Taylor Swift Just Opened up About the Sexism That Drove Her to Stop Dating

April 15th 2016

Laura Donovan

Taylor Swift just revealed that sexist criticism over her romantic history was part of the reason for her two-and-a-half-year dating hiatus.

Speaking to Vogue for the magazine's May 2016 cover story, Swift expressed frustration over what she calls the number of "incredibly sexist Men–of–Taylor Swift slideshows" on the Internet. For example, Billboard compiled a boyfriend timeline for Swift in late 2014, and a simple Google search turns up multiple articles on the people she has dated or been rumored to have dated.

“You know, I went out on a normal amount of dates in my early 20s, and I got absolutely slaughtered for it,” she told Vogue's Jason Gay. “And it took a lot of hard work and altering my decision-making. I didn’t date for two and a half years. Should I have had to do that? No."

She went on to mention her Grammys Album of the Year Award acceptance speech, during which she apparently took a dig at singer Kanye West for saying he is responsible for her fame in one of his songs.

“I guess what I wanted to call attention to in my speech at the Grammys was how it’s going to be difficult if you’re a woman who wants to achieve something in her life—no matter what,” she said.

Swift has spoken before about the harsh reactions to her relationship history.

The singer told Glamour U.K. last spring that media shaming discouraged her from dating for a while, adding that others seemed to insinuate that all of her relationships needed to be serious and long-term.

"I think the media has sent me a really unfair message over the past couple of years, which is that I'm not allowed to date for excitement, or fun, or new experiences or learning lessons," she said. "I'm only allowed to date if it's for a lasting, multiple-year relationship. Otherwise I'm a, quote, 'serial dater.' Or, quote, 'boy crazy.'"

She also called it unfair of others to label her as "obsessed" or "clingy."

"The narrative has been so wrong, every time it was the same. It's 'Taylor spotted talking to this guy, she's chasing him.' They create a beginning to the story that didn't happen most of the time, so then they have to create an ending. So they always go to the same fabricated ending that every other tabloid has used in my story, which is, 'She got too clingy', or 'Taylor has too many emotions, she scared him away'. Which has honestly never been the reason for any of my break-ups. You know what has been the reason? The media. You take something very fragile, like trying to get to know someone, and it feels like walking out into the middle of a gladiator arena with someone you've just met. And all of a sudden the public and the media are allowed to say thumbs up or thumbs down. So I just don't try it any more."

Swift mocked this narrative of her in her 2014 song "Blank Space," which paints her as a crazed, psychopathic woman who loses it on her boyfriend:

Read the full Vogue story here.

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