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Taylor Swift's Own Lyrics Come Back to Haunt Her; Gets Slammed for Singing Vulgar Song Around Young Fans

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Taylor Swift is an industry. She’s a billionaire whose records dominate the charts, who is marketed as both fearless and family friendly.

But, if you’re going to drop hundreds so you can see her with your 12-year-old daughter, just be aware Swift will be telling your little girl and tens of thousands of others in attendance to “f*** the patriarchy!” You know, the one that made her rich.

Swift’s lyrics, to be fair, usually don’t veer toward Rage Against the Machine-esque “f*** you, I won’t do what you tell me!” vulgar chants attacking “the system.” That’s how Swift has become the chosen soundtrack of both 12-year-old girls and their 42-year-old trying-to-be-cool moms during morning rides to school.

However, the line in question — which is now going viral after her Eras Tour stop in Liverpool, England — appears in the extended version of the single “All Too Well.” The new version, with profanity, appeared in 2021 as Swift was re-recording her old material.

The song is essentially another tell-off of a former lover, because of course it is. (In case you’ve somehow avoided her oeuvre, songs filled with references to broken relationships are to Taylor Swift what songs filled with references to the Beatles and cocaine use were to Oasis.)  This time, it’s apparently about Jake Gyllenhaal, who didn’t return her scarf or something. The nerve.

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The 10-minute version of the song features this set of lyrics, which differs somewhat from the 2012 original — mostly because of an additional line that includes a mention of the patriarchy and a certain word that begins with the sixth letter of the alphabet:

And your mother’s tellin’ stories ’bout you on the tee-ball team
You taught me ’bout your past, thinkin’ your future was me
And you were tossing me the car keys, “F*** the patriarchy”

Now, I’ve listened to the re-recorded “Taylor’s version” a grand total of once, because 10 minutes of “All Too Well” is about five minutes all too long for me. However, despite the fact that the song is three years old, footage from the Liverpool show went viral on social media last week with some genuinely shocked the most famous entertainer on earth at this moment could really believe there’s some kind of glass ceiling out there still holding her back:

WARNING: The videos below contain graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.

Now, look: I’m not going to sit here and sermonize that this is the worst thing kids will hear before they turn 18, or even hear all week. Nor am I going to sit here and say that it’ll destroy young minds. I listened to that aforementioned Rage Against the Machine song (“Killing in the Name,” just FYI) roughly 6,000 times before the age of majority, and I still turned out happy, productive and conservative — although in spite of RATM, not because of it.

Rather, it’s two things that are problematic here. First, nobody was selling Rage Against the Machine as the kind of music you could listen to in your family’s car with your parents on the way to Sunday dinner with your uncle and aunt. There’s a reason why the band was called Rage Against the Machine, after all, and its concerts weren’t exactly filled with tween girls mouthing along with the lyrics to “Bombtrack,” “Bulls on Parade” and “Sleep Now in the Fire.”

In case you’ve somehow managed to miss it, this is exactly what the Eras Tour is: Impressionable young women and girls singing along to a pop idol … imploring them to “f*** the patriarchy.”

Is Taylor Swift’s music appropriate for children?

And there’s the second thing, something Swift does have in common with the aforementioned band I’m comparing her with: Much like the soi-disant socialist rebels in Rage Against the Machine became very rich men because of the machine, the woman telling young girls to “f*** the patriarchy” is one of the richest, most powerful people in the world … because of this imaginary patriarchy that she’s raging so hard against.

When Swift giddily declares “f*** the patriarchy,” she’s not doing it as a form of rebellion. Patriarchy, as strictly defined, is a male-run social caste system — and she is the most visible artistic representative of the system in 2024. Does she not see the contradiction, or does she simply not care so long as the (very lucrative) checks clear?

Or, perhaps, there’s a third option: “The patriarchy” no longer means some sort of Y-chromosome dominated social structure, but is instead shorthand for men who behave like men have since time immemorial. Not in any sort of real toxically masculine sort of way, but in normal, constructive ways that now get lumped into the similarly meaningless phrase “toxic masculinity.”

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That’s the machine she’s raging against — men who aren’t ashamed to be men and take agency for their lives — and that’s who she’s teaching your daughters to hate. And parents are paying how much a pop for them to hear a billionaire tell them this?

Save your money and teach your daughters how to find the one man who will make them happy, not the 73 or so different men who will become subjects of breakup songs. They might not be as rich as Taylor is, but almost nobody will be — and they’ll certainly be happier.


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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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