He speaks on the same themes and topics. Highly recommended https://www.instagram.com/tv/B01jD2xh-Id/?igshid=1qbke4syk3n8g

    As for Taylor, while she’s problematic, I also don’t find her to be as awful as people claim. Is she a mean girl? At times. But I don’t find her any worse of better than her pop contemporaries.

  25. jennifer says:

    This interview is so passive-aggressive and manipulative. She thrives on being a victim.

  26. Yes Doubtful says:

    She will be a forever victim who spins everything to make her look good. For the life of me, I don’t understand why Katy is trying so hard to be her friend now. I guess keep your friends close and your enemies closer?? Taylor COULD be a force to be wreckened with in a GOOD way if she would become more self-aware of her own actions. I think it’s hilarious that Taylor keeps taking shots at Kimye and they couldn’t be bothered with it. It shows that she will not let anything go and loves poking the bear.

  27. Naddie says:

    She’s articulated enough to make me think “I read it all, so why do I feel deeply irked”? Glad the comments here are so smart and wise, and I can see why I loathe her. On a side note I realized these days that mediocre young singers are always white or light skinned; when a black girl tries to be famous, she’s at least good, she doesn’t dare to be less than this. Examples are all over the place: Taylor, Katy Perry, Lana del Rey, Rebeca Black, Selena Gomes… the list goes on.