I have never been much of a Taylor Swift fan. This was partially because I was never a big fan of country music in general. Another reason was that her songs tended to have a clear theme: relationships. Swift has been criticized throughout her career as a country artist for dating tons of guys and then writing songs about them once their relationship is over. This used to bother me. However, I now see how wrong I was to judge her. It is her life, and she should be able to date whomever she wants without criticism. Why should it matter how many men she has dated or whether she writes her songs about them? She has the right to express her feelings through her art and to explore her sexuality without public scrutiny.
Along with this epiphany came the realization that women get criticized more than men do for their dating life. When a male celebrity goes on dates with different girls, no one seems to notice. It is just accepted as the norm. However, when a female celebrity does the same, her face is in all the magazines and people are appalled at her involvement in the dating scene. Why should men be able to explore their sexuality, while women can’t? Why should Miley Cyrus be ostracized for her famous 2013 VMA performance of “Blurred Lines,” while Robin Thicke isn’t? He took part in the over-sexualized performance as much as she did; it takes two to tango! And he is the one who wrote the song “Blurred Lines,” which includes language that supports rape culture in our society. Shouldn’t he be the one that people think is crazy, not Miley?
I think that society is still so obsessed with the idea that women are supposed to be pure and innocent, that they forget how restricting this is on women. People hold us to such a high standard, and if we do one little thing that may conflict with this view, we are immediately called demeaning names and looked down on by society. Now, I’m not saying that everyone holds women to these standards or treats them so horribly. Of course there are plenty of kind, sane people in this world! However, I do think that a good portion of society just can’t let go of the perfect housewife, Virgin Mary image of women. Society needs to stop slut-shaming women and start accepting the fact that women are human beings, too.