Tag Archives: heterosexist

Midnights Analysis-Evasive Character Perspective: Lavender Haze

27 Oct

Lately (folklore on) Taylor has been especially good at obscuring subject, timelines, characters, point of view etc… I suspect she does this to make her work palatable to the largest audience possible. She can cater to every different subset of listeners by making each song multifaceted. Diverse populations, people with divergent backgrounds and sensibilities can take different things from the same songs.

In folklore, fantasy and fiction were combined to make a sort of double story out of each song. This tactic builds in plausible deniability. The Last Great American Dynasty is an explicit example. In that song, Taylor is talking about the history of Rebecka Harkness, but also herself.

In Evermore, several different people were written about in the same song, until people could not extricate the truth for what line was about who. Take Dorthea. The song is about this Dorthea who we don’t know. Maybe someone from Nashville. But also a few of the lines could be Taylor talking about herself. And other lines really seem like present-day Taylor speaking to younger Taylor. The song is about all 3 of those people. And she is not clear about when the narrator or character changes.

For Midnights, I think Taylor used a different tactic. We were told these stories are personal, non-fiction, true events. I would say perspective (who is saying this?) and character (who is being talked about/to?) are the main foils to deciphering Midnights. She even switches the person who is talking and the subject being talked to in the same sentence at points. I won’t give an example here because I’m going to try to give each song it’s own entry. But that device makes it difficult to know who the songs are about–and that’s the point.

So our first controversial (we’ll get into it in a minute) song is Lavender Haze:

Toot noise like NYE

Model walking beat

Other songs that have this same type of beat are Style and Gold Rush, which are both very Karlie songs.

Meet me at midnight…

I think she’s talking to NY day muse. Though I think songs get repurposed over time to reflect Taylor’s current situations (think I Bet You Think About Me which was supposedly a Red-era vault track, but had many, many current symbols). I think this song has at least evolved for Taylor to be about Karlie.

At 0.59 sec, Taylor sings “I want HER midnights.”

In that song, Taylor is talking about hiding her WLW love during New Years Eve when everyone is around, and for the big midnight kiss because she is closeted. Her and her lover have to resort to spending private time cleaning up on New Years Day, when everyone is passed out or hungover. But Taylor says she wants her girlfriend’s midnights–she wants to be able to be up front about the woman she loves and partake in that public kiss tradition.

Staring at the ceiling with you

This line may be a character switch. It the midnights person the same as the ceiling person?

Oh, you don’t ever say too much

The two have been “dating” for 6 years but are weirdly private, not attending important events, speaking about one another in interviews, or acting like a couple save for the occasional paparazzi photo (read, hired be the celebrities themselves to take PR pics). If the two are actually together, their relationship is unnecessarily complex. And it seems like Joe is a bad boyfriend (minimizing Taylor’s accomplishments, being absent for important events, looking like an unhappy hostage dragging her 2 steps behind him when they are photographed).

And you don’t really read into

My melancholia

That sounds unfulfilling to me. If I’m severely depressed, I want Cool to engage with me and talk to me about it. Try to help me, at least show she cares. . . But Joe apparently just takes it at face value, and doesn’t mention it.

I thought the description for the movie related to Taylor’s life and songs, which may have been why she chooses that particular, and unique word to describe depression.

Melancholia film similarities to TS:

There’s a wedding (Taylor doesn’t want that 1950s shit. Karlie got married to a man).

Castle is money/status. (Taylor wants to keep hers, Karlie may have married a man for it).

narrow and winding, same as spiral. Not straight. Not easy. rural = desolate and alone. Labyrinthine?

Justine is pushed into a role others chose for her (marriage). (Just like Taylor is being pushed by media/public/parents/team/Joe? and doesn’t want that according to this song).

There is cheating and the marriage is called off. (Many of Taylor’s songs talk about cheating: Illicit Affairs, Betty, etc…)

The women in the film spend their final moments alone in a magic cave (kingdom in my bedroom, if you will) drinking wine by candlelight.

There is a SEA of FLAMES and Earth SHATTERS into a billion (million in Taylor’s case, says Mirrorball).

I been under scrutiny

You handle it beautifully

All this shit is new to me

Which part of this is new to Taylor? She’s supposedly been dating for 6 years, so not the committed relationship. She’s been famous since she was a child, so not celebrity, or media asking her things. She has even bearded at least once before.

I feel the lavender haze creeping up on me

If you missed my last post on how lavender is a decidedly gay color, go back one entry and learn some history.

Haze:

so lavender haze could be tenuous, obscure, confusing…

It reminds me of Cardigan:

Here, I think she uses smoke to symbolize the aftermath of a tragedy. And also something that was a reminder. And that causes confusion.

“Haze” reminds me even more of The Archer:

…I’ve got a hundred thrown-out speeches I almost said to you

Coming out speeches to her fans?

…Help me hold onto you

…I wake in the night, I pace like a ghost

She’s worried about what would happen if she came out

she’s a ghost because she’s caught in-between and because she feels her true self is invisible.

The room is on fire, invisible smoke

She imagines the worst outcome, and is anxious, but it’s in her mind so far.

And all of my heroes die all alone

Help me hold onto you/…Screaming, who could ever leave me, darling?/But who could stay?

Taylor wants to keep her fans, and place as a legend in music.  She wouldn’t want coming out to ruin that.

(I see right through me, I see right through me)/’Cause they see right through me/They see right through me/They see right through/Can you see right through me?/They see right through/They see right through me/I see right through me/I see right through me

Can fans see Taylor’s intentions?  Can they sense her fears?  Taylor has been signaling she’s queer-have fans picked up on that?  

Who could ever leave me, darling?/But who could stay?/(I see right through me, I see right through me)/Who could stay?/Who could stay?/Who could stay?/You could stay/You could stay/You…

Taylor is inviting fans to stay with her even if she comes out.

Furthermore she says she can feel the lavender creeping.

creeping:

You would not describe the haze of the honeymoon phase of a relationship as creeping. Creeping is negative, unwanted. The lavender is something Taylor is saying she does not want.

Surreal

I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say

Stated another way:

If I do give a damn about what people say

I’m damned

Taylor is saying if she cares about this pressure people are putting on her to marry, she will be doomed.

No deal

The 1950s shit they want from me

I just wanna stay in that lavender haze

Taylor doesn’t want the creeping lavender that will doom her (marrriage). She wants to remain in the gray, hazy area she is currently occupying. This could mean this awkward “private” relationship with Joe (if the public narrative is to be believed. Or it could mean bearding with Joe to portray herself as straight to the majority, and hinting at her true orientation to Gaylors.

All they keep asking me

Is if I’m gonna be your bride

This line is direct in who Taylor is talking to. Now, she could have changed perspectives or subjects with in the song (like in Question… and back to Peace) but this tells us Joe. The media and fans and maybe her team keep asking Taylor if she is going to be JOE’s bride.

The only kinda girl they see

Is a one night or a wife

The media and fans accuse Taylor of serial dating and not being able to keep a man, or they press her about when she will get engaged or have children.  

These are the “weird rumors” Taylor spoke of in the Lavender video.

I find it dizzying

The word dizzying makes me think of all the spinning on tiptoes in heels in mirrorball:

Taylor already told us she shows each person what they want to see. She is not being her authentic self.

They’re bringing up my history

Who is they? 

It could be media, fans, enemies, exes, Taylor’s own team, the music industry, her parents…  

What history is being drudged up?

Taylor’s dating history, Kaylor, her song catalog, awards shows, promotion…

But you weren’t even listening

Who is you?  

It could still be Joe, or the “you” could indicate a different subject: Karlie, another love/muse, Taylor’s team, her mom, fans…

…Talk your talk and go viral

This sounds like she’s addressing the media.  They say whatever narrative gets them the most clicks. 

I just need this love spiral

The opposite of spiral (depending on the way the word is being used):  straight, a line, flat, constant, consistent, unchanging, calm…

Love spiral reminds me of the heart that turned into a spiraling tunnel in the Me!  Music video:

Interestingly the heart/love spiral evokes the same feelings as this lavender haze song:

Get it off your chest

“Your” sounds less like a group (fans, her team, media, music industry) and more like one individual to me.

Get it off my desk

Whatever proposal that whoever is pushing. From the context of the song, it sounds like some sort of marriage. For someone to put something on Taylor’s desk (unless she’s talking metaphorically) this person or group has to be in proximity to her. That eliminates her talking about media, fans, or the general music industry. These two lines have to be Joe or Taylor’s own team. I think Joe, because get it off “your” chest is more personal, and less used for a collective like a team.

The media, fans, her team, and Joe all want Taylor to enter a Lavender marriage with Joe in order to satiate heteronormativity and straighten out her image. And this song makes clear Taylor wants to remain in this undefined haze.

…That lavender haze, I just wanna stay

I just wanna stay in that lavender haze

Why Does Taylor Swift Act That Way?

23 Sep

After doing a lot of Taylor Swift research in general, and Kaylor factoids, I was thing about Taylor’s possible feelings and motivations.  The underlined are topics that came to mind, and I want you to read it bearing in mind things that go on in the Swift-verse (I tried to made up a word for Taylor Swift’s world, and I’m not sure it worked out).  The following is laying the groundwork for what’s happening with Kaylor and why.

 

Being in the closet:

fear of getting caught

fear of other’s people’s reactions

fear of losing important people in your life

fear of career setbacks

fear of being bashed

fear of who you become when you give up being (thought of as) straight

sadness at not fulfilling (heteronormative) expectations

sadness at not having an easy love/life

sadness at missing out

sadness about being the odd man out with friends and society at large

not being sexual at all-as a way to avoid it

being “too busy” for dating/love-so that people stop asking

being ultra-private-to signal others not to ask about it

feeling defensive

feelings of persecution

feelings of being alone, the only one

feelings of not being supported

forcing straight relationships (then feeling detached from them)

dating the opposite sex, but it’s weird/not what you had thought

internal homophobia

using homophobic language–so others won’t suspect

acting more straight

having very close same sex friendships

having confusing feelings regarding friends

being confused about boundaries

talking about the opposite sex to throw others off

staying away from ‘out’ queer people (guilty by association)

planning ahead-to avoid awkward topics, situations, or damning evidence

anger at having to hide

anger that life is harder for LGBT members

anger at a small dating pool

anger at homophobes

anger at people that “tolerate” gays

being hyper-aware of pronouns and manipulating them

language with a double-meaning

using wardrobe, jewelry, color to signal other gays, but stay hidden from everyone else

swearing others to secret

threatening same sex partners not to let on

not acting couply in public

saying your lover is just a friend

coming out to certain, trusted people, but not large groups, or known homophobes

 

Not knowing Taylor Swift personally, but being alive in the world, I think she may experience some of these feelings.  Lyrics, interviews, dates, and persona could maybe relate to a lot or most of these.  You can’t rush a person’s timeline.  Taylor has to come out when she’s ready (or if she is ever ready at all). 

A lot of these are truly founded worries the LGBT individuals have about making known their ‘difference.’  The list above comes about with politics, language, expectations, seeing openly gay people struggle.  This stuff doesn’t just come out of nowhere.  For example, Ellen Degeneres is an ‘it’ gal today sure.  But she lost everything when she came out–and for a long time afterwards. 

Instead of taking that trajectory as  ‘it’ll work out, come out– see how good Ellen is doing?  I think it should be a cautionary tale.  It was scary and even today I would characterize Ellen as a reluctant gay icon.  She came out for personal reasons, so she could live authentically.  I And when that happened she lost everyone.  Except a small group of LGBTQQA.  She didn’t wanna play to only gay crowds.  Didn’t ask to represent a whole population.  She was thrust in that role because of how big a deal her coming out was at the time.  But that other stuff wasn’t a choice she made–she played to exclusively gay crowds because suddenly, no one else would see her.  She was boycotted.  Ellen was cancelled.  People see her current success and forget all of that.  She didn’t even really mention her gayness at all in the beginning of her talk show.  She had to sort of play it straight again to get the status she has attained.  She finagled her way back into the mainstream. 

There are many more examples of people cut down after coming out.  So if Taylor is planning to come out (which I greedily hope she does, b/c it would make me personally very happy) I think she’s right to be cautious and do it carefully.  I would not want to see people throw her away, especially in the world of music where women are treated as a dime a dozen, totally replaceable by the next pretty blonde.

 

Gay-Dar

Because of all the closeted tactics, gays automatically learn to identify “family” and there is a knowing wink and nod, exchanged.  I think to some extent most gay people (and some straight) have honed their gay-dar.  It’s a practiced skill based on signals, non-verbal cues, and some stereotypes.  My feeling is that gays from conservative or churchy backgrounds are especially good at it, because the rural gays have to be more secret and underground.  

Does Taylor Swift’s Easter eggs relate to this?  I think so!

On the pod-cast I was listening to, they asked if Ellen Degeneres know Taylor Swift.  My feeling:  absolutely.  You can sense the two have a rapport.  Think of the episode when Ellen asked Taylor who she’s dating in kind of a knowing and cheeky tone.  And Taylor said, “My publicist told me not to answer that.”  I think Ellen knew what was up.  And whether or not Ellen has been told explicitly, I think she’s clever (and experienced enough) to know the signs when she sees them.

 

bearding

I’m not going to get into this as much, because it’s not really in my personal experience, but bearding is a good way to remain in the closet.  Because if you’re dating the opposite sex you obviously can’t be gay-says the public at large.  

This one speaks for itself.  And is the subject of so many theories in Kaylor.

 

Heteronormative/heterosexist

This is the societal attitude that everyone is straight until proven gay.  And when I say proven, I mean you won’t accept subtle signs, or obvious scenarios–it has to come from that person’s mouth.  The only other way is actually seeing sex.  This mentality is pervasive.  It’s just assumed all little girls dream of their big wedding day with whatever groom chooses them.  Guys are assigned the role of going out and chasing women for sex.  From infants when everyone is so curious about gender, roles are assigned to the sexes, and LGBT has no part in that.  It’s placed on everyone, and if that’s not who you are, it’s your responsibility to ‘come out of the closet’ as not straight.

I feel like 95% of Taylor Swift’s fans believe she’s straight.  They see long hair.  A feminine-looking gal, narratives of dating men.  Even when evidence to the contrary is presented, most fans refuse to believe she might be romantic toward women (too).  And they get angry at Kaylors for “pushing a narrative” when all Kaylors are doing is reading clues that Taylor Swift, herself, has placed.  Kaylors are hunting just like all Swifties, in the way that Taylor has asked and expected us to do.  I think some people, no matter what evidence was presented, would refuse to take stock in that.  Because of heterosexism, homophobia, or ignorance.  A lot of straight people don’t know that they know a gay.  Therefore, they don’t know what characteristics go with that.  Or they might have only experience with the most ‘out’ gays.  Which are only one type of gay.  To be fair, not a bunch of gays have come out, so people don’t realize the LGBT is diverse and there are all types, not just the super-flamboyant and stone-butch that are unable to hide, and are obviously gay.

 

OK, so there I think is a good foundation to see Taylor’s motivations and how it could possibly substantiate the Kaylor theories.