Taylor Swift: A Defense

(Or: Look What Taylor Made Me Do)

So. Taylor Swift’s problematically-named new single Look What You Made Me Do. I get it. That’s the language of abusers.

But… that’s not the way that I initially saw it.

Sure, when it was pointed out to me, I understood why people had a problem with that phrasing. I was honestly a bit embarrassed that I hadn’t read it that way in the beginning, but–unexpectedly–that could well have been because of my history.

You see… I was once in an emotionally abusive relationship. It’s not something that I like to talk about (with anyone but my therapist), but it’s definitely something that’s made me who I am today. It took me a long time–and a lot of therapy–to get here, but I’m strong. I’m confident.

And… well… I kind of feel empowered by Taylor’s new song.

I like how the song title flips the narrative of an abuser. “Look what you made me do” is something that an abuser would say to their victim, but this song seems to reclaim that phrase. In this case, the “what you made me do” is become a strong, bad-ass, take-no-bullshit woman.

And sure, I recognize that Taylor’s experience with Kim and Kanye and countless others is not the same as an abusive relationship (not even close!), but I still appreciate that she’s presented me with an anthem that represents how I feel after surviving that relationship.

You know what’s funny? After I finally stood up to him, my ex said to that he missed “the old Julie”: the one who never stood up to his bullshit, and just let him say whatever he wanted about her. The one who silently nodded when he said that she shouldn’t eat, and that if she gained more weight, nobody would love her. The one who accepted the notion that having a voice–having an opinon–made her unlovable.

Guess what?

The old Julie can’t come to the phone.

Why?

Because she’s dead.

(You killed her.)

  1. Ahh, I’m so glad you wrote this! You put the song into a whole new perspective for me.

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  2. I can vividly feel your strength through this post. Muah! Love the old Julie, the new Julie, and the future Julie 🙂

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