Sacrilege!! – A Rule 15 Violation


Blog Rule #15:

Thou shall not diss Taylor Swift.

Could that be any plainer? Is there any ambiguity to that statement?

The Hollywood Reporter:

Camille Paglia: Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Hollywood Are Ruining Women

When Forbes released its annual list of Hollywood’s highest-paid women in October, it was no surprise that Oprah Winfrey passed everyone else by a mile. Her vast media empire, pulling in $165 million last year, swamped her nearest competitor, Britney Spears, whose earnings from music, TV and product endorsements totaled a distant second at $58 million. Spears’ career has made a spectacular recovery after what seemed like a squalid death spiral just a few short years ago — but she’s being given a run for her money by the new gals in town.

It’s staggering that 22-year-old Taylor Swift earned $57 million and Katy Perry $45 million. How is it possible that such monumental fortunes could be accumulated by performers whose songs have barely escaped the hackneyed teenybopper genre? But more important, what do the rise and triumph of Swift and Perry tell us about the current image of women in entertainment?

Despite the passage of time since second-wave feminism erupted in the late 1960s, we’ve somehow been thrown back to the demure girly-girl days of the white-bread 1950s. It feels positively nightmarish to survivors like me of that rigidly conformist and man-pleasing era, when girls had to be simple, peppy, cheerful and modest. Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds and Sandra Dee formed the national template — that trinity of blond oppressors!

As if flashed forward by some terrifying time machine, there’s Taylor Swift, America’s latest sweetheart, beaming beatifically in all her winsome 1950s glory from the cover of Parade magazine in the Thanksgiving weekend newspapers. In TV interviews, Swift affects a “golly, gee whiz” persona of cultivated blandness and self-deprecation, which is completely at odds with her shrewd glam dress sense. Indeed, without her mannequin posturing at industry events, it’s doubtful that Swift could have attained her high profile.

Beyond that, Swift has a monotonous vocal style, pitched in a characterless keening soprano and tarted up with snarky spin that is evidently taken for hip by vast multitudes of impressionable young women worldwide. Her themes are mainly complaints about boyfriends, faceless louts who blur in her mind as well as ours. Swift’s meandering, snippy songs make 16-year-old Lesley Gore’s 1963 hit “It’s My Party (And I’ll Cry if I Want to)” seem like a towering masterpiece of social commentary, psychological drama and shapely concision.

Gee, what a horrible role model.

Still one week shy of her 23rd birthday, Taylor Swift is worth an estimated $165 million, none of which she inherited. She writes or co-writes all of her music, plays guitar, banjo and piano, has cranked out four top-selling studio albums as well as numerous number one hit singles and has won just about every possible award in music. Meanwhile she is unfailingly polite, attentive to her fans and is involved in numerous charitable causes.

Despite the fact that Taylor’s love-life is infamous for a number of bad relationships she has maintained a public image and persona that is sweet and wholesome. She has never been arrested for anything nor is she alleged to use drugs or alcohol. Taylor has stated that she believes it is her duty to be a positive role model for her fans.

As far as her music, it’s a matter of taste. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to listen to it.

But wait! There’s more:

Urban rappers’ notorious sexism seems to have made black female performers stronger and more defiant. But middle-class white girls, told that every career is open to them and encouraged to excel at athletics, are faced with slacker white boys nagged by the PC thought police into suppressing their masculinity — which gets diverted instead into video games and the flourishing genre of online pornography.

The emotional deficiencies in sanitized middle-class life have led to the blockbuster success of the five Twilight films as well as this year’s The Hunger Games. Their stars are nice white girls thrust into extreme situations and looking for strength. But the movies are set in abnormal environments of supernatural vampirism or dystopian survivalism. Romance is peculiarly intertwined with bloody atrocities and the yearning fabrication of foster families.

The insipid, bleached-out personas of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry cannot be blamed on some eternal law of “bubblegum” music. Connie Francis, with her powerhouse blend of country music and operatic Italian belting, was between 19 and 21 when she made her mammoth hits like “Lipstick on Your Collar” and “Stupid Cupid.” Movie ingenues once had far more sophistication and complexity than they do today: Leslie Caron was 20 at her debut in An American in Paris; Elizabeth Taylor was 19 in A Place in the Sun; Kim Novak was 22 in Picnic; Natalie Wood was 17 in Rebel Without a Cause.

Paradoxically, a key problem with the current youth cult, which is devouring both entertainment and fashion, is that aging women have become progressively invisible. If girls are helplessly stalled at the ingenue phase, it’s partly because women in their 40s and 50s are, via Botox, fillers and cosmetic surgery, still trying to look like they’re 20. Few roles are being written these days for character actresses — parts once regularly taken by Marie Dressler, Marjorie Main, Thelma Ritter or Maureen Stapleton. But Hollywood is overflowing with fascinating, charismatic and outrageously underutilized career actresses from Raquel Welch to Theresa Russell. The field for top roles is even sparser, populated by barely more than Meryl Streep and Jane Fonda. Middle-class white girls will never escape the cookie-cutter tyranny of their airless ghettos until the entertainment industry looks into its soul and starts giving them powerful models of mature womanliness.

So what female artists does Paglia believe are good role models? Rihanna (who has apparently reconciled with her abuser, Chris Brown), Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce.


I’ll let Molly Ivins have the last word:

There is one area in which I think Paglia and I would agree that politically correct feminism has produced a noticeable inequity. Nowadays, when a woman behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, “Poor dear, it’s probably PMS.

Whereas, if a man behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, “What an asshole.

Let me leap to correct this unfairness by saying of Paglia, “Sheesh, what an asshole.”

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55 Responses to Sacrilege!! – A Rule 15 Violation

  1. DeniseVB says:

    I stopped paying attention to “feminists” when they told Sarah Palin to stay home with her children.

  2. votermom says:

    Today’s self-appointed feminist leaders are people who see it as their job to tell other women that they are doing it wrong.
    Doesn’t matter what the it is you’re doing – rest assured, if you are a woman, there is a feminist bobble head ready to tell you that you suck for doing it.

    It’s just not feminists – the entire left has turned into control freak central.

  3. Erin says:

    People have been bitching about the vapid youth culture since the dawn of time. It’s always the same message – my youth culture was better than yours.

    The article just makes me want to ask Paglia if she have to walk uphill in the snow both ways to get to school?

  4. leslie says:

    “Mean” — my favorite. I sent my daughter to this video right after the a**hole she had been seeing threatened her and they broke up (thank goddesses everywhere). It has become her anthem and I have seen some really great shifts in her life. She was always great, and the guys she saw were always intimidated and jealous of her intelligence, her stamina and her ability to come out on top.

  5. Mary says:

    Boy, I sure miss Molly. She would’ve helped us all get through the Obama years and the Obots.

    “Sheesh, what an asshole.” Yes, indeed, Molly. The certainly are. 🙂

  6. yttik says:

    “Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds and Sandra Dee formed the national template — that trinity of blond oppressors!”

    This pretty much sums up what’s wrong with feminists these days. They blame women for always doing it wrong.The ridiculousness in that sentence really jumps out. I can’t recall Doris Day ever oppressing anyone. The whole concept that other women oppress us by being too wholesome, by not staying home with their kids, by staying home with their kids, by running for public office, by being too hot, too cold, too fat, too thin, is just stupid.

  7. HELENK says:

    sounds like this woman is jealous of the talent and youth of Taylor Swift.
    At Taylor’s age almost 23, she is still looking for someone to have a long term relationship with, and sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.

    It is harder for young women today. the culture has little respect for them. Look at the rap music. They are being taught that they are pieces of meat and to have little respect for them selves.

    when a president has songs played like I got 99 problems and the bitch ain’t one of them, how can you expect young women to get treated with respect? When women like Sarah Palin, and Hilary Clinton get dragged through the mud and these so called feminists did not have the guts to speak out how can young women get treated with respect.

    so yes this so called feminist is an a$$hole

    • Constance says:

      I agree, she sounds jealous of Taylor’s youth and talent. And whats this crap about older women being made increasingly invisible? Since when is that news? Older women have always been invisible to men and the society they create and their fake societies like media. I find it kind of nice. It gives me a feeling of privacy and immunity. I can now walk around in public and do what ever I need to do without being stared at.

  8. SimoFish says:

    I am so damn sick of labels.
    I remember back in the day a lesbian had to be a certain way. People wanted to know who took out the garbage in my relationship. WTF?

    I’ve always lived by the fact I was gonna do what I wanted. Act the way I wanted and screw the gender norms. I’d wear make up if I wanted or not.

    Women have always been woman’s biggest enemy.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Here I thought feminism was about giving women choices. Turns out it’s just about forcing women to live by a different set of limited stereotypes.

    • piper says:

      Women have always been woman’s biggest enemy.

      Sad but true

      • gxm17 says:

        And it’s probably the most effective form of oppression, when the oppressor is the oppressed. Unity and solidarity can never take hold in such an environment. Very sad, and very true.

  9. HELENK says:

    Nurse found dead took hoax call from Australian radio station about treatment of Duchess of Cambridge, BBC understands

    what the hell happened here

  10. swanspirit says:

    Camille Paglia is a steaming pile of cat crap , and should be thrown out with the clumping kitty litter that constitutes current feminism.

  11. conner43 says:

    The meaning of the fact that according to her own article, Taylor plays at least three instruments and writes most of her own songs, seems to have escaped Paglia. Song writing, and composing are very hard work, if Ms Paglia doesn’t like the end result, perhaps she should study the culture that buys this type of music. But the work ethic of the artists is hard to miss.

  12. tommy says:

    Taylor Swift……….booo………hiss.

  13. HELENK says:

    Iowa Hawk

    Voter ID is a threat to our civil liberties.” -guy getting junk fondled by TSA agent after govenment xray

    that sentence sums it all up and people like ass end of the boat still do not get it

  14. foxyladi14 says:

    Women have always been woman’s biggest enemy.
    one day maybe that will change 🙂

  15. HELENK says:

    I want one

  16. angienc says:

    Paglia is also a HUGE fan of Madonna– seriously, she’s written volumes on her “artistry”blah, blah, blah. Note how she conveniently left her off the list now that Madonna has proven what a fool she is.

    • swanspirit says:

      I noticed , LOL hypocrisy alert !

    • HELENK says:

      I remember when madonna was first in her happy hooker days. She would play at Madison Square Garden at Penn Station. You could see the fans dressed like junior hookers come to see the show. Then she has her own kids and claimed that her kids would not be corrupted by videos demeaning women. Funny how she did not give a damn when it was someone else’s kid.

  17. Constance says:

    I love Taylor Swift. One of the things I lover most about her is she doesn’t prance around in her underwear and heels and call it talent. You can have Katy P, she is just another poptart of the Madonna era. Taylor and Adele are the only two women singers with any self respect.

  18. tommy says:

    BHO will accept unlimited corporate donations for his inauguration, unlike 4 years ago. Now that hes been reelected, hes showing his true colors. Hes been owned from the start.

    • angienc says:

      He also — this guy whom we are supposed to believe just won — can’t get enough money from other sources for it.

      • tommy says:

        The dude is slowly revealing himself. Its idiotic that the progs are still wed to him. Hes bought and owned by some overlords. We don’t know who, but we know that its true. A dude, 4 years ago, who refused corporate donations for his inauguration, suddenly now that hes reelected, accepts unlimited corporate donations? Stinks as hell.

  19. DandyTiger says:

    I’ve never understood the hate of popular music by some. Of course a lot is light, silly entertainment. A lot is designed for dancing. It’s often aimed at younger kids and designed for fun. Over time some of it becomes much loved and acclaimed classics where it was trashed by the “critics” initially. But somehow if it isn’t made by some long suffering politically correct artist all dressed in black, it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Of course some stuff is bad, or executed badly. That’s life. But people need to loosen the fuck up and have fun. Just my $.02. YMMV.

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