Justice

The Sexist Reaction to Taylor Swift's Break-Up

June 2nd 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

People Magazine reported on Wednesday that singer Taylor Swift and DJ Calvin Harris have ended their relationship after 15 months as a pair, and Swift is already being subjected to major sexism on social media over the reported break-up.

As soon as the alleged split hit the news cycle, many people shared sexist sentiments about Swift on Twitter: she either cannot "keep a man," is a lesbian because of all her failed relationships, or is unpleasant in bed.

All of these comments circle back to an unfortunate trope surrounding single women: if they're alone, it is because they're the ones doing something wrong despite the fact that relationships fall apart for many reasons.

Women in particular face a lot of judgment for being single, whereas men are less stigmatized for leading a bachelor lifestyle. In a recent video, ATTN: highlighted some of the struggles single women face in the media. Among many other things, they are depicted as moochers or desperate to get married, even if they are satisfied with their friendships, professional accolades, and personal accomplishments.

Another recent ATTN: video challenges the idea that marriage should be considered the ultimate accomplishment for women. Pop culture often paints marriage as something women spend their whole lives dreaming about, and while this might be true for some, it is also not the only thing many women want out of life.

For her part, Swift has been very vocal about the treatment she has received for daring to date in the public eye.

In an interview with Vogue for the magazine's May 2016 cover story, she complained about the volume of "incredibly sexist Men–of–Taylor Swift slideshows" in the news. Billboard, for example, published a boyfriend timeline of Swift's reported paramours in 2014, and there are many similar lists out there by other publications.

“You know, I went out on a normal amount of dates in my early 20s, and I got absolutely slaughtered for it,” Swift told Vogue's Jason Gay. “And it took a lot of hard work and altering my decision-making. I didn’t date for two and a half years. Should I have had to do that? No."

Last spring, she made similar remarks to Glamour U.K.:

"I think the media has sent me a really unfair message over the past couple of years, which is that I'm not allowed to date for excitement, or fun, or new experiences or learning lessons. I'm only allowed to date if it's for a lasting, multiple-year relationship. Otherwise I'm a, quote, 'serial dater.' Or, quote, 'boy crazy.'"

Swift highlighted some of the sexist treatment she has faced in her 2014 hit "Shake It Off," which includes the lyric, "I go on too many dates, but I can't make them stay" to mock her critics:

If history is any indication, though, the sexist reactions to her love life won't let up anytime soon.

RELATED: Taylor Swift Just Opened up About the Sexism That Drove Her to Stop Dating