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

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  1. Actually, I don’t think women should automatically help other women just because of their gender. I think we should help whoever needs help, and Taylor Swift – you do not need any help, miss “I look like a supermodel and have millions of dollars”. By the way, that “look like a supermodel” part wasn’t a compliment. She needs a hamburger. Like, now. Seriously, someone just take one and shove it down her throat. She will gain weight, and, possibly, shut up for a while.

    • I really get upset when people tell other people to eat a hamburger. My daughter has an extremely high metabolism and eats all the time. She just broke 90 lbs and she is 12. (We have been hovering in the high 70′s to low 80′s for a long time)
      Swift does not look anorexic at all, she just looks lean. Like someone who watches what they eat and work out. I am not a TSwifty fan, but I will come to the defense of girls and women everywhere. Why do you think young women and girls become so obsessed with weight? Comments like that. Whether it is the “eat a burger” or the “you could stand to miss a couple of meals”. Just think about a the young girls and women out there that are struggling with accepting themselves before asking someone to shove a burger in someone’s mouth.

  2. It was definitely a lighthearted joke. It honestly seems to me that Taylor can dish it out but can’t take it. The jokes Tina and Amy said about the other Celebrities were worst then that if you ask me. But they knew they were jokes…. “BE FOR REAL” everybody knows if you got comediennes as host somebody in the audience getting joked on. They wouldn’t be the funny women we know & love if the didn’t crack a few jokes on people when they were hosting. Plus they usually do it to people they know the best. So I think they felt they knew her well enough to say what they said. They could have said more then what they did if you want to know the truth. She act like they dogged her out for saying she need some me time. Taylor been singing the same ole love song for years, HELL I think she need some ME Time for real!! Famous or not you can’t put something out there openly & not expect somebody to say something. With all these break-up songs you putting out, it seems like you asking for advice….Now My Joke Would Probably Hurt Your Feeling!!

  3. I think the important thing here is that nobody knows what really was the context of this interview. Everyone knows that, today, journalists don’t hesitate to completely alter the context of a sentence to give it a completely new meaning.
    I can’t imagine someone like Taylor Swift saying something like that, except in a specific contest. She might be a little mean in her song or stuff like that, but has never been harsh on anybody on interviews (except ex-boyfriends, but that’s not the matter here). She has been attacked in the media since forever, and never said anything, I don’t know why it would start now…
    I think the problem is that this little comment has explode out of proportion, even though everyone knows that there is AT LEAST 50% chance this is not at all what she wanted to say.

  4. I don’t particularly care about this article, though I did read it. When I finished I wondered what had grabbed my attention and I have to give it up to your ingenious headline. Way to go, Hello Giggles. Way to write up a headline that alludes to a conflict that doesn’t exist! Even more so, way to play on women’s socialization of other women! No one woman needs advertisements or a patriarchy to tell her how she’s supposed to behave, we are constantly socializing each other. Your headline “Did Taylor Swift “Attack” Amy Poehler and Tina Fey” carries a tone that reads, “oh no she didn’t, this young ridiculous girl did NOT lash out at two of our best female role models!” I get that that isn’t exactly what the article is about, but its pretty damn close. I find it hypocritical that you cite the ridiculousness of one woman lashing out at two others on the basis of satirical criticism undermining their obligation to help other women, and title the piece to reduce the whole non-existent conflict on our social expectations of a ‘Girl Fight’.

  5. This is an issue of a woman who has, time and time again, written slut-shaming, homophobic and sexist lyrics, and then tried to turn the tables and accused Tina and Amy of “not helping other women”.

    Um, Taylor? What’s with the ‘bad girls’ in your videos always having dark hair and wearing tight, revealing clothing and a lot of makeup? “She’s not a saint and she’s not what you think/She’s an actress, whoa/She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress, whoa.” Huh? Is that about, ahem, Camilla Belle??? What’s with the song in which the cheerleader who “wears short skirts” isn’t good enough for the guy YOU want? And you just don’t understand why he doesn’t want YOU! You wear SNEAKERS because you’re a special snowflake! Why do you always make yourself into the blonde, virginal cherub and the other women are all whores, i.e. a virgin/whore dichotomy? Why do you sing about telling everyone that your ex-boyfriend is gay to get back at him for telling everyone that you’re cray cray???? I mean, you’ve admitted to writing about your real relationships. CAN’T BACK OUT OF THAT NOW.

    Yes, she’s someone that little girls look up to. Should we “commend” her for never having a DUI? HAHAHA. No. “Wow, you don’t do cocaine! Here’s a medal!” I think we can expect more from someone in the public eye. Don’t set your standards so incredibly low.

  6. This isn’t a feminist issue at all. Amy and Tina weren’t implying that Taylor is a “slut”; I think they were referring exclusively to her unfortunate and catty penchant for trashing her exes in song.. I find it hilarious that Swift thinks of herself as a feminist icon, when she has proven time and again that, despite her success and hard work, she apparently thinks she is worthless without a man at her side.. She’s a terrible role model for girls looking to “find themselves”, in that she can’t manage to remain single for more than a few days. What does that say to teens and early 20-somethings; what kind of example is that to set? When I was her age, I was having fun with my friends, not feverishly seeking a lifetime mate, a white picket fence, a garden, and bushels of children. Her quest for the perfect spouse and her need to memorialize every detail of her relationships seem almost pathological; she needs a different hobby apart from manhunting.

  7. If shes upset that is a little hypocritical. Think of all the things she’s said about her exes, and not just in song. She’s began to use her music to make fun of them. I’m sorry but that many boyfriends in 3 or 4 years, and its not them, it’s you.

  8. In my view, the problem with Taylor Swift’s response to the Golden Globes incident was that it was quite passive aggressive.

    Now, personally, I think it was a lighthearted joke, no worse than any other joke being told at anyone else’s expense that evening. But, she may be a very sensitive girl. If that’s the case, it would probably behoove her to develop a thicker skin, but that’s not the point right now.

    The point is I think a much more appropriate response would have been to say something like, “I know it was intended as a joke, but I didn’t think it was funny. It made me feel hurt and angry.”

    Her response wasn’t “attacking,” per se, but it probably wasn’t terribly productive either. I don’t think she did herself any favors by referencing that particular quote in relation to the Golden Globes “incident.”

  9. She probably does need some me time. There are far too many people in this country who don’t know how to be single.

  10. How is making a lighthearted joke about TS needing some “me time” (which she kinda does) not helping women? It was very good advice and therefore extremely helpful IMHO. I honestly don’t think TS understands the true meaning of that quote. And hasn’t she said publicly that she is NOT a feminist? And isn’t she teaching young girls/women that publicly bashing your exes (be it ex-boyfriends or ex-friends) is perfectly OK and you can actually make money doing that? You tell me then, who is NOT helping women??? TS or Tina and Amy who not only openly identify as feminists but actually put their money where their mouths are?

  11. It was just a joke, and when Tina and Amy after suggested Taylor needed some “me time”, the joke became an empowering message for girls everywhere, specially for those who sometimes think they *need* to have a man by their side. If Taylor is offended, maybe she just needs to learn to laugh about herself a bit more.

  12. YOU know!…? not everybody understand everybody,… but,…,,, try your best to understand?.. yeah wright!??>..\/”)/%%%

  13. ooooopss!!?>

  14. “*~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,’…”
    “Several gossip blogs and magazines have *~SPUN~* the whole situation…”
    –> i mean, really? for an article that openly admits to having no proof of any such derogatory intention one way or the other, i’m not sure why we’re being so easily baited into tossing such nasty remarks at a person (Taylor Swift). we are welcome to have our own personal opinions, but i hardly think this “story” is worthy of our time and energy in the grand scheme of feminism.
    Whatever happened to HelloGiggles being a place for positivity and support? cuz this is not it.

  15. I feel that people are forgetting the rest of Tina/Amy’s joke. Yes, they say Taylor should stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son, but then Tina goes on to say “You need some “me” time!” The joke was never at the expense of Taylor, it was meant to empower her and not need a man to be happy or to write a song. No one has mentioned that point and I feel it’s crucial to this issue because it was never meant to bring down Taylor. She needs to be more open-minded and also take some very necessary “me” time. She’s beautiful, successful, and (most of the time) very likable- there’s no need for her to keep bringing up the same tired subject of her past relationships! There’s more to her than that! Come on, girl!

    Michelle Escobar | 3/06/2013 09:03 pm
  16. I disagree. Slut shaming is awful, but that’s not what Amy Poehler and Tina Fey did. I consider myself a feminist, and I am a huge supporter of equality and women’s rights. But why should that mean I’m not allowed to disagree with another woman? I know there’s a lot of love for T-Swift out there, but she’s not a kid. She’s a grown woman who, may I add, has no problem criticizing other people in public. She does it all the time. It’s kind of her thing.

  17. I find it rather ridiculous that Taylor finds it okay to poke fun of Harry Styles, another one of her exes, at the Grammy’s by imitating his accent, but can’t take a joke when it is directed at her. It works both ways.

  18. Not sure if anyone else has pointed this out BUT TINA FEY WROTE THAT QUOTE IN MEAN GIRLS. She wrote the whole dang movie… And her and AP’s joke doesn’t make any mean comments O.K. They didn’t do that. Fox did. They can’t control him… they can’t control anyone. I mean… Come on.. If T Swift was a boy, no one would be in uproar. But because she’s a girl, ya’ll get pissed. That’s called misogyny. SEXISM, at it’s most ironic….

    • I was wondering if anyone would mention that Tina wrote mean girls haha Tina and Amy and Mindy kaling are my idols. Taylor just hasnt fully matured yet.

  19. Something that has bothered me for a while is reflected upon in this article. Taylor Swift is a role model for young heartbroken girls. In the perspective of a fellow feminist, this is incredibly dangerous considering Swift’s behavior. I’m by no means saying she is a negative influence because of her number of relationships; she could date as many people as she wants, it’s her life. The problem arises when she acts like a 12 year old whenever those (in most cases only month long) relationships go awry and because of her consistent immaturity, people at awards shows like Michael J. Fox playfully comment. An inaccuracy in this article is the depiction of Fox making it personal. On the contrary, Swift and many of her fans on twitter offensively slurred Fox, his son, and his case of Parkinson’s disease. Young women in my generation are no longer looking up to ladies like Tina and Any, but to a singer who has never handled a breakup in a mature manner. If it could get worse, Swift has repeatedly gone against the vow of supporting fellow women: many of her songs demonize another girl because she is dating an ex-boyfriend of Taylor’s. Slut-shaming is not okay in any generation. Slut-shaming should not be taught. Slut-shaming is not okay. Slut-shaming is not okay. Let’s say it again, slut-shaming is not okay. After all of women’s progress, Swift is teaching young girls the ridiculous dichotomy that any girl who acts on her affection towards a man you have dated in the past is an air headed slut, and the man who broke up with you does not deserve happiness. Why can’t she just say “you know what, you don’t love me anymore, and maybe you never did. You didn’t think we were right for each other and I accept that. Let’s grab a bagel.” How can she expect people not to joke about her past relationships when she makes no attempt to hide them (some of them – Harry cough cough – are for publicity alone). I hope for a generation of independent, mature, and badass women, and Swift is not only inhibiting, but backtracking that with her polarization of women who are threatening to her. And she cannot trick anyone into thinking she is suddenly supportive of her gender by quoting a strong woman.

  20. It amazes me how well the media can take one simple quote from a celebrity and completely turn it in to a scandal and make everyone seem like they’re bad people.

    • THIS x infinity + 1.
      This article openly admits that nobody knows the real context of this quote by T. Swift – so why is there a whole article about it w/ comments making such strong assumptions?? What am I missing?