Internalized Misogyny and Taylor Swift

Maddie Bataille


November 24, 2021

A collective experience for society is dealing with internalized misogyny. It is so prominent in our lives that we see it span across education, media, entertainment and more.

Society also shares a collective experience of the evolution of Taylor Swift. It is no joke that the grip she holds on society is a strong one.

With the re-release of her albums, it has brought up many nostalgic emotions for me and a lot of other people in Gen Z.  However, these nostalgic emotions cut deeper than just reliving some of our favorite childhood songs.

It's coming to terms about what the girls to women pipeline has done to us, and how misogyny and our own internalized misogyny has hindered us in many ways.

For me, I remember falling in love with Taylor Swift's music when her debut album dropped. I was 6-years-old at the time, her storytelling and love for dresses and sparkles captivated my young mind.

By the time I was in eighth grade I was waiting in line to get her 1989 deluxe album that I had begged my mom to drive me to go get.

My favorite thing to dress in were tights and sweaters over dresses. I liked to paint my nails navy blue and I was just beginning to care about what people thought about me.

When I turned 14 that year, it was the year I got made fun of for wearing dresses to school. It was the year I became ashamed of liking Taylor swift. It was the year I realized I liked girls. It was the year I hid that about myself by starting to date guys. It was the year I stopped being me.

I remember during this time, there was a running joke about what being a ‘basic’ girl was. Where random people just got to hate teenage girls and anything they liked. This includes Starbucks, dressing a certain way, acting like a teenage girl does with her friends, and also liking a certain kind of music, which unfortunately included taylor swift.

There are countless vines or internet memes I could find, mocking this trope. And I thought I can’t resemble that in any way or I’ll be made fun of.

As a 14-year-old girl during the time this was so prevalent it was so hurtful to how I treated myself. I felt like there was something wrong with me if I was interested in any of the ‘basic’ things.

Throughout my late teens I continued to date guys, who made me feel like I couldn’t be myself or have strong emotions because if I did something was wrong with me.

However, entering my twenties has allowed me to reflect on the internalized misogyny I faced that made me hide all the aspects about me that I loved, but were too ashamed to show the world.

The re-release of Taylor Swift's “Red” album has shown society just how common it is for young girls to be hindered by the misogyny from toxic male relationships.

She has helped people realize where to recognise gaslighting and give young women confidence to stop it from happening.

This makes so many people, including myself feel empowered, however there is an underlying emotion to this self realization. Is the sadness that comes after. Now that I know this, and can change my pathway to be who I want to be, I have profound sadness for my 14-year-old self.

She was a bright young girl who didn’t understand why she needed to hide, but did it anyway. It makes me feel like I am mourning her. If I could go back and change it I would, which is a type of hurt that is hard to express.

The views, opinions, and stories expressed in Promly Garden articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policy of Promlyapp.com. We aim to give Gen Z a voice and welcome articles and opinions from Gen Z contributors who want their voice to be heard. Please send any articles, poetry, or artwork you’d like to see published on the Promly Garden to heypromly@promly.org.

With immense gratitude, the Promly Team.

Maddie Bataille

Maddie is a junior at The University of Rhode Island and she is studying Journalism and Spanish with a minor focus in Gender and Women's Studies. She is from Long Valley, NJ. She is passionate about social issues such as discussion in gender, feminism, race and LGBTQIA rights. She focuses on well being in many different areas of her life from physical to mental. She loves to do yoga and meditation to keep herself grounded. She enjoys being creative in her free time, including painting or journaling.