Some thoughts on the cultural phenomenon that is Taylor Swift

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When you poke a hornet’s nest, you expect to get stung.

If that hornet’s nest is filled with young girls in spangles and tutus — and their doting parents — you can expect to get skewered.

That is exactly what happens if you criticize the social phenomenon known as Taylor Swift.

It is a form of heresy to attack her song catalogue, her lipstick choices and her boyfriends.

There is something about Taylor Swift that sticks in my craw, and it has very little to do with her politics which — and we only discovered this fairly recently — trend leftward.

When she was a country girl with a Berks twang, we assumed that she was apolitical at worst, and possibly even conservative. People smiled as the teenager poured out her broken-hearted angst in songs like “Love Story,” thinking that this adorable little girl couldn’t possibly be as annoying as Greta Thunberg.

And back then, she wasn’t. She was everybody’s baby sister, writing her own little songs for talent shows at the Beef and Beers.

Then she started racking up the boyfriends, who eventually dumped her. This is a normal occurrence, as I can confirm.

The problem with Taylor was never her politics. You didn’t really take her politics seriously. She was too light, too lacking in gravitas, too fluffy and spangly and bright.

To consider her politics as a motivating factor would be like asking a Disney Princess for her views on the immigration crisis.

There are so many women who are legitimate role models in the world: Malala Yousafzi, who took a bullet in the head because of her advocacy for female education; Riley Gaines, who has made it a life’s mission to protect women in sports; Amal Clooney, who has used her legal skills to obtain justice for female victims of genocide; and Giorgia Meloni, the first female prime minister of Italy.

These are women who have accomplished things of substance, things that will be remembered long after the last chords of “Shake it Off” fade away into the ether.

While Taylor Swift is a savvy businesswomen with a keen sense of how to market herself, and while she isn’t obscene in the way that some of her contemporaries are, baring flesh to scale the ladder of success, close examination of her opus displays an unexceptional mix of pop tunes that are hummable, infused with a message of “girl power.”

Except she’s not a girl. She’s a 30-year-old woman, and her insistence on targeting a middle school demographic is a bit weird.

I think that’s one of the reasons that men and women who call themselves “Swifties” come to her defense, because she deliberately inhabits this middle world of “not a kid” and “not a woman.”

They feel protective of her, and lash out at those who have the temerity to criticize her.

Well, I have the temerity.

The thing that angers me the most about Miss Swift is she’s a passionate supporter of abortion rights.

The fact that there are pro-life mothers out there who are allowing their daughters to look up to a woman who supports Planned Parenthood and talks about “reproductive autonomy” as if it was a catch phrase in one of her songs is troubling.

How is that admirable?

How can you empower women by ensuring that hundreds of thousands of them will never be born?

As a woman who has been going to NFL games since 1973, I resent the suggestion that Taylor Swift is “bringing women to the game.” Excuse me?

Unsportsmanlike conduct, 5-yard penalty and repeat first down.

So many people have taken the attitude of exasperated annoyance, rolling their eyes and pretending they have too many other important things in their lives than to worry about Taylor Swift.

And I’m sure they do. But as I write this, I am suffering from bronchitis and coughing up a lung, and I still have time to provide an opinion on a cultural phenomenon I can’t understand.

Hating Taylor Swift is ridiculous.

Worshipping her is no better.

I have seen so many accuse MAGA of being cultists, but they would reject the label for themselves.

Just saying, if the sparkly tutu fits…

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

Christine Flowers is a Philadelphian who loves the Eagles but can leave the cheesesteaks. She writes about anything that will likely annoy the majority of people, and in her spare time practices immigration law (which is bound to annoy at least some people.)