Camille Paglia Calling Taylor Swift A “Nazi” Is Insensitive, Anti-Feminist And Wrong
Camille Paglia calling Taylor Swift a “Nazi Barbie” and referencing other women as “fascists” in an essay for The Hollywood Reporter is not only juvenile, but it’s also entirely insensitive to the millions murdered by the Nazis and Adolf Hitler’s regime. Of course, there’s literary license and then there’s sheer stupidity. Paglia’s Nazi references in her critique of Swift and the singer’s large, empowering “squad” of female friends is steadfastly the latter.
Not too long ago, the pop culture narrative used to be that poor Taylor Swift couldn’t keep a good guy. But she began to surround herself with powerful, successful women, and showcased the beauty of female friendship. Instead of lauding her and her “squad” for that, Paglia takes cheap potshots, invoking offensive Nazism.
She continues the odious imagery in her post-script when she writes Swift and her gal pals engendered “a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth.” Frankly, that last sentence says far more about the writer’s own personal misery and grievances than about Swift and her devoted friends.
Also at end of her screed, Paglia claims it was a “horrific ordeal” to write about Swift. Would this be the same Taylor Swift who goes out of her way to contact sick and disabled fans? Would this be the same Taylor Swift who donates millions of dollars to various causes and individuals in need? And would this be the same Taylor Swift who surprises her fans out-of-the-blue with gifts? Because that woman sure sounds like a cold-blooded Nazi.
So, what’s Paglia’s biggest complaint, other than Swift has a larger and far more attractive group of friends? She writes, “If many women feel lonely or overwhelmed these days, it’s not due to male malice. Women have lost the natural solidarity and companionship they enjoyed for thousands of years in the preindustrial agrarian world, where multiple generations chatted through the day as they shared chores, cooking and child care.”
But that “natural solidarity” that Paglia discusses is precisely what Swift and her female friends have. They cook together, spend vacations with one another, cry on each other’s shoulders, and most importantly support each other personally and professionally. And when distance keeps them apart, they communicate on the phone and social media, where Swift often pumps up the accomplishments and achievements of her girlfriends.
The reason Swift has been “wheeling out friends” at performances, as Paglia pejoratively puts it, is simple. As a world-class entertainer, Swift knows it’s fun for audiences who attend her concerts to be surprised by celebrity appearances. And as a woman, Swift is teaching her mostly young female audience that little girls can grow up to become empowered, successful women, with a strong and loyal female friends, who aren’t reliant on men for their self-worth.
That’s not Fascist. That’s not Nazi. That’s Swift being a “squad” leader and role model.