January 9, 2011
Taylor Swift & Jessica Rabbid, BFF?
Now, at first glance, you’re probably thinking Taylor Swift and I have nothing in common. On the whole you’d be right, and I’m thankful for that. When I think of Taylor Swift, I think of horses, unicorns, big, poufy prom dresses, and, you know, probably chastity and purity rings.
I could do a whole entry on my concerns with some of her messages, but that isn’t what this is about. But I will give you a hint for next time; virgin-whore dichotomy.
Moving on, Swift is well-known for being brutally honest in her songs, especially in relation to the guys she’s dated. Her lyrics tell stories, usually pretty vivid ones. If you are the person she wrote about, you know it. Here are some lyrics from her song “Picture to Burn”:
State the obvious, I didn’t get my perfect fantasy
I realize you love yourself more than you could ever love me
So go and tell your friends that I’m obsessive and crazy
That’s fine I’ll tell mine that you’re gay!
And by the way…
I hate that stupid old pickup truck
You never let me drive
You’re a redneck heartbreak
Who’s really bad at lying
So watch me strike a match
On all my wasted time
As far as I’m concerned you’re
Just another picture to burn
Adorable. So, while the majority of people who listen to this song don’t know who it’s about, for the people that know Taylor this is real and they fully understand the context and the players involved. You can bet the guy with that pickup truck feels like an ass now, not only for having a hate song written about him but also for breaking up with a woman who’s now on top of the world.
When asked if she fears scaring men away with her candid writing style, she said this; “It’s understandable [if they don’t like it], but … I’ve never kept quiet the fact that I write songs about people,” she said. “It’s like, this is album number three. You guys have had fair warning!”
See, this is where I find kinship with Taylor! I’ve been blogging for a really long time; regularly since I was fifteen years old. Writing is extremely cathartic and I basically shared everything I experienced in my entries. This obviously included stories about the guys I liked. Like Taylor’s songs, my entries narrated an array of experiences; the butterflies, the being terrified, the feeling so awkward stage, the first kiss, the break up, and everything in-between.
I never really wrote for other people to read it. Writing everything out was and still is like my own personal therapy. I constantly have thoughts running through my head and typing everything out is part of the way I process my feelings and my experiences. This is also good because my memory is tragically bad and I fear I will at some point rely on those entries to safe keep my memories for me. With age came more discretion apparently, because I began to use pseudonyms more frequently, especially in college. The trouble with that is anyone that knows me fairly well probably knows exactly who I’m talking about through the context of the entry. Whether I was referring to “Brad”, “Mickey”, or “Fauxhawk”, it wasn’t too difficult to find out who they really were.
So why the explanation? My point is, I’ve been really big on self disclosure in personal situations for a long time. No guy walks into a relationship without knowing that at various times my life is like an open book, or, you know, open web page. In fact I remember my high school boyfriend telling me when we first started dating that he read all of my entries (an impressive feat) and it made him like me even more. Of course, times change!
About a month or so ago, I got a message from that person that was pretty short and to the point. He asked me to please not use his name on my website, and any identifying characteristics that would give people an idea to who it was. Now, I agreed to not use his name, but the second thing isn’t a reasonable request. I write about my experiences, it is what I do, it is what I’ve done since I learned how to write, and I will not censor myself like that. Moreover, if I write something that puts someone in a negative light, too bad for them, but they knew this was part of the package when they got involved. Context is so important too. I could understand the request if this were just a site airing my dirty laundry for fun, but it isn’t.
I’m writing about the different experiences I’ve had through my feminist lens, and obviously dating situations are ripe for analysis. This website is a platform for me to discuss different issues I care about, work out my opinions on subjects I don’t know enough about yet or I’m struggling with, or explaining how I arrived to where I am now. I cannot do this without personal anecdotes from my life, and obviously the people surrounding me have had a big influence on who I’ve become. Leaving those integral stories out makes absolutely no sense, and I’m not doing it.
See? Taylor and I have a lot more in common than you’d think! I’ve talked to some of the other men I’ve mentioned here, and when I asked if they cared if I included them in this, they said no, especially since I have so many good things to say about the men in my life. In fact, I think I’m a bit more generous than Taylor. I am willing to use pseudonyms, which is more than I can say for Ms. Swift. “Dear John”, anyone?