Swift is a successful young woman and a terrific philanthropist, so why so much unending hate?

A few weeks ago there was a hilarious skit on SNL. It was one of their classic faux commercials, this one for a drug called “Swiftamine.” The drug treats a new and growing health problem: “Realizing you love Taylor Swift has become the leading cause of vertigo among adults.”

What made the skit so LOL funny was just how true it was: Admitting that you don’t hate Taylor Swift or worse, that you really like one of her songs, or worst of all, that you really like her is anathema to coolness. Because Taylor Swift is such a girl and her music is so, you know, girly.

I mean, you can love Beyoncé even though she writes unsingable songs like “Drunk in Love” or catchy songs with a wtf message like “All the Single Ladies.” You can love Rihanna, despite some really disturbing lyrics and pairings with woman-hating misogynists like Eminem and Chris Brown. You can love Iggy Azalea and Tove Lo and Rita Ora , but you can’t admit to loving Taylor Swift or worse, her music.

Even as I write this, a Swiftian refrain from her mega-hit ”Shake It Off” is on a loop tape in my head: “haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”

Why can’t we love Taylor Swift?

Is it because those cool girls, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler dissed her at both the 2013 and 2014 Golden Globes and then told Taylor–less than half their age–to grow the f*** up when she objected in a subtweet? Is it because she didn’t throw a tantrum when Kanye West interrupted her speech at the 2009 VMAs (Swift was only 19 and accepting her first Best Female Video Award for “You Belong to Me.”) to say she didn’t deserve it?

Is it because she’s made some bad love choices (who among us hasn’t?) because she’s still under 25 and much older guys like Jake Gyllenhaal and John Mayer have dated her because she’s smart and talented and adorable? (Meanwhile Fey and Poehler had joked that she was the predator for dating a guy all of two years younger than she.)

The disturbing reality is Taylor Swift gets negative press because she is smart, talented, adorable, funny, nice, an extraordinary philanthropist, an activist looks great in clothes from any era and unlike some of her peers in the music business (we’re looking at you, Justin Bieber), has never been in trouble, except in song lyrics.

Sadly, it’s still not okay for women to succeed. And when young women succeed, it must be a fluke, like Snoop Dogg implied in his sexist takedown of Iggy Azalea. (He’s 43, she’s 24.) Or Eminem’s rape lyrics about Iggy Azalea (he’s 43 and she responded, “I’m bored of old men threatening young women.”) Previously, 22-year-old Charli XCX and Adele have taken heat, as has Miley Cyrus.

So Swift isn’t the only one–she’s just the one with the most awards, the most top singles and the most money.

I admit I’m not a huge fan of Swift’s music–there are some songs I like, but most aren’t in my musical wheelhouse, catchy though they may be. As for Swift herself, however, to paraphrase a line from Charli XCX’s hit she wrote for Iconapop–I don’t care, I love her. Swift’s massively talented, has one of the most highly developed senses of irony of anyone in current pop music and she’s about as real as it gets.

Swift’s also an amazing businesswoman, as evidenced by her recent decision to pull her music from Spotify. (Male musicians have already done so and it wasn’t a scandal when they did so, but this is Taylor Swift, so it made business and bash-Taylor news, although Sony used her as their rationale to rethink its deal with Spotify, and Spotify will still have to pay Swift more than $300,000 for its streaming of nearly 44 million plays of “Shake It Off” in October).

What does it mean that a 24 year old’s grace under pressure and ironic song lyrics have stood up to all the mean-spirited attacks from people twice her age?

It means we not only shouldn’t hate Taylor Swift, we should like, seriously, adore her. And the reason we don’t is pathetically, programmatically, stereotypically simple: Sexism.

Partly, it is Swift’s massive success across two genres, country and pop. There are few recording artists who have Swift’s resume. On Nov. 19 she actually bested herself, knocking “Shake It Off” off the number one spot in the country with “Blank Space,” both songs from her already-platinum album 1989. Swift is the first female recording artist to knock one of her own number one hits off the top of the charts with a different hit.

And then there’s the rest of it: Swift has seven Grammys, 15 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, seven Academy of Country Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards and several Golden Globe nominations. Her songwriting has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Last year Swift became the first woman and only the second artist to receive the Country Music Association’s Pinnacle Award. She was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year in both 2011 and 2014, the first woman to win the award twice.

Rolling Stone named Swift “an immortal” in 2013 and wrote of her, “If Taylor Swift stopped producing hits right now, at 23, she could tour a killer oldies show for the rest of her life.” And according to RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), Swift is the second best selling digital singles artist in America.

Whew!

There’s something daunting about a young woman who succeeds at everything she does, and that’s Swift. We’re conditioned to expect men to succeed. But when women excel to the degree Swift has, particularly without any actual scandal like substance abuse or public meltdowns or beating up paparazzi–the haters come out in droves. Tearing successful women down is a national past time. Just ask Hillary Clinton.

It’s also a past time we really need to stop.

When I first watched Swift’s brilliant music video for “Blank Space” I wanted to share it with every woman I know. So I posted it on Twitter with the comment that it was indeed brilliant. Because it is.

Some feminists gave me the thumbs up. But more responses came from the haters.

Oh come on–how could you possibly miss the oh-so-clever irony in both her lyrics and over-the-top video? You’d have to work hard to miss the genius in Swift’s send-up of not just the dissing and dismissing of Swift herself as nothing more than a boy-crazy “girl,” but of all women as hysterical, bunny-boiling, wardrobe-shredding Fatal Attraction-style lunatics. Lines like “Oh my God, look at that face/You look like my next mistake” or “Boys only want love if it’s torture/Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya” are perfect in-your-face rejoinders to the Feys and Poehlers and everyone else focusing on what a girl Taylor Swift and her girly ilk are.

Yes, she’s a girl.

Yes, she writes about love and loss and bad break ups and her clever lyrics like “And he’s long gone when he’s next to me/And I realize the blame is on me” or “I think that the worst part of it all wasn’t losing him/It was losing me “in “Trouble” strike such a chord with us, whether we’re 15 or 50, we need a strong dose of Swiftamine. Yet isn’t Swift writing those particular lyrics about the perennially self-obsessed John Mayer whose own lovelorn lyrics are considered oh-so-profound and angst-ridden?

Why the double standard?

Take a deep breath instead of the Swiftamine and think about what it is you’re slamming when you’re dissing Taylor Swift, because the only real argument anyone has against her is that she’s such a girl. Even asForbes–yes, Forbes–was focusing on her achievements on Nov. 19, they couldn’t help knocking her down a few pegs while doing so.

“Swift is now the only performer to secure two number one hits this year, though there’s still more than a month left, and anything can happen.” So–she’s achieved something no other performer, male or female, has, but there’s still a few weeks left in the year. Please, someone, knock Swift off her high-performing pedestal!

Sigh.

Then there’s the fact that she’s the first woman to ever knock herself out of the top spot with another one of her own songs (something even Beyoncé and Adele couldn’t do), but Forbes notes smugly that guys did it first. And who were those guys? The Beatles. Outkast. Usher. The Black Eyed Peas. Some of the top-grossing bands of all time.

And Taylor Swift is, after all, just a girl.

Heavy sigh.

Grudgingly, at the end of their screed about Swift, Forbes acknowledges that the sales figures (her album sold two million copies in less than three weeks) are “unprecedented, even for her.”

Oh–so she’s huge success, is she? Even for a girl?

What’s so bad about being a girl? What’s so bad about writing out the pain and excitement and drama of falling in love and having your heart broken? Isn’t that what the guys are writing about? Oh yeah–it is. No one says Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith or John Legend or Justin Timberlake or fill in the blank with a male artist is such a girl. And Billy Joel even said outright last week that he was tired of all the hating on Taylor Swift–he thinks she’s nice and he likes her songs.

First Lady Michelle Obama likes Swift too. She gave her an award in 2012 for all the work Swift has done to make the world a better place. FLOTUS–who has two young daughters, herself, as we know–called Swift a role model. But since Swift doesn’t trumpet her philanthropy with press conferences and press releases, people may not be aware that she’s given millions toward a host of causes and has been hands-on in many of those. Her philanthropy includes rebuilding efforts after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy or tornadoes in various places, educational efforts for kids without books, literacy programs, music programs for schools and colleges, women’s issues, LGBT causes and a myriad of cancer causes for kids and adults. Swift has traveled to various hospitals to cheer up patients—from Walter Reed to visit wounded war vets to various children’s hospitals to visit cancer-stricken kids.

In fact, it could be said about her philanthropy what Rolling Stone said about her musical achievements: she’s an immortal. She’s done many of the things Bono has done and is poised to become another Oprah in terms of her philanthropy–she’s just a few decades younger than both of them.

The raw truth is, every time you hate on Taylor Swift, you’re hating on women. So maybe stop that. It’s not cool, but it is sexist. Just because we were trained to be that way doesn’t mean we should be.

As Swift says at the end of “Blank Space,” “They’ll tell you I’m insane/But I’ve got a blank space, baby/And I’ll write your name.”

Swift may be plagued with haters, but when she appeared on Good Morning America a few weeks ago, Times Square had to be shut down because the crowd to see her was so vast.

Swift topped Billboard’s 2014 Money Makers Rich List–exceeding sales of Beyoncé, P!nk, Justin Timberlake, even the Rolling Stones. So while the “haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate,” Swift continues to add fans to her repertoire. Maybe there aren’t that many takers for Swiftamine after all, and we should all just admit, “It’s a love story, baby, just say yes.” Because loving Taylor Swift? That’s loving the girl in all of us.

I know this is probably pretty dumb… but what if Laura had two dads?

When people shit on Mako and blame him for everything that happened between Team Avatar

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Yes, Mako handled his situation with Asami and Korra in a shitty way and he had to be called out on it, which I’m glad they did in the last episode. But it seems like everyone just lets Korra and Asami off the hook for the shitty way they dealt with things too, which is completely unfair.

Korra handled things really badly, namely acting on her feelings for Mako even though she knew he was already in a relationship, and then blowing up at him whenever he tried to give her his support or rationalise things. And Korra had just as much to do with their break up as Mako did. They were both totally immature and just not ready for a serious relationship. Korra was too hotheaded and irrational and Mako was too much of a people pleaser.

And Asami didn’t help the situation either. Yes, Mako and Korra were broken up, and Asami “technically” wasn’t doing anything wrong, but it was morally shitty of her to kiss Mako knowing that he had just broken up with Korra and that they were all feeling upset and vulnerable. Even though they weren’t best buddies, Asami and Korra were still friends and she was not respecting Mako and Korra’s relationship or her friendship with Korra (just as Korra hadn’t done the same when Mako was dating Asami).

And tbh, if the roles were reversed and it was Mako kissing Asami after she had just gone through a break up with a mutual friend, y’all would be shitting on him and saying that he was taking advantage of her vulnerability and being a shit friend to everyone. So let’s stop pretending that Asami is a perfect princess, because she’s not. Neither is Korra. Nor Mako.

(And like yeah tbh I was really disappointed that Mako tried to invalidate his relationship with Asami to justify his actions - I don’t think that it was consistent with his development since Book 1 and I think that Bryke gave him that line just so Wu, Grandma Yin and Tu would have a cue to call him out on his mistakes and explain that he’s too much of a people pleaser, but whatever. I’m glad he admitted it in the end and it just means that he still has some maturing to do, just like everyone else.)

I am not justifying Mako’s bad decisions, but it is totally unfair that he gets all the blame for the shit that has happened between these characters. I get that Mako stuffed up more than the others, but if you try to justify Korra and Asami’s actions by saying they were confused, stressed or upset, or in any way negatively affected by the situation, and you don’t give Mako the same benefit, you are a hypocrite.

  • What Jean Kirschtein is:Always honest, brutal with said honesty, level-headed, constantly aware, pompous, a master of the three-dimensional maneuvering gear, a unique leader, hot-headed, clever, compassionate, able to admit he's wrong, gutsy, loyal to those he cares about, and dedicated to a cause that he believes is right.
  • What Jean Kirschtein isn't:Marco obsessed, Mikasa obsessed, Eren hating, a bully, a liar, cruel, abusive, a coward, and a Gryffindor in Hogwarts AUs.
Cat Self Defense Keychains

I see a lot on this site about self defense, and honestly, a lot of the things tumblr tells you about keeping yourself safe are very, very wrong. 

You know those little cat self defense keychains everyone seems to be raving about? These ones?

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I know they are cute, and in theory a good idea, but the likelihood of them saving you in the event of an attack is rare. You wouldn’t necessarily be wearing these everywhere, I assume, and often times fights that start out as being physical appear out of nowhere (an assailant from behind, woken up at the middle of the night, etc.), so you wouldn’t have enough time to reach for them immediately. The ears of the cat also don’t appear to be that long, so unless you have amazing aim and strength, and can reach the attacker’s eyes (this may be hard for shorter girls), you’re not going to do much damage. You will be much more successful fighting without drawing blood. Hitting your assailant in the head, knee, or groin will injure them more quickly.

Arms are also not a major source of strength in the body. If you are planning on throwing punches at an assailant with these, think again. You’ll be able to put much more force into your blows if you use your body weight to your advantage. The punch doesn’t really have very much power. Your legs are your best bet, but with the upper body, elbows are key. You’re much more likely to injure yourself by punching with your fists, as the assailant may grab your arms, and you may break your knuckles. Also, I hate to mention this scenario, but the keychain can be stolen and used by the assailant against you. You don’t want to get hurt.

And, on the other side of this, here’s a cool fact: It only takes fifteen pounds of force to break a human knee. Wow. Causing internal damage will make the situation safer for you, as not only will the attacker back down quicker, but they will also not be able to chase after you. Using this keychain will not be the end of the fight, at most it will just slow down the assailant. If someone attacks you physically, it’s very easy to kick them in the knee, and then go find safety and call 911 (or whatever the emergency number for you is), and that’s the end of the fight. It’s quite simple, in fact.

I would also like to bring up the fact that these keychains are technically brass knuckles, which have many laws against them. The ownership of brass knuckles is illegal in many states and countries of the world, including California. Don’t risk the law.

Learning how to protect yourself without the aid of weapons or pepper spray is also in general a very important skill, for women, men, and non-binary folk alike. People are always prepared for what to do in the event of a fire, or earthquake, or tornado, so why would you not prepare for a human attack? Watching videos online, reading about personal safety, and taking self defense classes (such as IMPACT personal safety) are things you should definitely do if you are worried about your safety. Buying these little aluminum key chains won’t do shit if your life’s on the line.

squirrelflight is a role model to every girl out there ok.

squirrelflight stared in the face of someone who wanted to kill her children - just because she didn’t care for him in a romantic manner - and who tried to kill her father, and she’s strong as fuck. she doesn’t take shit and she never tries to make herself smaller or weaker for anyone else.

squirrelflight is literally the best.

John "Kinney/Greene Stan" Barrowman

"I think she’s (Dawn) jealous—jealous because she’s (Beth) pretty, she’s beautiful, and she’s maybe kind of figuring out that she’s stronger than what she thought." -John Barrowman

SEE YVETTE? WE DIDN’T GET PISSED OFF BECAUSE YOU CALLED BETH A DISNEY PRINCESS WITH BIG EYES.

We were pissed off because her looks are ALL you gave her character credit for, with absolutely NO regard to what she did WITHOUT THE HELP OF TEAM FAMILY in Slabtown.