Taylor Swift’s ‘good role model’ status questioned because she’s ‘childless’ and ‘unmarried’

Taylor Swift is everywhere right now. Thanks to the success of her chart-topping latest album, “The Tortured Poets Society,” and her record-breaking “Eras” tour, it’s safe to say she’s solidly on top. Her tour is big enough to impact entire economies in some of the cities and countries it visits, which has prompted the creation of the term “Swiftonomics.” She particularly resonates with young girls, teens, and women—arguably because of her ability to set everyday thoughts and feelings to a solid bop everyone can relate to. And dance to, too.

As Tim Sommer wrote of her impact on young women last year, “Taylor Swift has the ability to hold a mirror to the hearts and minds of her listeners; and they see her in that mirror, mouthing the words they are thinking but can’t articulate, the notes and texts they so desperately wish they could write. Seriously, if you want to conjure Taylor Swift, imagine a girl in 9th or 10th grade looking into the mirror but seeing Taylor Swift’s lips moving, expressing their thoughts and feelings.”

But that much success certainly doesn’t come without criticism, and John Mac Ghlionn, who penned an editorial for “Newsweek” entitled “Taylor Swift Is Not a Good Role Model,” is leading the charge this week. His essay centers around one main point: That women and girls should think twice about looking up to Swift because, at 34 years old, she’s unmarried and childless.

“I suggest, it’s crucial to consider what kind of example this sets for young girls. A role model, by definition, is someone worthy of imitation. While Swift’s musical talent and business acumen are certainly admirable, even laudable, we must ask if her personal life choices are ones we want our sisters and daughters to emulate. This might sound like pearl-clutching preaching, but it’s a concern rooted in sound reasoning,” Ghlionn writes.

It’s worth asking what, exactly, is there to fear about a 34-year-old unmarried, childless woman? A woman who has chosen her own path in life? A woman who has pursued a career and amassed power? Is that truly concerning? And if so, why?

Ghlionn goes on to rehash another exhaustive point of discussion surrounding the pop star: Swift’s dating history. He points out that her beaus have been “a source of prime tabloid fodder for years,” as if that’s her fault.

“This revolving door of relationships may reflect the normal dating experiences of many young women in today’s world, but it also raises questions about stability, commitment, and even love itself,” he continues. “Should we encourage young girls to see the ‘Swift standard’ as the norm, something to aspire to? Or should we be promoting something a little more, shall we say, wholesome? Would any loving parent reading this want their daughter to date 12 different men in the span of just a few years? This is not an attack on Swift; it’s a valid question that is worth asking.”

One of the most striking statements Ghlionn makes is this: “Although breakups can hurt both males and females, it’s the latter group that tends to feel more emotional pain.”

While many feel his entire op-ed is deeply rooted in sexism, many people who rebut it will focus on Ghlionn’s misogyny toward Swift—which is valid.

But this statement, minimizing the emotions of men, is just as sexist, is it not? It also perpetuates the kind of toxic masculinity that feeds the patriarchy itself. Study after study shows that women are absolutely not more emotional than men, nor do they feel more emotions. Rather, society pressures men into suppressing the emotions they feel, telling them that feeling or displaying natural human emotion isn’t manly, and thus, they shouldn’t. This attitude only harms men, increasing their instances of loneliness, substance abuse, and mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

No one is above criticism—not even Taylor Swift. But her personal life choices, like the men she dates and whether she marries or has children, are not valid reasons to criticize her.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top