What in the world does Taylor Swift have to do with Ethics? Absolutely everything.
The definition of ethics includes: “a system of moral principles” Moral principles, that’s what it’s all about. Could I tear into Taylor Swift about how she promotes a certain image that little girls strive for or how women need men to be complete with little to no acknowledgement of Christ? Sure. But I’m not gonna be that guy. Plus, I love Taylor (yeah, we’re on a first name basis already).
A great place to start our ethical evaluation of the songstress is her hit song “Mean”. I’m sure you’ve heard it. “Lyrics are as follows: You have pointed out my flaws again; As if I don’t already see them I walk with my head down; Trying to block you out ’cause I’ll never impress you”. In “Mean”, Swift points out the most obvious, it’s not nice to be mean. Let’s ponder on that for a moment. It’s not nice to be mean. The most simple of ethical concepts I can think of; and yet one of the most essential.
So in some songs we see Taylor Swift tackle situations with the moral high ground. Yet, in other songs such as “Picture to Burn” we see Taylor take the very vindictive and vengeful road. Granted, most of the guys she sings about seem to be total douches (more of a reflection in her terrible choice in men), it is not excuse to break into someones house and resort to vandalism. In another song, “Better Than Revenge”, she not only sings about revenge, but gloats about how well she does it, and almost points fun to the fact that she writes vengeful songs about her ex’s.
So in the end, what do we see? We see a young woman who sings about people being mean in one song and how she wants to take revenge on others in another tune. Most would point the finger and yell accusations of hypocrisy, but not I. Taylor after all is just relating well to her key demographics. Confused teenage girls, who are often left heartbroken by their terrible choice in guys who turn out to be douches.
Kudos Taylor, kudos.