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Day 6 – No Escape From Culture

I’d like to think that I don’t perceive things differently depending on whether a man or woman does them. Every once in awhile something comes along to rudely remind me that I have been molded to see some things through a gendered lens.

For those of you living in a cave, the video above is for Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” I love the song and I think the video is great. My favorite part of the video is when she looks into the camera and says, ” ‘Cause darling, I am a nightmare dressed as a daydream.” The rest of the video has her cutting up her boyfriend’s clothes, ripping up paintings she had made of him and finally just beating the crap out of his car with a golf club. I laughed the first several times and if I was single, I still would have been tempted to obey Taylor’s instructions to “grab your passport and my hand.” Not that I’m EVER Taylor Swift’s type in any reality.

But .. after about the fifth go round, I mentally flipped the genders of the couple in the video. If Taylor was a guy, bragging about his ex lovers who swore he was insane, I’d wonder what the woman was doing there. If it got the point where the guy was shredding the woman’s clothes and wrecking her car — not funny. Not something we want to show, really. Not for laughs anyway.

And yet I did laugh as did many others. I’m claiming this is a cultural thing instead of my character flaw due to the lack of outrage from anyone over “Blank Space.” I’m positive there would be an outcry if some male pop star did a cover of Swift’s video.

I’m not saying we should damn Taylor Swift or demand the retraction of the video. We might want to take the opportunity to reflect on what we feel is appropriate gender behavior and why.

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2 Responses

  1. I can’t find the video, but there’s a bit a comedian did, a while back, where he says, more or less, “all the men I know have crazy ex girlfriend stories, so I asked myself, why aren’t there more crazy ex boyfriend stories? and I realized, if a woman has a crazy ex boyfriend, she’s dead.” I feel like that’s relevant to this post.

  2. That is a good point. Also I meant to point out that Taylor never laid a finger on the guy in the video.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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