Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris have reportedly broken up, and all I’ve heard about already is how she’ll have great inspiration for her next album. I get the joke, given that Swift has had several famous boyfriends and has admitted to using her breakups as inspiration for songwriting, but come on. This joke is lame at best, and misogynistic at worst.
Swift and Harris were together a reported 15 months, and seemed, by all accounts, pretty happy together. They had their fair share of sweet moments, whether they were walking the streets of NYC or having fun at an awards show. They also gave the world some serious romance envy by flaunting their one-year anniversary gifts to each other (she baked a cake, he got her a locket) and were generally great at being all kinds of adorable.
It’s easy to see why Tayvin fans are shocked to hear about their split, especially since there really weren’t any signs of trouble in paradise… at least not publicly.
But alas, the couple has gone their separate ways in what People is calling a drama-free split. So why am I consistently reading about Swift and her allegedly forthcoming breakup songs?
A significant portion of the news stories I’ve read in the wake of the split announcement are discussing this. Hollywood Life says, “It’s no secret that a lot of Taylor Swift’s songs were inspired by her real-life splits, so now that she and Calvin Harris have parted ways, fans are already anticipating the breakup anthems that are likely to follow… Taylor is famous for writing songs about her breakups, so we can only assume her next album will be all about Calvin and their heartbreaking split. Fans think she’s probably already hard at work on her next album now!”
Someecards quipped, “Eh. Swift-Harris shippers will get over it, because a Taylor Swift breakup means new music, and therefore more money for Taylor. She’ll survive, and Harris surely will, too. Dude made it through a car accident a few weeks ago, so life could be worse for him right now.”
The Mirror goes so far to claim that Harris has banned Swift from writing about their breakup in song because it would demean him.
Here’s the thing: these jokes are so, so old. Swift is only 26, but has been in the public eye as a massive celebrity for the greater part of the last 10 years. When she first came out, she was lauded for her songs, as they made her seem relatable and human. We’ve all been there, brokenhearted and in search of a song that just gets our feelings.
Swift has churned out hit song after hit song, and she’s not exactly shy about the fact that she has been inspired by her relationships when songwriting. But this is not some new concept introduced to the world by Taylor Swift. Songwriters since the beginning of time have been using heartache as inspiration, and very few had to become a walking punchline for jokes about their love life.
The media has certainly loved to pick Swift apart for her relationships with famous men, whether confirmed, like Harris, or simply rumored. Swift’s dating life isn’t that much different from any other person’s of her age — the difference is that she’s one of the biggest celebrities in the world, so going on one date with a guy leads to endless headlines about it.
But why is Swift held to this standard when her peers simply aren’t? Nick Jonas has been open about the fact that his forthcoming album, Last Year Was Complicated, is heavily inspired by his breakup with Olivia Culpo. I haven’t read one joke or seen one meme online about that. Why is Swift held to this sad, sexist standard?
And if we want to take the misogyny out of it, let’s talk about Swift’s fellow female musicians. Why is Adele not given the same treatment for consistently writing breakup ballads? Why is it cool to eat comfort foods and cry while listening to Adele? Why is Swift seen as this romantic pariah on a mission to tear down every man that breaks her heart, but Adele is praised for the passion in her music?
These jokes are lame, and frankly, I think it’s time we all break up with the breakup jokes. We are never, ever getting back together.
Hang in there, Swift.
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