Tag Archives: women’s studies

Pre-TS Gay Moments ~ Ivy: Gnosticism is Religion Queered [III]

1 May

I’m about to finish up the evermore album for my series Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments. Followed by Midnights Gay Moments. The last song is Ivy.

You might be wondering how Taylor Swift’s Ivy relates to Gnosticism relates to queerness.  In my main post I’ll show the many connections between Ivy’s lyrics and Gnostic tennants.

Here, I’ll try to convey how Gnosticism, at the very least, can be interpreted through a queer lens.

Gnosticism through a queer lens [III]

-Sophia begets the demiurge who creates the world & humanity

-Sophia tricks Yaldabaoth into passing wisdom to Adam

-Wisdom is Eve and she wakes Adam from his stupor

-Balancing the masculine and feminine within ourselves is required for divine illumination

-Gnostics reject binary, black & white thinking and encourage questioning authority and the status-quo

-The Gnostics gave women a place, where they were sidelined by the orthodoxy

Sophia gives birth to a bunch of bad boys, demigods called archons, including the worst of them all, the demiurge who becomes the creator of this world, infecting it with pride, ignorance, fear, and his lust for power and pleasure.

Finally, Sophia breaks free and ascends back up to the true light of life. Back up in the celestial realm of spiritual light, Sophia rediscovers Gnosis by joining her twin brother in a “marriage” of reunification, balancing the masculine ego of unrealized potential, and uniting it with the sacred feminine – made ever more powerful by adversity – into an androgynous whole. A complete person, full with the knowledge of the transcendent, unified light.

But she refuses to abandon the sad world of humans.  She remains present, and in her resurgent power she brings great beauty and spiritual potential to the Earthly realm and its inhabitants. 

Witnessing the irresponsible creation of the world by her errant offspring, she divides herself, keeping a part below, ever present and available for the enlightenment of all.  Sophia conceals Consciousness in the body of the demiurge’s first man, “Adam,” and then brings it into the world as “Eve.”  

For it’s only in the feminine–the channel of creation into the world–that humanity finds the power and compassion necessary to overcome the darkness of ignorance.


Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: evermore ~ Willow

13 Apr


And there was one prize I’d cheat to win/The more that you say/The less I know/Wherever you stray/I follow/I’m begging for you to take my hand/Wreck my plans/That’s my man/You know that my train could take you home/Anywhere else is hollow…/…Wait for the signal and I’ll meet you after dark/Show me the places where the others gave you scars/Now this is an open-shut case/Guess I should’ve known from the look on your face/Every bait and switch was a work of art

Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: folklore ~ The Last Great American Dynasty

6 Apr

the last great american dynasty

And the town said, “How did a middle-class divorcée do it?”/…Their parties were tasteful, if a little loud/The doctor had told him to settle down/It must have been her fault his heart gave out…/…”Who knows if she never showed up, what could’ve been”/”There goes the maddest woman this town has ever seen”/”She had a marvelous time ruinin’ everything”…/…Rebekah gave up on the Rhode Island set, forever/Flew in all her Bitch Pack friends from the city/Filled the pool with champagne and swam with the big names/And blew through the money on the boys and the ballet/And losin’ on card game bets with Dalí…/…And in a feud with her neighbor/She stole his dog and dyed it key lime green…/…Free of women with madness, their men and bad habits/And then it was bought by me/Who knows if I never showed up what could’ve been/There goes the loudest woman this town has ever seen/I had a marvelous time ruinin’ everything

Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: folklore ~ Betty

2 Apr


Betty, I won’t make assumptions/About why you switched your homeroom but/I think it’s ’cause of me/Betty, one time I was riding on my skateboard/When I passed your house/It’s like I couldn’t breathe…/…Betty, I know where it all went wrong/Your favorite song was playing/From the far side of the gym/I was nowhere to be found/I hate the crowds, you know that/Plus, I saw you dance with him/You heard the rumors from Inez/You can’t believe a word she says/Most times, but this time it was true/The worst thing that I ever did/Was what I did to you/But if I just showed up at your party/Would you have me?/Would you want me?/Would you tell me to go fuck myself?/Or lead me to the garden?/In the garden would you trust me/If I told you it was just a summer thing?/I’m only seventeen, I don’t know anything/But I know I miss you/I was walking home on broken cobblestones/Just thinking of you when she pulled up like/A figment of my worst intentions/She said “James, get in, let’s drive“/Those days turned into nights/Slept next to her, but/I dreamt of you all summer long/Betty, I’m here on your doorstep/And I planned it out for weeks now/But it’s finally sinkin’ in/Betty, right now is the last time/I can dream about what happens when/You see my face again/The only thing I wanna do/Is make it up to you/So I showed up at your party/Yeah, I showed up at your party/Will you have me?/Will you love me?/Will you kiss me on the porch/In front of all your stupid friends?/If you kiss me, will it be just like I dreamed it?/Will it patch your broken wings?/I’m only 17, I don’t know anything/But I know I miss you/Standing in your cardigan/Kissin’ in my car again/Stopped at a streetlight/You know I miss you

Sometimes, lesbian poets who were not out tried hiding their poems of intense love for women as romantic friendships or sisterly bonds. This sometimes forces historians (and us) to “queer” the poetry and call it lesbian poetry.

Other times, lesbian poets attempted to veil a sapphic inspiration under the guise of writing from a male’s perspective.

This will be long. If you’re interested in specific, females writing under pseudonyms, that are somehow associated with queerness read on. If not, you’ve got the gist already.

[This makes me think of Lavender Haze, bearding arrangements, needing a man to legitimize talent and succeed in business. Think Dorthea = Taylor’s reluctance to marry a man. Karlie wanting a comfortable family life and ending up with a Ku$hner.]

Trigger warning: Poaching

[read her entire Wiki, she was in the Air force, CIA, and instrumental in 2nd wave feminism (among many other things.]

This is why I think writing from a male perspective is inherently queer (whether the writer identifies that way or not). It’s kind of a queer tradition to deviate from gender norms and heterosexist traditions. As you can see a lot of queers (used as umbrella for lesbian, bisexual, NB, unlabeled, fluid in this instance) use male pseudonyms for various reasons. Two of those reasons: Obscure same sex attraction in the book or remove oneself from the narrative within the book. And the other is to embody the opposite gender in the text without tipping off the audience. Taylor might have written James “from a male perspective” within the song Betty for these very reasons.

Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: folklore ~ mad woman

1 Apr

mad woman

What did you think I’d say to that?/Does a scorpion sting when fighting back?/They strike to kill and you know I will/You know I will…/…Every time you call me crazy/I get more crazy/What about that?/And when you say I seem angry/I get more angry/And there’s nothin’ like a mad woman/What a shame she went mad/No one likes a mad woman/You made her like that/And you’ll poke that bear ’til her claws come out/And you find something to wrap your noose around/And there’s nothin’ like a mad woman…/…But no one likes a mad woman/What a shame she went mad/You made her like that

***Trigger Warning***

institutionalization, “medical” abuse, torture



Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: Lover ~ MA&THP [Part 2 Gender Roles]

23 Mar

I split the songs up on the Lover album as well so we can delve into each one a bit more.

America’s Sweetheart to Miss Americana:

You know I adore you [America]/I’m crazier for you [USA]/Then I was at sixteen/Lost in a film scene [innocent, naïve, charmed]/Waving homecoming queens/Marching band playing/I’m lost in the lights [caught up in youth and fame]…/…Ripped up my prom dress/Running through rose thorns…/…No cameras catch my pageant smile…/…American stories/Burning before me…/…No cameras catch my muffled cries [Disillusioned by American politics]…/…They whisper in the hallway, “she’s a bad, bad girl” [as Taylor aged, her image became more negative]…/…You and me [Taylor’s country]/That’s my whole world/They [Patriarchal oppressors, homophobes, far right conservatives (take your pick)] whisper in the hallway, “she’s a bad, bad girl”/”She’s a bad, bad girl”

As Taylor’s competence increased with age, she was perceived as more of a threat:

But the sexism was always there, even when Taylor was viewed as America’s Sweetheart:

Taylor’s Gay Moments- Country Music ~ Speak Now (Oct 2010)

7 Feb

Taylor has always been Sapphic Lesbian w/major comp-het: I have interspersed Taylor’s early Myspace post and sus song lyrics:

Speak Now:

The entirety of:


will get its own post.

Sparks Fly-

The way you move is like a full on rainstorm/And I’m a house of cards/You’re the kind of reckless that should send me running/And you stood there in front of me just/Close enough to touch/Close enough to hope you couldn’t see/What I was thinking of…/…Gimme something that’ll haunt me when you’re not around…/…My mind forgets to remind me you’re a bad idea/You touch me once and it’s really something/I’m on my guard for the rest of the world/But with you, I know it’s no good…/…Meet me in the pouring rain/Kiss me on the sidewalk/Take away the pain…/…I run my fingers through your hair/And watch the lights go wild…/…It’s just wrong enough to make it feel right/And lead me up the staircase/Won’t you whisper soft and slow/I’m captivated by you, baby/Like a fireworks show

Back to December-

And realized I loved you in the fall/And then the cold came, the dark days/When fear crept into my mind/You gave me all your love and all I gave you was goodbye


The lingering question kept me up/2 AM, who do you love?/I wonder ’til I’m wide awake/And now I’m pacing back and forth/Wishing you were at my door/I’d open up and you would say, “Hey”/It was enchanting to meet you…/…Please don’t be in love with someone else/Please don’t have somebody waiting on you

Better than Revenge-

Soon she’s gonna find/Stealing other people’s toys on the playground/Won’t make you many friends/She should keep in mind/She should keep in mind/There is nothing I do better than revenge, ha

At first glance, it may seem like men are more prone to competition than women. They can be more risk-tolerant and use more physical aggression toward each other. Their friendships are by and large transactional, and their conflicts are typically straightforward and direct. Women on the other hand often experience emotional depth and complexity in both friendship and competition. If they seem less competitive than men, it’s because they sometimes enact their rivalry drive in more covert and clandestine ways.

Last Kiss-

The words that you whispered for just us to know/You told me you loved me/So why did you go away?…/…I do recall now the smell of the rain…/…Sit on the floor wearing your clothes…/…I’m not much for dancing, but for you, I did/Because I love your handshake, meeting my father…/…You can plan for a change in the weather and time/But I never planned on you changing your mind

Long Live-

Long live the walls we crashed through/While the kingdom lights shined just for me and you/I was screaming, long live all the magic we made/And bring on all the pretenders, one day we will be remembered…/…Of all the years that we stood there on the sidelines/Wishing for right now…/…And the cynics were outraged/Screaming, this is absurd/’Cause for a moment a band of thieves/In ripped-up jeans got to rule the world…/…Long live all the mountains we moved/I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you…/…Promise me this/That you’ll stand by me forever/But if God forbid fate should step in/And force us into a goodbye…/…Long live the walls we crashed through/I had the time of my life with you…/…All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you


Seems like there’s always someone who disapproves/They’ll judge it like they know about me and you/And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do/The jury’s out, but my choice is you/So don’t you worry your pretty, little mind/People throw rocks at things that shine/And life makes love look hard/The stakes are high, the water’s rough/But this love is ours…/…You never know what people have up their sleeves/Ghosts from your past gonna jump out at me/Lurking in the shadows with their lip gloss smiles/But I don’t care ’cause right now you’re mine…/…And it’s not theirs to speculate/If it’s wrong, and your hands are tough/But they are where mine belong, and/I’ll fight their doubt and give you faith…/…But they can’t take what’s ours/They can’t take what’s ours

Taylor’s Gay Moments- Country Music ~ Fearless (Nov 2008)

6 Feb

Taylor has been alluding to her sexuality the whole time, we just weren’t paying attention. Given the lyrics I think she is Lesbian w/major comp-het: I have interspersed Taylor’s early Myspace post and sus song lyrics:


The entirety of:


This song will get its own post.


Well you stood there with me in the doorway/My hands shake/I’m not usually this way but/You pull me in and I’m a little more brave/It’s the first kiss, it’s flawless, really something, it’s fearless/Cause I don’t know how it gets better than this/You take my hand and drag me head first/Fearless/And I don’t know why/But with you I’d dance in a storm/In my best dress/Fearless


Feeling like there’s nothing to figure out…/…This is life before you know who you’re gonna be…/…When all you wanted/Was to be wanted/Wish you could go back/And tell yourself what you know now

Love Story-

So I sneak out to the garden to see you/We keep quiet, ’cause we’re dead if they knew…/…’Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter/And my daddy said, “Stay away from Juliet”…/….Romeo, save me, they’re tryna tell me how to feel/This love is difficult, but it’s real/Don’t be afraid, we’ll make it out of this mess…/…Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think

Hey Stephen-

Hey Stephen, I’ve been holding back this feeling/So I’ve got some things to say to you (ha)…/…But I never seen nobody shine the way you do/The way you walk, way you talk, way you say my name/It’s beautiful, wonderful, don’t you ever change/Hey Stephen, why are people always leaving?/I think you and I should stay the same…/…So come on and come out…/…And shine, shine, shine

You Belong with Me-

That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time/If you could see that I’m the one/Who understands you/Been here all along/So, why can’t you see?/You belong with me/Standing by and waiting at your backdoor/All this time how could you not know, baby?

The Way I Loved You-

He says everything I need to hear, and it’s like…/…I feel perfectly fine…/…He respects my space/And never makes me wait/And he calls exactly when he says he will/He’s close to my mother/Talks business with my father/He’s charming and endearing/And I’m comfortable…/…I couldn’t ask for anything better/He can’t see the smile I’m faking/And my heart’s not breaking/‘Cause I’m not feeling anything at all/And you were wild and crazy/Just so frustrating, intoxicating, complicated/Got away by some mistake and now/I miss screaming and fighting and kissing in the rain/It’s 2 a.m. and I’m cursing your name/I’m so in love that I acted insane/And that’s the way I loved you/Breaking down and coming undone/It’s a roller coaster kind of rush/And I never knew I could feel that much/And that’s the way I loved you


Untouchable like a distant diamond sky/I’m reaching out and I just can’t tell you why/I’m caught up in you…/…Untouchable, burning brighter than the sun/And when you’re close, I feel like coming undone

Forever and Always-

Was I out of line?/Did I say something way too honest, made you run and hide…/…Thought I knew you for a minute, now I’m not so sure…/…Here’s to silence, that cuts me to the core/Where is this going?/Thought I knew for a minute, but I don’t anymore

I said, “Leave“, but all I really want is you/To stand outside my window, throwin’ pebbles/Screamin’, “I’m in love with you”…/…And don’t you leave, ’cause I know/All I need is on the other side of the door/Me and my stupid pride are sittin’ here alone…/…I keep goin’ back over things we both said/And I remember the slamming door/And all the things that I misread/Oh, babe, if you know everything/Tell me why you couldn’t see/When I left, I wanted you to chase after me, yeah/I said, “Leave”, but all I really want is you…/…And the conversation with the little white lies…/…And I broke down crying, was she worth this mess?/After everything and that little black dress/After everything I must confess, I need you

Today was a Fairytale-

All that I can say/Is now it’s getting so much clearer/Nothing made sense ’til the time I saw your face/Today was a fairytale

You All Over Me-

I lived, and I learned/And found out what it was to turn around/And see, that we/Were never really meant to be/So I lied, and I cried/And I watched a part of myself die/’Cause no amount of freedom gets you clean

WAP Grammys 2021 Performance is Not Empowerment or Feminism–It’s Misogyny

16 Mar

Visibility is imperative. Pushing norms is progress. But disguising the objectification of women for the male gaze as empowered feminism is super-problematic, and that’s what is happening here. Cardi b and Meghan Thee Stallion’s Grammys 2021 performance was supposed to push boundaries, and shock. And it did! Madonna pushed boundaries of female sexuality with her cones and simulated sex scene prior to this. But I see the Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke twirking on all the negative YouTube videos for ‘top 10 cringe moments’, ‘celebs that are problematic’, ‘people who got cancelled’, etc, etc… And let’s not forget how Janet Jackson was ENDED over a fraction of a sec of nipple pasty action at the Superbowl. Can you say, double standard?!

Anyway, I keep seeing a lot of arguments for the merits of this song/performance because it matches what men do. Men have scantily-clad women on their videos, demean women as “bitches” (and far worse) in their lyrics, talk about sexual acts in explicit detail, and are “pimps” when they rack up the number of women they conquer. So people are arguing it’s cool that now women can do that too.

Except here’s the thing:

Feminism isn’t doing whatever you want or being as disgusting as men, it is breaking away from objectification, truly empowering the individual self and collective group of women.

Joining in on objectification of women is not empowerment!

em·pow·er·ment (N)- Authority or power given to someone to do something. “individuals are given empowerment to create their own dwellings” the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.

This performance isn’t about women owning their bodies, sexuality, or controlling the narrative. This is women selling their image in a package that men like in order to make money and gain fame in the small niche that female rap artists have carved out.

Women in this patriarchal society have to fit in a box–the Madonna/whore dichotomy. Women in music, already in that narrow box of patriarchy, have to fit into an even smaller box of being a role model to girls while having sexual appeal for the general public. The rap category is an even teenier box a couple of select women have to fit in to keep going. In the end, the box is so small and limited, there is no space left.

People online are praising the performance as visible female sexuality, black women owning their own bodies, and empowerment. Which, I agree might be present (though in this writing, I’ll argue it’s in diluted form). I felt the performance was harmful to women’s progress. What I don’t want to do is add the the terrible narrative that black women’s sexuality is wild/animalistic/scary/out of control that colonialism, racism, sexism, and patriarchy has painted it. I find the performance harmful because it is misogyny in feminist clothing, to borrow the sheep expression.

I know there’s a whole song, and the music video that goes with it. I don’t know much about either so my critiques are based solely on the following video of the 2021 Grammy performance:

My racap of the action:

-A stripper pole-references the men’s domain of the strip club where women take off clothes and dance suggestively for men’s entertainment.
-Cardi B backs up and puts her butt-crack on the pole. Side-note: Butt implants are for men. A women can die getting plastic surgery to enhance her body. Her clothes will fit differently. She will have to move differently, walk differently, lay down differently than she did before putting plastic in her butt. And she may have complications later. Leaking, autoimmune issues, cancer… This is not for a woman’s pleasure–women’s butts are not an erroneous zone, or secondary sex characteristic. A big butt is for men’s pleasure.
-In case the viewer couldn’t put it together, a giant, clear plastic stripper platform shoe flanks the stage. The type of shoe men like to look at, but women have trouble walking effectively in, and certainly running from danger is out of the question in such a shoe. It shows the power dynamic–females are weakened by such a shoe but men get pleasure from them wearing the shoe. Men are in power here. The women are just props for them to use to achieve sexual gratification.
-Other suggestive moves that drive home this is a performance to cater to men’s sexual desire: Splay legs, she grabs/rubs her puss, gyrating hips and doing suggestive humping dance moves. Cardi B elevates and licks her own leg. Countless squats split legged. Laying with legs far apart on the bed. Crawling on the bed. Split legged humping. Laying on her back with split legs. The two women crawl toward each other on bed. They scissor their legs together. [Pet-peeve] this is NOT a thing! I mean, it might technically exist in the way the pile-driver is a thing, but not used in real life, it’s only for porn. This scissoring maneuver is performative and it’s is ignorant/Lesbphobic. As a matter of fact, if two out, butch lesbians did the same move, I’ll bet the reaction would be totally different. Then to finish the show, more split legs.

Here’s the test to know if it’s empowering feminism or if it’s misogyny:

a) if this is two women owning their own bodies, displaying confidence and empowerment


b) this is a sexually suggestive performance for the male gaze

In the above video and descriptive paragraph, trade out the women for men.

Have you seen men doing a similar performance before? Does it seem like the same type of performance? Would it garner the same reaction?

I’d say fail.

You do not/would not see two men: Dancing on a pole. Licking their own leg. Crawling toward another man on a giant bed. Or scissoring legs together with another man…

This is not women owning their sexuality. This is objectifying & commodifying women for the male gaze.

Research by Calogero has shown that the male gaze can have detrimental effects on women’s self-esteem and self-objectification, leading to increased body shame and a worsened mental state. The male gaze creates a power imbalance. It supports a patriarchal status quo, perpetuating women’s real-life sexual objectification.

So that’s why I don’t like it. I’m not even going to mention being role model for girls, b/c the conservatives always trot out “save the children!” to shame women. But I will say it would be nice if society was better at recognizing misogyny. I can understand why it’s difficult because it’s ubiquitous and pervasive. But we need to educate ourselves a lot better, because things are still BAD for women. And I would love to see women being successful by truly own their own bodies and sexuality in an empowering way. I hope it happens.

But this was not it.

Inspirational Women: Molly Brown

23 Mar


A female firefighter?

A black woman?

Check and check.  Williams was way before her time!

  • The first woman firefighter was an African American.  Molly Williams worked along side the men of the Oceanus Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 of New York City in 1818.

Even as a slave, Williams had gained the respect of her fellow firefighters. Her story and strength paved the way for other women, including one the first paid Black female firefighters and the most tenured in the country – Toni McIntosh of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who served for over 11 years.

forest fire 5And such is typical–I can hardly find anything written about her.  To me, this is a big deal and you’d think there would be many books on the first female firefighter.  Who is also a black woman.  But I really can’t find very much aside from those facts, which just goes to show who records history and makes me wonder how much more of MY stories have been left out?  How many other woman did amazing things that we’ve never even heard of because some white man didn’t deem it important to write down?  It’s a real forest fire 6shame.

Here’s what I can find:  https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/dianne-ochiltree/molly-golly/

A children’s book.  That’s it.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s great and all, but I was hoping for a biography with substance–or at least a compilation of important historical firefighters or something like that.  How disappointing!


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