Columns, Opinion

FULCHER: Taylor Swift is creating trash, and we’re letting it happen

I tend not to comment on the Kardashians, as I am typically of the opinion that their actions and words could not possibly ever have anything valuable to offer me. Between posting naked pictures of herself on Twitter (and embarrassing us all with her phenomenal hips) and defending racist makeup artists, there was only one time and one time alone Kim Kardashian did something that was actually important to me. Kim Kardashian ended Taylor Swift’s “America’s Sweetheart” phase.

I have managed to be a Taylor Swift fan for more years than she deserved from me, but it looks that that may be coming to an end. After Kanye West’s drunken mic-stealing of 2009, she drew the incident out for as many years as possible — writing a song about it, referencing it whenever she possibly could and playing the victim, as she does so well. Over the years, Taylor Swift has played her “fragile white feminist” card as often as possible. She has slut-shamed women in her music (“Better Than Revenge”), talked about her breakups and explicitly named men who didn’t deserve to have their personal business aired on television, regardless of how they hurt her. She has refused to recognize that the common denominator in all the men who have broken her heart is herself, and her version of female empowerment that has been based solely on being publicly rude to men for the majority of her career.

Fairly recently, Kanye West dropped “Famous,” in which he claims his 2009 MTV Awards stunt was what made Taylor Swift famous. It didn’t. It did help her career. Kanye West called to ask for permission and she said it was fine to put the line in the song and he did. Taylor Swift then said she wasn’t aware of the line — that he never ran it past her. She accused him of trying to “take credit” for her success.

Kim Kardashian was not having that. Kim posted snapchats showing Taylor Swift’s conversation with Kanye West, where she approved the lyric. Swift’s credibility was shattered in that moment. I was utterly dismayed. I’d always trusted her to never get caught being a liar, so I could enjoy “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Dear John” in peace, pretending they weren’t about actual people whom she may have actually humiliated by writing a song about.

Now, unfortunately, for everyone’s ears, Taylor Swift is trying to rebrand herself as a “good girl gone bad,” which would be fine, if it didn’t look like bootlegged version of Rihanna’s “Rated R” album. She is failing miserably to create good music in these parameters. Taylor Swift’s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do” seems to blame Kanye for her change in style — how original!

Taylor Swift’s single was absolute and utter garbage, but not in a fun way, like Kanye’s “The Life of Pablo.” The vocals were empty, raspy and echoey, but not in a sexy Britney Spears-esque way. It was devoid of the instruments, but not in the way of EDM. The chorus repeats in the way you’d expect to hear from a drunken sorority girl singing atop a table after a breakup. The verses are choppy and utilize end rhyme in ways that even Dr. Seuss would undoubtedly look down upon.

There is not a single good thing about the song, yet it was a #1 hit on Billboard. There is no part of it that proves she deserves the blind allegiance she gets from her fans. She is just a 27-year-old woman making revenge music.

When her fans continue to stream this trash, it enables her to produce it. Maybe she will get caught lying again and hit a new low, or maybe she’ll rise up and figure out a way to not sound horrible again. Either way, one thing is clear: accepting white mediocrity in the name of supporting women has been the very basis of her career and it’s truly time for it to come to an end.

17 Comments

  1. Supporting white trash?! Yes, her music may not be as it once was, but becoming #1 on the charts doesn’t happen because of blind following. People actually like her new sound and support it.

  2. You are missing the point. Female song writers are held to a different standard… while guys write about their relationships all the time and everyone is fine with it, women get trashed in articles like thin one…. for the exact same thing.
    And while West ran part of the lyric past Swift, he did not discuss the whole lyric with her.
    Better than revenge and Innocent were written by a teenager… with teenage sensibilities. Since that time, Swift has adapted… she does not call out names. She refused to say anything bad about West for years. She really was a victim of his bad behavior… because he really did snatch the mic from her hand.

    If you don’t care for her current offerings… that’s fine, but trashing her entire career is cheep journalism.

  3. I don’t understand what her being white has to do with any of this, or why you feel the need to point it out several times in your rant? Her skin colour is irrelevant, as are you.

  4. When you buy your way as taylor has you arent really breaking any records.and taylor has always been trash and doesnt contribute much of anything to her so called sognwriting or anything else for that matter .. Pay no attention to the massive team of people behind the her curtain ..she has made it off off lies and a massive team of people who create her music for her and do everytbing else for her while she is allowed by the media and muaic industry to take credit(tho she is definalty not the only faker in music)taylor a spoiled rich girl, to which nothing about her is true.it is really horrible that the entertainment industry is to cowardly..to void of any morals to stand up against her and blackist her for good..which is nothing short of what this fake talentless,hatefilled, vindictive woman deserves. But als long as she has deals with iheart radio and the other major radio companies and all the media publications and so on they will push her on us whether we like it or not.

  5. My concern is the way your words and judgment are based on trashy gossip and media outlets. Yet, your are over-reliant on Kim and Kanye spinning of this drama by way of a TV show that has no social value other than to sell products. And let’s face it, Kym made quite a lot of money by exposing Taylor and she did so by selecting parts of a private conversation without Taylor’s consent. Yet, she also managed to rewrite history on the events of 2009 by arguing that Taylor had no right to take Kanye’s action personally. Come on! Enough trash. What I am saying is that your article is simply continuing the trash that has already been said and adds nothing and it certainly does not help women other than encouraging more trashy gossip.

  6. People supporting her because they love her new style of music. She will always be on top no matter how much hates she gets, she will turn them into money anyway. Stay tuned for her next hits… 😉

  7. It happens because of payolla..and making deals with radio amd buying streams and stream lists.it is sad so many people dont understand how labels buy radio plays..

  8. The song was number 1 because everyone wanted to hear it not because it was good. That’s why it broke streaming records. Curiosity.

  9. Haha, but Cardi B isn’t putting out trash?
    This sounds very racist.

  10. Hello Nashid, thanks for your article.

    I’d like to take a couple of things from your it and comment on them if you don’t mind.

    1. “After Kanye West’s drunken mic-stealing of 2009, she drew the incident out for as many years as possible — writing a song about it, referencing it whenever she possibly could and playing the victim, as she does so well. Over the years, Taylor Swift has played her “fragile white feminist” card as often as possible. She has slut-shamed women in her music (“Better Than Revenge”), talked about her breakups and explicitly named men who didn’t deserve to have their personal business aired on television, regardless of how they hurt her. She has refused to recognize that the common denominator in all the men who have broken her heart is herself, and her version of female empowerment that has been based solely on being publicly rude to men for the majority of her career.”

    Taylor Swift did not draw out the incident at the MTV Awards regarding Kanye. Rather, the media, and the world, exploded over it, causing every interviewer to ask her about it for many months and years to come. In fact, she explains that she’d rather not add any more drama to feud in this Vogue Interview,

    “Swift knows exactly where I am going and finishes it: “ ‘They pull me back in!’ ”
    “I think the world is so bored with the saga,” she goes on. “I don’t want to add anything to it, because then there’s just more.”
    “I get why Swift would not want to fuel the dispute, but it’s not hard to see a connection between West’s credit-taking and the long tradition of men being dismissive—actively as well as subconsciously mansplainy—of the hard work and success of women.” (Vogue 2016) https://www.vogue.com/article/taylor-swift-may-cover-maid-of-honor-dating-personal-style

    Which leads you to wonder… is LWYMMD about Kimye or Katy like you probably think (since you think all she writes is revenge tracks)? Or is that just personal conclusions that everyone draws because they buy into the headlines on every joe-blow media account?

    Every Swiftie on Tumblr has deciphered that LWYMMD is about the media. And it seems, with articles like yours popping up, it was time for the media to be called out.

    Sure, a distraught, 18-year-old Taylor wrote the song, “Innocent” about Kanye, but I think it was very tame and kind for what she could have gone for. Notice, also, that Taylor Swift was taken on by Big Machine Label because she wrote songs about her life. Getting up in arms about her “playing the victim” (when it’s the media who makes her that *Kanye and the MTV Awards*) or for writing songs about men who hurt her (why should women who were hurt to a varying degree that neither you nor I know about, remain silent?) or for writing revenge tracks (please, before you bring this up go listen to every other album from every other pop star/rapper out there and you’ll realize that Taylor does NOT write dis tracks in comparison) is its own form of anti-feminism/victim-blaming.

    Everything you wrote that I shadowed in bold are one liner anti-Taylor tweets and media headlines that I’ve seen over the years. And the one thing they all have in common is that they are all devoid of facts, and chock full of judgment.

    Before you judge Taylor and her singing that a girl “is better known for things she does on the mattress,” or getting angry that a tame song called, “Dear John,” because it hurt Mayer’s feelings, perhaps you should look at the entire lyrics for Nicki Minaj’s “Stupid Ho,” or watch Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed” video (I’m not calling those two out in any way at all, just saying how no one gave them flack and yet Taylor gets it all).

    2. “Taylor Swift’s single was absolute and utter garbage, but not in a fun way, like Kanye’s “The Life of Pablo.” The vocals were empty, raspy and echoey, but not in a sexy Britney Spears-esque way. It was devoid of the instruments, but not in the way of EDM. The chorus repeats in the way you’d expect to hear from a drunken sorority girl singing atop a table after a breakup. The verses are choppy and utilize end rhyme in ways that even Dr. Seuss would undoubtedly look down upon.”

    It is not for you, nor I, to judge whether or not Taylor’s music is “absolute and utter garbage.” The reason being because music is art. And art comes in all weird shapes, sizes, and sometimes with questionable undertones. Taylor, via Tumblr, has acknowledged fan theories that she’s at the point where she writes and records what she wants, not what the world wants. And, honestly, doesn’t that garner some form of applause? Or should the world shame her for being creative, too?

    Also, you’re coming off a little cruel in the name of being honest, here. Don’t you think adding quippy insults like the Dr. Seuss bit is a little unnecessary? Or, is that the main ammo you have to make people read another anti-Swift article?

    3. “There is not a single good thing about the song, yet it was a #1 hit on Billboard. There is no part of it that proves she deserves the blind allegiance she gets from her fans. She is just a 27-year-old woman making revenge music.”

    This is where your opinion is, simply, wrong. Taylor Swift is as successful as she is because of how she treats her fans. She does things that no one else does, in ways that no one else has thought of doing. If you need a refresher, please see the Taylor Swift Tumblr community, look up her 13 hour meet and greet (that actually lasted 15 hours), her 1989 secret sessions, her “Swiftmas” gift giving to fans, her free meet and greets at shows, and her philanthropic efforts.

    Being successful in the music industry isn’t all about music. In fact, I would venture to say how you treat people is a huge chunk of your success rate. There are many talented musicians that never make it big. But those lucky/talented few who make it bigger than the rest are doing something different. And Taylor is simply doing something different, not to mention- kind.

    4. “When her fans continue to stream this trash, it enables her to produce it. Maybe she will get caught lying again and hit a new low, or maybe she’ll rise up and figure out a way to not sound horrible again. Either way, one thing is clear: accepting white mediocrity in the name of supporting women has been the very basis of her career and it’s truly time for it to come to an end.”

    This “trash” you speak of is called pop music. It’s synthy, repetitive, and filled mostly with hooks rather than skill-drawn lyrics. Taylor wanted to cross over into pop and that is her prerogative.
    If you think so lowly of that then just say you don’t like her art form instead of going after her, personally. Why throw out all these insults when you and her simply have a difference in tastes? Is there something personal you would like to address? Because at this point you are throwing low-blows only because you don’t care for her taste in her own art.

    At the end of the day, Taylor Swift is an artist doing her thing. Even if I didn’t like her or her music, I could respect her for doing things on her own terms and not trying to fit a mold. Isn’t that what female empowerment, individualistic, uniqueness is all about?

    Why bring down another woman in name and in reputation for doing what she wants to do?

    Please don’t go throwing assigning people the word, “slut-shaming” when you are doing just that.

  11. You clearly have something personal against taylor lol. Her new song is different but it is till good. And about the kim and kanye drama. I’’ve said it once and i’ll Keep on saying it, SHE WAS NEVER INFORMED ABOUT ALL IF THE LYRICS!!!!!

  12. I’m sorry, but this article is nothing but biased garbage that keeps conveniently leaving out important details in order to present an ‘argument’ against Taylor Swift. You mentioned that you were a fan of hers for a few years, but your lack of knowledge makes me very strongly doubt that and think that’s just way of giving your little piece an extra sense of validation.

    “After Kanye West’s drunken mic-stealing of 2009, she drew the incident out for as many years as possible — writing a song about it, referencing it whenever she possibly could and playing the victim, as she does so well.” – I’m sorry, was she NOT the victim in that situation? Was Kanye the actual victim of that incident? Did the timeline suddenly change and we’re all living in a world where Taylor is the ‘big bad’ for getting rudely interrupted and told she didn’t deserve to get what she had just accomplished in front of millions of people? Alright.

    You also mentioned that she ‘drew the incident out for as many years as possible’. Okay, let’s see. How many years did this drama last, exactly? It started on September 13, 2009 when Kanye interrupted her, and the last time she actively took a part in it was in September 12, 2010, when she released a song called ‘Innocent’ on the one-year anniversary of the event. Then she stopped. The song was never even released as a single, it was done. Which means that the drama, from her side, lasted almost exactly one year, which was more than reasonable.

    So where exactly are these ‘many years’ you speak of, Ms. Fulcher?

    You know what’s the funniest thing about it, though? That, at the time, makes Kanye the LAST participating person on the drama. On November 2010, he backtracked his apology in SEVERAL separate interviews, dissed Taylor and, again, said that she didn’t deserve to win the award. Qué?

    You then went on to mention that she-slut shamed a woman in ‘Better Than Revenge’. Yet you very conveniently left out the fact that the woman is Camilla Bella, whom Joe Jonas, Swift’s then boyfriend, was cheating on her with. Because seducing men who are in a relationship is totally one of the core values of feminism.

    Then you continued putting the blame on Swift by saying that she was the one to blame for all of her broken hearts, despite the fact that she has been cheated on, twice, and couldn’t possibly control who cheats on her. You’ve literally just blamed a woman for getting cheated on, congrats!

    And of course, you ended your article by acting as if your music taste is the one true taste that everyone surely shares. Well breaking news, darling: It’s not. Some people like the song, some don’t; which, in case you’ve never noticed, is how music has always been. There is not a single song in the world that everyone completely likes or dislikes. I know, shocking right?

    Now I could go so much deeper on your little opinion piece, but my reply is already getting to long, despite the fact that I’ve only dissected about three paragraphs. See? THAT is just how inaccurate your article is. It’s also hilarious how you said that Swift’s credibility was ‘shattered’, considering this article makes it pretty clear that you have none.

    But tell me, Ms. Fulcher. Have you ever actually stopped to think about what you’re saying? To call yourself a ‘feminist’ is embarassing and a blatant insult to feminists all over the world, and ‘feminists’ like you are why feminism isn’t taken seriously by a lot of people. Oh, and people lie all the time; for Swift to lose all credibility because she was caught lying once is beyond ridiculous. Because you’re such a saint who’s never sinned or lied, yes? Perhaps it’s time for you to go into the real world and grow up.

  13. I tend to not comment on pathetic articles that intend to demean and insult people, but look what you made me do. Taylor Swift is one of the most intelligent and clever songwriters in the world’s history. Her five studio albums are carefully articulated masterpieces that not only perfectly articulate all the feelings of the heart, but simultaneously break records and soar to the top of the charts. She has worked incredibly hard for every award she has ever earned. With 10 Grammy Awards and 19 other nominations, she has proved time and time again that she is a force to be reckoned with. She will always face the most vicious and heartless criticism because she is what those critics know they will never become: successful people that love what they do. Taylor is known for her compassion and generosity; yet every donation, hand-written note, or bouquet of flowers will draw hatred and questioning of her true intentions. Taylor Swift is the embodiment of grace under pressure, standing for the right, determination, and fearlessness, to only name a few. She believes in love, kindness, and understanding. Taylor’s fandom is the luckiest in the world: a group that can cheer for and support such a woman of talent and character. She sacrificed her privacy and a normal life when she began to share her music with the world, but in return she has lived and extraordinary life and given millions of listeners happiness, comfort, and hope. It is a debt that we cannot repay. She will be ruthlessly labeled a liar, cheater, villain, and many other disgusting and untrue names. But she doesn’t yell, get in fights, or call people out in tweets (like a certain family tends to do). She is the mature person, and she always will be. She rarely chooses to share her side of the story because it only results in larger backlash. She takes these experiences along with her genius and incredible musical ability, and turns these moments into anthems for the world. Through the many different facets of pain, of love, and of joy that she experiences, she allows her fans and the world to heal and remember through her music. Her new album is not about a “good girl gone bad.” Where can you begin to rationalize this argument? Through a new sound? Through more mature lyrics? If anything, this is a good girl gone smarter and harder in the nick of time. She experiments with new sounds every album cycle and continues to redefine pop music, which she previously did with country music. Her new album, “reputation”, will speak for itself. You, the pathetic liars, and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world aren’t ready for it. She will continue to shine and thrive because of her character, her talent, and her hard work. It is one thing to shake off the haters as she emphasized in “Shake it Off.” But it’s another thing to not stand up when people assassinate your reputation falsely, as she speaks of in “Look What You Made Me Do.” You and all the character assassinators now have a choice to make. Leave Taylor alone, or continue to ruin your lives through your petty and merciless assaults. Check your lies and fabricated stories at the door: no one wants to hear it. If you don’t like the song, it makes sense. Sometimes the truth hurts.

  14. Hi, nice article. I’m also a big Swiftie and was beyond disappointed when the whole Kanye/Kim tapes dropped. Never had her as a liar and didn’t like the way she played it. I’m also a bit perturbed by her new sound. 1989 was no Fearless imo. Having said that I do feel her boundless creativity is still all there and defend her right to say she’s pissed when she’s pissed a la “Look WYMMD”. I also feel that she’s best when she’s true to her vision and that writing is a learning experience. Not everything will be on the money always. But nice article, appreciate your take.

  15. I’m not a huge fan of Taylor Swift, but the fact of the matter is I still would let my daughter listen to Taylor Swift cuz she does not curse in her music instead of people like Kim Kardashian on Miley Cyrus running around licking a ball on camera or putting s******** on p*** sites

  16. Lol these comments are so whild

  17. lol these comments are everything. Great article.