Dear Ms. Paglia,
ROMNEY WORDSWORTH – I recently took note of your article carried in the Hollywood Reporter, wherein you referred to Taylor Swift as a “Nazi Barbie”, and decried “girl squad selfies”. Specifically, you wrote, in relevant part:
“Girl squads were a hashtag summer craze that may have staying power. Blogs and magazines featured intricate star charts of the constellations of celebrity gal pals clustering around Taylor Swift, Cameron Diaz, Lena Dunham or Tina Fey.”
“In our wide-open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting a silly, regressive public image — as in the tittering, tongues-out mugging of Swift’s bear-hugging posse. Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props, an exhibitionistic overkill that Lara Marie Schoenhal’s brilliantly parodied in her scathing viral video “Please Welcome to the Stage.”
“Writing about Taylor Swift is a horrific ordeal for me because her twinkly persona is such a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth,”
As an aside, some of my readers may not know who you are, Ms. Paglia, so let me note here that you have been a Professor at the University of Arts in Philadelphia since 1984 (in 1984 I was a Junior in College). You have been a prominent social critic for decades, and I have always personally admired your intellectual honesty and personal courage. While we probably don’t agree on much politically or socially, you being a Progressive and I being a Conservative, you being inspired by Nietzsche and I being inspired by Adam Smith and John Locke, I nevertheless respect your willingness to call the Progressive Movement on its fallacies. You most recently, and memorably, castigated the college feminist movement’s penchant for “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” as embarrassing juvenile, a view I tend to agree with.
Unfortunately, when you refer to “fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth”, you really say more about yourself, and perhaps the emotional and psychological scars you bear, than anything about Ms. Swift. You came of age in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, long before Ms. Swift was even born. Whatever those mean girls did to you all those ages ago are between you, the ghosts of your past, and your therapist. They have nothing to do with Taylor Swift, other than the superficiality of hair and eye color.
Taylor Swift, Aryan Pin Up Girl?
Society has always celebrated beautiful blue eyed, blonde hair women. Get over it, Camille. This accident of genetics does not make one a Nazi, and under Godwin’s Law, whatever argument you have with Taylor Swift was immediately lost when you resorted to using the Nazi epithet.
Mamie Van Doren, blonde pin up girl of the 1950’s. Now with Trigger Warnings.
Taylor Swift is a pop music star, she isn’t supposed to be a statesman on the affairs of the world. Pop music is about fluff. It dwells on themes of young teen aged romance and broken hearts. It doesn’t even rise to the adult themes of American Country Music, like losing your job, divorce, your pick-up truck breaking down, and your dog dying. Audiences don’t expect or even want political preachiness in their pop. There are pop stars that do go there—they litter the graveyard of ruined careers. Remember to leave a wreath by the tombstone of the Dixie Chicks if you go for a visit. In the words of Laura Ingraham, most pop music listeners prefer their stars to “shut up and sing”, and spare us the lectures on fur, red meat, and that Great Hoax known as Global Warming.
So girl selfie squads don’t convey a sufficiently cogent feminism? Good, because Third Wave Feminism is all about hating men anyway and is simply a Marxist engineered attack on marriage and the family. Taylor Swift’s lyrics portray women pining for men they are infatuated with, a perfectly normal state of affairs for normal, heterosexual American girls. Oh, the horror for the militant feminists. Too bad. Stop trying to change who people really are, you and the rest of the feminist harpies have no right to do so.