This is a feminist issue because... you belong with me
We were assigned the article "The Curious Feminist" by Cynthia Enloe and her example of the phrase "cheap labor" vs. "labor made cheap" really got me thinking about some of the most fundamental norms in our society. Love and its related conventions are abundant in literature, movies, pop culture, and every teenager and teeny-bopper's diary, so it's hardly a surprise that teen popstar Taylor Swift would hop on the train. Now, perhaps I'm overreacting and making a mountain out of a molehill, but almost every aspect of this video seems to be reinforcing the patriarchal norms we have been so fervently castigating. The way the video is structured makes it seem like every sector of "nerd" Taylor's life is somehow filled with pining for this boy who only shows his affection for her once she de-nerds and looks gorgeous. She herself acknowledges the fact that the proper way for her to steal him away from his current girlfriend is to change her appearance. Only at the end of the video does Taylor seem truly happy, so the derived moral of the story is that if you take off your glasses and wear pretty clothes, boys will flock to you and you'll be happy (the same can be found from most Disney movies I think). Anyway, I find this to be a pretty intriguing topic. Is pining for a man (or woman) a biological trait that's inherent in the human species, or is it something that is instilled in our minds from centuries of similar thinking? How does love factor into feminist thinking? Is the animosity between "nerdy" Taylor and "popular" Taylor the same animosity between women that a patriarchal system seems to instill that bell hooks talks about? What kinds of morals and values are songs and pieces of literature like this displaying to the masses of young adolescents? Does this even matter?
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