Did Taylor Swift ‘Attack' Amy Poehler and Tina Fey?Tori Coyne

Taylor Swift recently quoted something she heard from Katie Couric in her Vanity Fair cover story, saying, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” I have to say I agree with Swift and Couric and Madeleine Albright (the Secretary of State who first spoke those words).

No one knows the exact context or question that prompted TayTay to reference the quote. The cover story suggests she was talking about ‘mean girls,’ yet makes mention of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Golden Globe pokes at Taylor dating Michael J. Fox’s young son. This is where it gets interesting.

Several gossip blogs and magazines have spun the whole situation to say: “Swift thinks Amy and Tina should go to hell.” I’ve never met Taylor Swift (although I’d love to), but I can’t believe that is what she meant. I don’t think we’ll ever know unless the interview tape gets released, but that seems far too serious for something this silly.

I decided to make a sort of pro and con list because I couldn’t quite figure out how I felt about Taylor’s reaction. Here’s what I came up with:

She’s wrong.

Amy and Tina made harmless jokes about Taylor’s ‘serial dating’ habits. Maybe she tries to remain secretive about relationships, but anyone who’s ever listened to her album knows about all of them. She has made her money by being the voice of every heart-broken girl in this world. With that persona, comes a lot of room for jokes and criticism. I’m not saying it is right, but so is our celebrity culture.

Tina and Amy are feminists. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a truly hurtful thing come out of either one of their mouths. Amy didn’t even fire back when she heard about Swift’s supposed comments. She laughed, agreed and turned it into a joke on herself. Tina also responded, making it clear that it was a lighthearted joke. So looking at it like this, Taylor is overreacting in saying they should go to hell. They weren’t bashing her. They were there to entertain and made a harmless joke about her public persona, like they did about most other guests at The Golden Globes.

But, she’s kind of right.

I couldn’t help but defend my dear T Swifty and a certain Mean Girls quote came to mind.

“You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.”

Michael J. Fox took what Tina and Amy said about Taylor dating his son and made it personal in several interviews following the Golden Globes. Michael ended up apologizing to Taylor for the hurtful backlash, but I can’t help saying, “See you what you did?” to my favorite SNL duo.

They gave guys the okay to call us sluts and whores. OK. Well maybe nothing that dramatic. But when a woman starts bashing another woman, it gives men the OK to get in on the joke. Take Anne Hathaway. Did she kill a baby or something else I never heard of? Maybe she overdid it in her acceptance speech, but let’s not forget there have always been worse speeches. Does that really warrant the awful attacks on twitter and blogs and most other social media?

Taylor and Anne aren’t the only ones. How about Demi Lovato, who bravely came back to the spotlight after seeking treatment for an eating disorder, only to be called ‘fat’ by her critics. And then there’s Lena Dunham, who faces countless critics for showing her ‘less than perfect’ naked body on tv.

I think we are all guilty of this in one way or another. It’s easy to say hurtful things about these people you have never met and think, “That’s what they signed up for by being famous.” But whether or not Taylor is overreacting, she has a point, just like Katie Couric and Madeleine Albright. Women need to decide to stand up for one another and not tear each other down.

Some might say Taylor can’t take criticism, I say she’s standing up for herself. She made one little comment, probably taken out of context, and look how the Internet has exploded already. We are so quick to judge without knowing the situation. Is Taylor Swift the face of feminism? No. But she is a face lot of little girls look up to and a girl that refuses to change no matter what people say. Aside from her dating life, she’s never had a DUI, stolen a necklace or been photographed smoking a joint in her car. Shouldn’t that be something to commend?

Featured Image via VanityFair.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501456321 Kristi Gamble

    Funny that you quote Mean Girls as a reference….considering Tina Fey WROTE Mean Girls.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001725782185 Richard Cadman

      I think that was the point…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=679792814 Krissy Resha-Harris

    This article was a breath of fresh air.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10802026 Jac Sanchez

    I agree that women should lift each other up and encourage each other. But, are we going to start censoring funny comediennes because they might be poking fun at a woman? Taylor Swift made her career as someone who writes songs about her ex-boyfriends. It’s completely appropriate for someone to reference that. If she were famous for writing songs about tax evasion then, it would be appropriate to make a joke about whether or not she’s filed her taxes. Funny is funny.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001377471370 Bruna Jatobá

      Totally agree with you.

      I’ll always stand for Tina and Amy xD

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10802026 Jac Sanchez

        :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=651330450 Brittany Pelley Pretty

      Great point! I 100% agree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1258210817 Stacy Erickson

    Thank you for this.
    I didn’t think her comment was that outrageous. She DIDN’T tell them to “GO TO HELL!” –she made a general statement. People just like Tina and Amy better, maybe, and TayTay is an easy target.
    Honestly, neither of them were really “in the wrong”. But how about be nice to each other?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=78500176 Janine Sarto

    I have a problem with Taylor Swift because of so many of the contradictory statements she has seemed to make in the last few years. I honestly don’t think that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler meant to deeply insult her in anyway, and the fact that she responded so negatively seems to indicate that they pushed a button with her, and maybe hit too close to the truth. Taylor Swift seems to think that she can write about every personal detail of her relationships, airing all of that dirty laundry in public, and then try to say that we know nothing of those relationships. Also, isn’t Taylor Swift the one who wrote “Better Than Revenge,” supposedly about Camilla Belle, in which she essentially calls her a whore? I don’t think you can criticize in someone else things you are guilty of yourself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10802026 Jac Sanchez

      Amen, sister!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002910555432 Alexandrea J. Wilson

    I don’t think that T Swift was referencing Tina and Amy BUT even if she was, it seems a little….hypocritical. Women can’t make fun of women but women can make fun of intimate moments, memories, conversations of men in their music for the entire world to hear? That doesn’t seem right. Let’s say Tina and Amy were trying to be mean spirited (which they weren’t…) then they were expressing their “frustration” over Taylor’s behavior in the medium that they use. They don’t write songs, they act and they do comedy routines and so it’s the equivalent of Taylor expressing her anger about the world/dating/etc. in her songs.

    So that’s my two cents if her comment is in reference to Tina and Amy BUT I highly doubt that it was because Taylor doesn’t seem to be petty like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=88200230 Akilah Hughes

    A little shocked that you used Mean Girls as a way to say that Amy and Tina (both in the movie, with obviously Tina being in charge) was allowing guys to call women negative things. It just sounds like an oversight to me, but the whole point was that “women should respect each other if they expect to have men respect them too.”–which I don’t find to be sexist or wrong. I dunno, my personal issues with Taylor Swift stem from the fact that she’s the same age as Adele and about 1/1millionth as deep in her writing and talent. I’m not sure why she’s even still relevant, but again, that’s just my humble opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1527270202 Johanna Marie Johnston

    okay, don’t hate me, but i kind of love that quote!
    And even though I am definitely not Taylor Swifts number one fan, I think this sort of criticism comes as a part of the job she’s signed up for, and if she feels like she needs to set the record straight than by all means go right ahead!
    -johanna

    http://diary.johannajohnston.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=651330450 Brittany Pelley Pretty

    I definitely don’t think that Taylor’s comment – if directed at Tina and Amy, (which, who’s to say it is? I’m sure Taylor knows that it was only a joke, and one of the LEAST hurtful ever directed at her) was warranted. Tina and Amy are comedians and it’s their job to make jokes about things like this. It didn’t seem like it was meant to incite humiliation or pain in Taylor – it was a fairly mild joke. They are both very outspoken feminists, and both have used their respective TV shows to stand up for women everywhere.

    I think what Taylor is really taking to heart is that it seems like people are putting her in the spotlight in a negative way because she is a woman. Which is partly true. If she were a male who went through this many relationships, people would be much more sympathetic. However, people are going to continue to make jokes about it as long as most of the songs she writes are inspired by her high profile breakups. Tearing down your exes in songs isn’t cool, whether you’re a man or a woman, and when it seems like that’s what your whole career is built on, you do seem rather unprofessional.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1426830031 Veronica Lee

    If Taylor Swift doesn’t want her dating life criticized, she should stop advertising it. Their joke wasn’t an attack, they didn’t suggest she was a “slut or whore.” Taylor Swift dates VERY famous young men, then very publicly breaks up with them, then writes songs about it. We can only pay as much attention to her dating life as she lets us. I’m sorry, but we let Taylor Swift play the victim entirely too often, especially considering her mediocre talent. I do agree with the fact that she plays a better role model for young women than most based on her behavior BUT, by the same token, she’s teaching them that having a boyfriend and being in love are the most important things in life.

    Tina and Amy’s relationships have seen much less attention (and as result, less criticism) because they play a small part in their success. They are talented, beautiful, hilarious, and have made huge strides for women, particularly comediennes. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that Taylor Swift just needs to shut up and stop taking EVERYTHING so personally.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=78500176 Janine Sarto

      I completely agree with you. Taylor has built her entire career on the public sharing–and sometimes shaming–of her very public relationships. When someone then turns around and calls you out on your behavior, I don’t know that you have the right to criticize them as being “anti-feminist.”

      I also like what you say about how Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s relationships have received far less attention, because what drives them and their experiences in the spotlight is their actual careers. Even with Poehler’s fairly high-profile relationship and divorce from Will Arnett, that’s not what the focus has been on when you see things about her. It’s about her career.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505418868 Holly Craven

      I couldn’t agree more!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=745079441 Stephen Clark

    “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

    With all due respect, I love women – I was raised almost entirely by women(no father).

    Be that as it may, are you still obligated to help if that woman is a total cunt? – yes yes, I said the forbidden word, but still! Does that mean ALL women? ‘Cause this isn’t US VS THEM y’know. Some people are complete cunts – some women are complete cunts, especially in this day and age…. Taylor Swift is a perfect example.

    She is such a bad BAD, nasty, vindictive – stupid little cunt.
    Even if she dates total dickheads – is what could be to them one a past mistake, worth immortalizing? So no matter how sorry, how different or how much they change their ways as human beings, these guys can NEVER forget their relationship with Taylor, ’cause she wrote a song about them that people will always be able to hear – making a connection maybe decades down the line.

    She didn’t just break up with them, or them her… she’s utterly destroyed their reputations as men. She’s castrated them!!

    Artists drop hints in all the time and sing about their love lives, but even then it’s vague – no name dropping, spread out between albums or just confined to one album. That’s fine, inspirational even.

    But Dear John? Oh Bra-fucking-vo, Taylor! I WONDER WHO THAT COULD BE ABOUT…

    And she has the gall – the self-absorbed arrogance and sexist double-standard view that states any woman that doesn’t help another woman deserves a special place in hell even that woman is a bad person? That she most unquestioningly protect her fellow woman..

    People that’s totally backwards, not forward-thinking! Men will protect friends, or sometimes ‘weaker’ males out of compassion, but we fight just as much, too. women aren’t any different.. in fact, get a few drinks in a woman and she’s ten times worse than a guy. I don’t go around looking for fights – but the amount of times I’ve had to beg my female mate to stop her insane quest of trying to stamp on everyone, ’cause she’s drunk….

    What about men that protect and defend woman? Oh that’s right -that’s sexist and insulting, ’cause it insinuates that women need protecting – well, y’know what? MANY DO… Many guys need protecting. I always say – There’s nothing wrong with looking after a woman, ’cause a woman will look after you. That’s mutual respect.

    Something Taylor Swift knows fuck all about and no wonder guys run away from her after only a few weeks/months. If there is a problem in her love life – It’s HER.

    Taylor Swift… what an absolute CUNT!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8200289 Gabrielle Dolceamore

      that word is grotesque, but i still want to give this comment a thumbs up!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000656889051 Kristin Dennis

        Why is it grotesque? I fail to see why a colloquialism for my ladybits is grotesque.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1462181527 Andrea Brown

      Cunt power, yo.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=575385271 Paula Ottoni

      THANK YOU! I am a feminist too, but that doesn’t mean I have to like every woman on earth! Some people are great, some aren’t. I don’t like Taylor Swift. She’s a bully.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=892880365 Marion Coleen Quitasol

    I love this article, especially your last paragraph. I maybe biased since I really love Tay but let’s put ourselves in her shoes. It may be a joke to some but I consider it offensive since she is a woman with feelings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8200289 Gabrielle Dolceamore

    isn’t taylor not supporting tina and amy by going along with their joke, something they were hired to do? we can stand alongside other women, but let’s not compromise our convictions. taylor swift is a wet rag… and i’m going to hell.

    http://www.paperplanesandmaryjanes.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=625050370 Melissa Marie

    I’m on the fence about Taylor Swift’s comments as well, I liked the way you broke it down. Maybe if we all stopped calling each other names, the world would be a happier place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004918445316 Oumaïma Ouassif

    Women should definitely help each other otherwise we’ll go down :/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1462181527 Andrea Brown

    Just throwing this out there….the quote is from Madeleine Albright…not Katie Couric.
    Don’t tell Taylor though. She might write a song about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000478621717 Kristi Marie

    I never think this much about Taylor Swift or her comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1108093906 Lauren van Schijndel

    “Women need to decide to stand up for one another and not tear each other down.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000833614694 Stephanie Adele Coiro

    That Madeline Albright quote is one of my all time favorites. I think that Amy & Tina made a joke, and Taylor Swift was feeling sensitive. I also think, that as women we pay too much attention to things like this. Amy & Tina are known feminists in the world of Hollywood. I feel like Swift’s reaction was too strong. I do believe there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women – but did Swift need help? Or were they making a joke about getting her a date since she has a very public love life? That is where the disconnect was for me. Simmer down Swifty, you are a talented young women who makes very positive decisions career wise, Tina & Amy are funny women that were not insulting her just elbowing her side. It is actually kind of ridiculous. Also, Tori, this was a great breakdown, I enjoy reading other women’s perspectives about pop culture and whatnot!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000026670154 Jackie Ruth

    I love Taylor Swift, and I love Tina & Amy. I mean, Taylor does get a lot of crap from people who don’t listen to all of her music (it’s not 100% about breakups – maybe 50% of her first 3 albums & singles) & her music is the important thing, because that’s why she’s in the spotlight to begin with. I don’t think the comment was directed at Tina & Amy because they’re both obviously vocal feminists, but the way they reacted was awesome, no matter what the case. I really liked this piece, by the way. :)

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