Tag Archives: female empowerment

All Too Well: A Love Letter to Inequality

Whether you’re a Swiftie or an innocent bystander whose TikTok For You page has been hijacked by Swiftok, you might have stumbled across the cinematic masterpiece: All Too Well: The Short Film. The film acts as the music video for the 10-minute version of the marquee song from Red (Taylor’s Version). Swift wrote the song about her relationship with ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal and many fans across the country related to its sincere and gut-wrenching lyrics, but this did not spare the short film from criticism.

Taylor Swift; courtesy Universal Pictures

While the singer is re-releasing albums to create her music the way she intended, Swift was accused of holding grudges and parodied for being vindictive and petty.

 The short film puts those critics to shame by taking the audience on a visceral journey of a toxic relationship through the eyes of the young woman subjected to emotional trauma. Audiences are able to visualize the intricate imagery embedded in the lyrics of the song. Those who criticize Swift for holding a grudge are able to see how deeply painful the act of remembering this period of her life must be, and those who accuse her of fabricating details are reminded that one never forgets trauma inflicted upon them.

The film has sparked a conversation about age gaps in relationships and their impact on an individual. Swift, herself has been criticized for dating Conor Kennedy, who was four years younger, and Taylor Lautner, who was three years younger. However, the bigger criticism was the fact that Swift was an adult dating a teenaged Lautner. It is also worthwhile to note that comparing these relationships to the one with Gyllenhaal is unfair and inherently sexist, especially since their relationship had a nine-year age gap.

Power inequality in a relationship is often experienced when one partner has more power over the other’s emotions, financial security, or life in some severe cases. The inherent toxicity in Swift and Gyllenhaal’s relationship stemmed not only from their age gap but the fact that Swift was in her early twenties while Gyllenhaal was nearly in his thirties. The profound life changes between those decades not only shape you as a person but alter your perspective and outlook on life. Furthermore, there is a profound difference in confidence and comfort with yourself between the two ages. This means the older partner always has the upper hand in contrast to the volatile and emotional younger partner in the relationship.

A scene in the middle of the film highlights this imbalance in the relationship as the younger actress (played by Sadie Sink) fumes about how her older boyfriend failed to pay attention to her during a dinner with his friends. He dismisses her concerns and anger, calls her selfish, and gaslights her emotions. While the fight is resolved after he apologizes, a particularly telling moment is when the young girl says she feels embarrassed and her boyfriend says nothing. His refusal to admit he was wrong and that he has a responsibility to not make her feel isolated, shows he truly is an emotional manipulator whether it is unconscious or not.

The film does a fair job to portray him not as a villain, but rather as a damaged man who is unable to recognize his problematic behavior due to his own trauma. Despite criticism, the film captured the truly flawed nature of human beings and is a  warning to be wary of relationships with age gaps at different stages of their life. It is not different life aspirations as the final nail in the coffin of these relationships, but rather the older partner’s ability to manipulate the younger one’s emotion because they have experienced similar emotions and feelings in the past.

Women to Follow to Keep Female Empowerment Alive All Year Long

As we leave the month of March behind, April showers and marshmallow peeps come in full focus. Even as we leave Women’s History Month, it’s important to keep the message and appreciation alive all year long. So here are some badass women to keep on your Netflix watchlist, and in your Spotify Playlists.

Netflix And Girl Power

Good Girls

Photo Courtesy of NBC

This NBC show has all four seasons on Netflix and is the perfect binging material for a wild money laundering scheme that has three witty, dynamic women at the forefront of the plot. The constant twists and turns keep you on your toes until Netflix inevitably has to ask “Are you Still Watching?” This is definitely a show about women taking back the power, and also about how far they’re willing to go for their families. It’s a must-watch to keep the girl power alive all year long.

Ginny and Georgia

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

This Netflix original has one season that leaves you wanting more. Starring a spirited mother-daughter duo, the show has all kinds of messages of how far you’d go for family and also how women always seem to get the right thing done. Admittedly, Ginny is one of the most frustrating characters in television I have ever seen and most of the internet agrees. But watching these two women take the bull by the horns and work to get what they desire out of life is yet another binge-worthy event.

Firefly Lane

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Another feisty duo, the two best friends in the Netflix original Firefly Lane tell their story through several different timelines. This show truly feels like a coming-of-age story between two women trying to work through the ups and downs of the world, as well as the highs and lows of their friendship. It’s a bit less adventurous than money-laundering or flower-poisoning, but the women who star in this series create a show that is an absolute must-watch.

Female Icons to Jam Out To

Taylor Swift

Photo from Miss Americana, A Documentary about Taylor Swift on Netflix

From the constant bashing about boyfriends to having her own music barred from her performances, Swift has been through a lot. However, she has spent plenty of time being a woman of empowerment. From her entire album, Reputation, to songs on many other albums, Swift has shot back tenfold. Now, on April 9th, she will be releasing a new version of Fearless to take back all the amazing music she created that her old label has tried to keep her from performing. This woman is definitely an icon in the pop industry, and you should have her on all your playlists.

Beyoncé

Photo from Homecoming: A film by beyoncé on Netflix

Beyoncé is one of those singers whose name always brings a cheer with it. She’s a legend in the industry and love for her music and her story runs deep in pop culture. Her passion and drive especially paid off when she received her 28th award at the Grammys, making her the show’s female artist with the most awards. She has always pushed her limits, and everything from her documentary, Homecoming, to the numerous albums she has created, shows her ability to work hard and continue to speak out for women everywhere with her iconic feminist lyrics.

Lizzo

Photo Courtesy of Lizzo’s Instagram @lizzobeeating

Lizzo very much creates music by women for women, in that she is constantly empowering her listeners with lyrics about self-love and self-confidence. She’s faced a lot of backlash for being a plus-sized pop star, but instead of ignoring the media’s hate, she claps back through music, TikToks, and more. Songs like “Soulmate” and “Juice” keep the empowerment alive in the form of fast-tempoed songs that anyone can dance to and talk about self-love. She’s definitely the hype woman to keep on repeat.

While these three artists are definitely my top choice to add some extra female empowerment all year long, take a look at some other female artists to add to your playlists to continue to expand on women’s empowerment all year long.

Whether it’s a binge-able show or a song on repeat, it’s important to keep yourself surrounded with that amazing Girl Power energy to remind all of us we are so much more than the world says we are. Keeping these reminders in our everyday life is what ultimately continues to sew the seeds for even greater social change, and even more women to go down in history to celebrate next March.