Misogyny in the music industry (Taylor’s Version) 

Why you should be a Swiftie


Photo by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash

Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album, “Reputation,” rests on a table. She released the album in 2017. 

Billboards, headlines, social media, Spotify playlists and casual conversation all frequently call attention to the name “Taylor Swift.” Since 2006, when she released her first album, “Debut,” the singer-songwriter has taken the world by storm, winning ten Grammys and six American Music Awards for Artist of the Year. 

Most importantly, Swift has attracted a dedicated and immense audience, and a community of fans who refer to themselves as Swifties. Swift often teases her fans with Easter eggs about her upcoming music on social media. 

“Easter eggs are a sort of hint into what’s coming next from [Swift], it could be an album obviously or a single,” Juliana Lomas, junior and Swiftie at the school, said. “[The most well known one] is the [Instagram] post with a caption of ‘not a lot going on at the moment,’ and then releasing ‘folklore’ a month later, and she did the same thing before releasing ‘evermore…’ I’m not the best at solving them but it’s always fun to try, it makes you feel more involved than otherwise.” 

Many fans view Swift’s online presence as being the best aspect of “Swiftiehood.” 

“[My favorite part about being a Swiftie] is connecting with others,” sophomore Lucy Hultquist said. “It’s so easy to be like, ‘I like [Taylor Swift],’ and [someone says] ‘I like [Taylor Swift] too,’ and [suddenly] there’s like a million things you can talk about… I love Taylor Swift because…, I feel like I know her…like I’m friends with her…. She’s the only millennial I like.” 

Despite the diehard fanbase Swift has gathered, Swift has many haters. This hatred is often fueled by misogyny, meaning it is directed at Swift because she is a woman. 

“There’s been many times [in which people] are like ‘oh, Taylor Swift only writes songs about her exes,’ and okay, so does Justin Bieber and literally every single artist on the planet, [but they don’t get as much hate],” Lomas said. 

Hultquist agrees. 

“If you’re saying that [she only writes about her exes,] I just don’t believe that you’ve ever listened to [a lot of her music,]” Hultquist said. “She has breakup songs, so does everyone, but so many of her songs are about … different things, like her working through stuff mentally… so I think it’s completely unfair.” 

Some of the backlash Swift receives stems from the 2009 incident in which famous rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, took the microphone from Swift on stage while she was receiving the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) award for Best Female Video, to say that pop artist Beyoncé should have won it instead. The relationship between the two has simmered down since Swift’s release of “Reputation,” an album many believe was a response to the long-term feud. However, many of Ye’s fans are somewhat against Taylor. 

“I think [Kanye] is a good artist,” Hultquist said. “[However, almost] every single boy I’ve ever met is like a fanboy for Kanye, so I think that [oftentimes] they’ll hear Kanye doesn’t like Taylor Swift, and then they don’t like Taylor Swift.” 

This perspective is not only limited, but often prevents people from listening to Swift, and exploring her music and its range, all due to a rivalry unrelated to their own lives. Recently, Swift has branched out into alternative music, illustrated in her sister albums “folklore” and “evermore” that were both released in 2020. Junior Oliver Meek appreciated these albums in his journey to becoming a Swiftie. 

“I am [a] pretty recent [fan], I only got into her music after ‘folklore’ and ‘evermore’ came out,” Meek said. “I eventually got through all of her albums and am now a big fan… she has [a lot] of variety. Everyone has at least like four Taylor Swift songs that they know and like, but not everyone can love all the music.” 

Recently, in another fight against misogyny, Swift has chosen to redo some of her past albums and coined the remakes “Taylor’s Version” in order to have ownership of her music. 

“Basically, Scott Borchetta [the CEO of Big Machine Records] decided to sell Taylor’s masters to Scooter Braun…, who [allegedly] bullied her [over] Justin Bieber for years,” Lomas said. “He was not who she was expecting her masters to be sold to, and so [she created] ‘Taylor’s Version’ or rerecordings, and you know that when you access that [music], she owns it.” 

“Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version)” are the only albums that have been redone so far, but most fans think Swift will eventually remake all of her albums up to “Lover,” released in 2019, which she already owns. Many Swifties have been enjoying the remakes, which can be differentiated from the originals by a “(Taylor’s Version)” in the song title. 

“It’s been really cool to see how her vocals have grown…, to hear her sing these songs as a 30 year old when she wrote them at 15 or 16 or 17,” Lomas said. “[It’s also been cool] reliving all the eras that I didn’t get to because I was younger.” 

Meek agrees. 

“I think some of the publicity and hype around the rerecordings is a little much, but as someone who came late to the T.S. party, it’s [been] fun to relive all the eras,” Meek said. 

Fan favorite “From The Vault” tracks, which include Swift singing songs that were originally on her album, but did not make the cut, are another aspect of “Taylor’s Version.” An example of one is “All Too Well (Ten Minute Version) (From The Vault) (Taylor’s Version),” the popular and incredible track from “Red (Taylor’s Version),” accompanied by a short film that can be found on Youtube. The short film, directed by Swift, stars Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. 

“[One of my favorite ‘From The Vault’ tracks] is “All Too Well” ten minutes…,” Lomas said. “It doesn’t feel like a ten-minute song; you sit there [and listen], and it’s not like droning on and on. You’re so engaged in it the whole time, which [I think] is pretty hard to do.” 

Swift fights against misogyny in the music industry and news frequently, as do many  female artists, especially women of color. As fans, I believe it is our duty to call out when we see something wrong in the music industry in order to protect the artists we love. This way, artists like Swift — who was inspired by fans to create “Taylor’s Version,”–  can continue creating art with a whole army of devoted fans, like Swifties, behind them. 

“She truly changes your life… she’s so good,” Hultquist said. “[It would be 100 percent worthwhile for someone to try out Taylor’s music,] you just need to give her a chance.” 

Lomas echoes that fondness for Swift. 

“[If I could say anything to Taylor Swift,] it [would be] ‘thank you for making your music, because it’s one of my favorite things,’” Lomas said. 


Link to quiz to see which album wannabe Swifities should listen to first: