The Pattern of Misogyny Towards Taylor Swift & Female Artists 

Named TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year, Taylor Swift has dominated the spotlight with the projected release of three albums, her extravagant Eras Tour/Movie, and her record-breaking fourth-time Grammy win for Album of the Year. However, despite Swift’s revolutionary accomplishments as a female artist, her recent public perception has been maimed by misogyny.

Swift first entered the music industry at sixteen years old. After many years and several album roll-outs, she gained a large following of dedicated fans, critical acclaim through countless awards, and public notoriety as one of the most famous female pop stars. While she was beloved at the beginning of her career, the media slowly disliked her success and over-exposure to the spotlight. The public began to critique her appearance, mock her dating history, and target her for “only writing breakup songs,” despite many male artists, such as Ed Sheeran and John Mayer, receiving no backlash for having a similar catalog of breakup songs. In 2016, Swift feuded with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian over Kanye’s sexist lyrics about Swift in his song Famous. Following an illegally recorded phone call that presented Swift in a negative light, #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty became the most widely used hashtag on Twitter. Swift went into hiding, moved to a foreign country, and reinvented herself with her response album, Reputation. Following this drop in Swift’s public perception, she released her music under a less intense media lens. However, as Swift’s tenth album, Midnights, has been released and her accompanying worldwide Eras Tour has begun, she has been subjected to a recurring level of public scrutiny rooted in sexism. 

Having been photographed more frequently out and about, Swift has made thousands of headlines in the past year. Additionally, Swift has begun dating Travis Kelce, a well-known NFL player, adding to her expanded public visibility. While many NFL player’s girlfriends, such as Jessica Simpson, have received sexist backlash from sports fans, Swift’s fame has expedited the misogyny. While arriving at a recent Kansas Chiefs game, Swift received boos from many attendees, and she’s been subject to widespread sports-related online criticism. In response, Swift has noted that “There’s a camera, like, a half-mile away, and you don’t know where it is, and you have no idea when the camera is putting you in the broadcast, so I don’t know if I’m being shown 17 times or once…I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads, and Chads.” However, even though Swift appears at NFL games to support her boyfriend, many seem to hate her solely for being a woman present at a primarily male-dominated sports event. This hatred represents a common thread with many famous female stars; the public builds them up until they are sick of their success and excess publicity and decide to take them down.

Though many have raised valid concerns against Swift’s status as a billionaire and owner of a private jet, these factors have risen in discussion solely to shut down and diminish her successes as an inspirational female artist. Though Swift’s carbon emissions are detrimental and deserving of criticism, many note that the online disapproval is not evenly distributed to the wide selection of celebrities, such as Drake, the Kardashians, Beyonce, and many more, who also own private jets. Many believe that it is necessary to hold a discussion about billionaires and private jet usage in the context of all celebrities rather than an attack on Swift’s character, message, and impact on society and women.

Swift is not the only female pop star to receive widespread hatred. Interests that mainly adhere to teenage girls are criticized and not taken seriously due to society’s negative outlook on young girls. For instance, Swift and Olivia Rodrigo have both been mocked and denounced for their emotional and diaristic songwriting of love, a genre of music that often adheres to teenage girls. Olivia Rodrigo has responded to this hate by saying, “‘I’m a teenage girl, I write about stuff that I feel really intensely — and I feel heartbreak and longing really intensely — and I think that’s authentic and natural. I don’t really understand what people want me to write about; do you want me to write a song about income taxes? How am I going to write an emotional song about that?” Other female artists like Billie Eilish have been scrutinized for their clothing choices, bodies, and appearances, critiques that many male artists have evaded. Many have referenced their fear that rising pop stars such as Renee Rapp will soon be subject to similar public fatigue due to her viral media clips and recent widespread popularity. This online hatred of female artists only further fuels and excuses the misogyny and mistreatment of young girls around the world.

Swift is only one of many pop stars whose groundbreaking success as a female artist has been diminished due to sexism. The vicious cycle of female hatred is embedded in society and has affected and will continue to affect female artists and women until we learn to celebrate female success. 

Works Cited

Chiu, Allyson. “Celebrities use private jets excessively. It’s a climate nightmare.” Washington Post, 2, Aug, 2022, Accessed 01 Mar. 2024.

Lansky, Sam. “Person of the Year 2023: Taylor Swift.” Time, 6 Dec. 2023, Accessed 01 Mar. 2024.

Pantezzi, Chase. “From Feminism to Private Jets: Is the Criticism Aimed at Taylor Swift Justified?” The Tufts Daily, 26 Feb. 2024, Accessed 01 Mar. 2024.

McNeal, Stephanie. “I Fear Taylor Swift Fatigue Is Coming.” Glamour, 6 Oct. 2023, Accessed 01 Mar. 2024.

Sofo, Lindsey. “The Music Industry’s Hate of Female Fans.” Medium, 3 Oct. 2021, Accessed 01 Mar. 2024.

“Taylor Swift Praised for Response as She’s Booed by Fans While Arriving at Chiefs Playoff Game.” UNILAD, Accessed 01 Mar. 2024.

Heritageherald. “Misogyny in the Music Industry.” The Heritage Herald, 22 Sept. 2021, Accessed 01 Mar. 2024.

posts, Anna Gorman-CargillAll author, et al. “Eilish and Rodrigo: Why Are These Women Getting So Much Hate?” Shout Out UK, 29 Feb. 2024, Accessed 01 Mar. 2024.