“Bad” and “good” Feminism

Today we were discussing Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj and how they both define as feminists but have qualities that may not be considered feminist by most people.

Taylor has said that she defines herself as a feminist and even has songs that promote women so people could argue that she is a good feminist. The only problem is that she isn’t as active as most people would like. In class we talked about how she was not present at the Women’s March in Washington but many other women were. Most people ceiticized her because they say that if she was a “good feminist” she should have gone out in public with everyone else marching. In Taylor’s song “Bad Blood” she has a lot t of strong women starring in the video with her. I know that this song was an “anthem” of some sorts to people. Whenever it came on the radio women would get pumped up because of all the strong women in the video. The only problem is an issue that we also brought up in class today. Most of the women in the video were tall, model status, women who don’t represent a lot of the women in the world. Obviously Taylor can not represent every single woman in the world but a little more diversity could have made it more of an inclusive video for all women.

I don’t listen to Nicki that much but I do know that she defines as a feminist. I don’t dislike Nicki I just don’t like her music as much as other artists. When we were talking in class about how Nicki did not reach out to Orlando I had no idea and I lost a little bit of respect for her. As mentioned in one of my comments for last weeks blog posts I am a queer woman so Nicki not supporting the LGBTQ+ community does rub me the wrong way.

Taylor and Nicki can define as feminists and we can’t do anything about that. They can define however they like. The fact that they can both be controversial while trying to be feminists starts good discussions about whether or not they actually are “good feminists” or if they are “bad feminists”.

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13 thoughts on ““Bad” and “good” Feminism

  1. Hey, I thought the talk we had in class was super engaging regarding this topic, and a lot of people had a lot to say about different celebrities being claiming the feminist title. I personally am not a fan of Taylor Swift, just think she’s a snake! But you bring up her song “Bad Blood” which is actually a bash song against Katy Perry. So, actually, “Bad Blood” is super un-feminist. People she considers to be in her squad were part of the music video so that goes back to what we discussed in class of how Taylor is clearly establishing an in-crowd and an out-crowd. Again, very not feminist of her. I think she labels herself as one because she views herself as having a great career and whatnot, but she uses the media to her advantage. She talks the talk (sometimes) but rarely has she ever walked the walk.

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  2. I really like and agree with the last point you made. In my opinion, if we take a look at feminism as a more broad brush stroke, it’s all about equal rights for everyone. As long as someone stands for that, and has good intentions, I think that it is only going to positively benefit the feminist movement, if they identify as such. Certain people are more comfortable with others to reach out and make statements in the public eye. I can definitely understand identifying as a feminist and not being as active as others in the effort, because it seems like the media and others are getting more and more into the exploitation of the political opinions of public figures, and I don’t blame anyone at all for being more or less physically present in the movement, due to concern for that.

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  3. I believe that there are different types of feminism, not ‘good’ or ‘bad’. There are people who identify as ‘radical feminists’, who believe that the sexualization of the female body is considered shameful and disempowering; while other feminists, identifying as ‘radical sex feminists’, believe that nudity and sexualization of the female body is empowering (too an extent). Feminism is as dynamic and individualized as the female population itself. The majority of women, including Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj identify as feminists because they believe in fundamental rights for women, but they may still disagree on other topics relating to feminism.

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  4. I think another big issue to bring up with Taylor Swift, especially the Bad Blood video is how petty and hateful it is/she can be. She is constantly getting into fights with other female artists and putting them down. Besides the fact that its pretty immature, her attitudes towards other women in the industry aren’t exactly feminist. I also think Taylor uses feminist ideas only when it’s convenient for her. For example if someone is sexist toward her, she would call them out, but I would highly doubt she would stand up for other women, especially those outside her exclusive squad.

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  5. I agree with this post, especially the last point you discussed when stating that both Nicki and Taylor can define as feminists. They may not be actively supporting women’s rights around the world, or they may contradict what they say with their actions, but they are still considered feminists. Anyone can be a feminist, some people are just not as passionate as others. I agree with Amanda as well, that there are many different types of feminists, not just good or bad. But, if I had to define what a “good” feminist is, I would say that it is someone who has strong opinions on women’s rights, and they act on their opinions to help fight for equality. A good feminist is someone who is not afraid to voice that opinion and someone who can help make a change in our society for the betterment of women everywhere.

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  6. Firstly, I agree completely that Taylor and Nicki should be able to identify as feminists, even if that isn’t what we see them as, because what qualifies us to be able to judge the extent of their feminism? However, just playing devil’s advocate here, I’m not saying I agree or disagree because frankly I don’t know where I stand on the issue, but is it really fair for us to hold Taylor to such a high standard of feminism? I’m sure not every single person who identifies as a feminist attended one of the marches around the world, and they still identify as a feminist even after the fact. To me, attending the march makes no one person more of a feminist than another, and it doesn’t seem fair that we hold Taylor’s lack of attendance against her so harshly, but at the same time, with the very large platform that Taylor possesses, would it have been the responsible thing to do? Probably. However, the question of whether or not Taylor is a feminist or not aside, I strongly believe that Taylor Swift is a bad person. What does that have to do with the discussion at hand? Nothing really, just wanted to say it. #BuyChainedToTheRhythmOniTunes

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  7. I enjoyed the discussion in class about celebrity feminists. It was interesting to hear all the opinions people have celebrities that we all look up to. It was sad to hear that Taylor Swift does not really show too much support for the feminist community. I understand that keeping your opinion to yourself is right that anybody has, but I think if she’s going to speak out about other things then she should do other activities such as attend the Women’s March along with other celebrities. It also bugged me that Nicki Minaj doesn’t show support for the LGBT community either. I think in today’s age, everyone should show support for everyone. With so much hate in the world, I think it’s beneficial when celebrities show their support to their fan bases to set good examples and then hopefully these fans will follow because a lot of people look up to these superstars and value their opinions.

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  8. I think that it is impossible to talk about any social issue appropriately without addressing celebrities that take stands on certain issues. Despite both Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj having music that talks about women and women’s issues, I never truly labeled either of them as feminists. Now, though, i think the proper title for them is inactive feminists. Though they both occasionally speak out against certain injustices in the world, neither of them full heartedly is advocate for all social injustices. To be a true feminist, like how Uniqueud said above, you have to care about everyone and their rights. Whereas Taylor Swift and her “squad” promote exclusivity and the typically “model look” in the aforementioned “Bad Blood” Nicki Minaj often promotes the oversexification of both men and women alike. Despite neither of them constantly using their videos to promote such things, they both have access to the means of doing so. I think one of the worse things any celebrity can do is have such a large audience and not use it to make social change in today’s society.

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  9. I think you touch upon something else that we did not thoroughly flesh out in class, and that’s the insistence on seeing feminists as a monolith. Feminism as a movement is made up of individuals and because of this there are conflicting viewpoints and perspectives. This goes hand in hand with the notion of a “perfect” feminist or the right way to be a feminist. Taylor Swift’s feminism isn’t perfect but I think it is important to call her out on her problematic behavior. Taylor Swift engages in a form of pop feminism, one that looks appealing because it promotes “girl power” but glosses over what may affect the lives of women/femmes in conjunction with sexism. I don’t believe Taylor Swift needs to be perfect, but just needs to do better.

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  10. In my opinion Taylor and Nicki are great people that stand for something much bigger than fame. I dont think actions define someone a feminist or not. With that being said actions do speak louder than words. Therefore I completely agree with this post. While I myself would not define myself as a feminist. However there are certain ideas that I agree with that feminist fight for. At the same time I am also not the type of person that would act upon them. Just because Taylor and Nicki don’t act upon their feminist beliefs as much as others would like doesn’t define them feminist or not. I think fans place too much power in the hands of celebrities. They use them as ways to promote causes which they might have no connections to. For example someone above said they were disappointed because Nicki Minaj doesn’t outedly support the LGBT community. My question to them, in the end what does it matter if a famous singer supports you? Shouldn’t you be worried about the people actually in your life supporting you?

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  11. I totally agree 100% with you on how Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift should be able to identify as feminists because as someone here wrote, who are we to judge their extents of feminism. However, I myself, wouldn’t identify Taylor Swift as a feminist, or an active feminist for that matter. I find it extremely ironic when people, more specifically celebrities, try to preach something they aren’t passionate about for the sake of their image, which is exactly what I feel Taylor Swift does. I’m not really a fan of her to be completely honest, and it’s because of the fact that I feel she is one of those celebrities. If her song “Bad Blood” is in fact directed towards Katy Perry, it would be contradicting since feminism has mostly to do with empowering other women rather than bringing them down. She mostly identifies as a feminists in times where it has been convenient for her. I feel it is important to practice what you preach, which to me is something she needs to do a better job on.

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  12. I agree that these 2 celebrities can identify with being feminists even if we do not agree about the actions that may or may not match with this title. In my other comment I touched upon a big spectrum of feminists, and it not just being a black or white identity. You aren’t just a feminist or not a feminist, there is so many ways one can identify as this that differs person to person. But in my opinion, these women say they are feminists but have such a big spot light on them, which has many eyes following it so they should put some action into being a feminist. They have money and power to be able to make great contributions and support and from an everyday view nothing is standing out to me from anything these 2 have done. I also liked how Miley Cyrus was brought up in class discussion because to me she has greatly supported and contributed not only feminism but the LGBT community as well, and for me (I am not a Miley fan or follower by any means), I even know she has done something to bring support, awareness, and love to these things. Anyone can claim to being what ever they want, but for celebrities who have the ability (money and a voice that people will hear) it is very interesting why they would claim to be feminists and not have had done anything really to make that claim true.

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