I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift recently, because, dammit, the song is so catchy and I love the video. John Mayer said he doesn’t believe in guilty pleasures, but rather pleasures, and I agree. So bring on the T-Swift.
I really like “You Belong with Me.” It’s exactly how so many girls have felt in high school, and I think it’s actually clever how she plays both female lead roles in the video. But the lyrics, despite Swift’s own control over her career, are so male-centered. That’s another topic Jezebel covered better than I could, but I do want to touch on this song specifically because I like it so much.
Why are the lyrics all about Swift comparing herself to this guy’s actual girlfriend and why is she begging him to see what she has to offer so he can figure out they’re in love? Also, the video involves our male protagonist writing cutesy signs to Swift, the best friend, in between fights with his dramatic-yet-smoking-hot girlfriend. At the video’s close, after some too-adorable-for-my gag-reflex flirting, the guy and dork-Swift realize they’re in love (but they’re in high school, so let’s call it “like”) and end up together.
THIS IS NOT OK. First, the rules of feminism clearly state you can’t covet another girl’s boyfriend, even if she’s a HUGE thunder….well, even if she’s not awesome.
Second, this guy is a douche! Why is he dating Bitchy McBitcherson anyway? And why isn’t he with you if you’re meant to be together? I know why: He’s indecisive. He doesn’t want to quit one job before he has another. That’s a wise idea in this economy, but it’s a pretty douchey idea when matters of the heart are involved.
But in the end, he and dork-Swift kiss and the camera fades to black, because after all, he belongs with her (Don’t even get me started on how she has to lose the glasses and put on a ball gown to “earn” his love).
I appreciate guys who take the time to think about what they want before going after girls and breaking their hearts, but Swift’s lyrics point to a guy staring straight at the girl he wants while retaining his mega-wench of a girlfriend. He’s afraid to be alone! He has commitment issues! After hitting home runs nightly, he’s not ready to step up to the plate again! How sweet.
Instead of scrawling messages to her neighbor, Swift should be looking in the mirror singing, “I’m worth wanting,” because she is, and she deserves a guy who knows that, not one who only figures it out after she tells him.