Look What You Made Them Do
December 3, 2017 8:57 AM   Subscribe

In a now-viral tweet, @xnulz asked twitter to: “Name a badder bitch than Taylor Swift.” Here are just a few of those badder bitches:
Franceska Mann, the Polish ballerina, who, while being led to the gas chamber, stole a Nazi guard’s gun, shot him dead, and started a female-led riot that gave hope to all of the prisoners of Auschwitz in the face of certain death [listen to more here - cw: includes description of atrocities at Auschwitz]

Zheng Shi [Ching Shih] was a sex worker in Canton who was captured & wedded to a pirate lord and so quickly proved her ability to command that she took over and at one point commanded 300+ ships with 40,000 men and was so fearsome that she forced china and britain to let her peacefully retire [more from wikipedia]

Khutulun was the great-great-granddaughter of Genghis Khan. She was a strong fighter and insisted that any man who wished to marry her must defeat her in wrestling, but any man who she beat would have to give her a horse. She wound up with 10,000 horses. [listen to more here]

Olive Yang [Yang Kyin Hsiu]. Burmese royal who noped out of an arranged marriage, led an army, dominated the opium trade, had riotous affairs with actresses and singers, brokered ceasefires, THEN died at 90. [more from wikipedia]

Jeanne de Clisson, murderous French aristocrat-turned-pirate who named her ship My Revenge after the French king executed her husband. She spent the next decade killing all the French crews she encountered, sparing only 1 sailor to relay her message of vengeance [more from wikipedia]
posted by melissasaurus (102 comments total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
 
The problem with those is that they're mostly in the distant past; pirate-aristocrats from pre-revolutionary France and Mongolian hordeswomen are awesome, but they do make it look like these days, Swift is the best our effete, commercially-oriented world can do.

We could include a few more recent examples (Phoolan Devi springs to mind), though to be fair, given that we're comparing against a self-mythologising pop star, any large organisation will have suitable candidates. Your local library probably has one.
posted by acb at 9:06 AM on December 3 [5 favorites]




I liked this one: I had a great-aunt who escaped a concentration camp after being shot and left for dead in a ditch full of bodies and survived the rest of World War 2 living in a refrigerator box in someone’s basement.
posted by gemmy at 9:07 AM on December 3 [20 favorites]


what did tswift ever do to have such stans....

(don't answer that)
posted by cendawanita at 9:10 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]


We could include a few more recent examples

@alexdicampi: Hedy Lamarr. Austrian-Jewish star of prewar nudie pix. Left her abusive, Hitler-loving arms-dealer hubby in ‘30s, became Hollywood star, invented wifi and the Soda Stream in her spare time.


@danielmkim: The first female Rangers: Jaster, Griest, Haver.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:13 AM on December 3 [18 favorites]


"Anybody who does roller derby."
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:20 AM on December 3 [16 favorites]


There's two of 'em on the sitting on the Supreme Court now for heaven's sake.
posted by pdoege at 9:26 AM on December 3 [45 favorites]


Leroy Brown was kind of a bitch
posted by thelonius at 9:27 AM on December 3


There's two of 'em on the sitting on the Supreme Court now for heaven's sake.

Three?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:27 AM on December 3 [16 favorites]


Malala is so badass...
posted by omegar at 9:28 AM on December 3 [18 favorites]


Not so many pirates and Nazis, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg was my first thought.
posted by cowcowgrasstree at 9:28 AM on December 3 [9 favorites]


How about India's Gulabi Gang?
posted by LindsayIrene at 9:31 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]


Me. You. Everyone who isn't Taylor Swift.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:42 AM on December 3 [23 favorites]


Um... Harriet Tubman?

Or maybe even someone mundane like Barbara Walters?

Or perhaps Margaret Atwood?

Either one of the tennis-playing Williams sisters also come to mind.

I mean, the question itself is problematic. "Badder" meaning something equivalent to "more bold or more influential or exhibiting a character strong enough to tackle unexpected tasks", perhaps? Okay. I get that.

But "bitch"... I mean, what exactly is the context for that usage? Is this like how hip-hop uses the word? Because that's one thing. Or is it like Bernie Taupin's use of the word in the Elton John song "The Bitch Is Back"? Because that's something else. Or is it meant to be a word that means "strong female"? Why that particular phrasing for this? It's obvious that there are decades of "bitches" who are "badder" than Swift, regardless of what these words mean together.

Like, Dorothy Dandridge. Or Dorothy Parker. Depends on your definitions, but either of them win over Swift.

Or like literally any woman who hasn't used feuds and spite as public fuel for her career and instead has relied on her (usually unrecognized) talents to simply survive in the patriarchy.

I find Swift interesting as a media person insofar as she has cultural impact, but I don't hold her up as any kind of example for anyone. And there are so many badder bitches than her living their lives daily without having their names known by basically anyone at all.
posted by hippybear at 9:43 AM on December 3 [14 favorites]


> "The problem with those is that they're mostly in the distant past"

Franceska Mann was 20th century and Olive Yang only died in July of this year.

Admittedly I have a hard time thinking of anyone more badass than Julie d'Aubigny.

But if you want some other relatively recent ones ...
Noor Inayat Khan
Mariya Oktyabrskaya
posted by kyrademon at 9:45 AM on December 3 [7 favorites]


I like the ones that were like (sorry I am too lazy to find the tweets):

"I can meet a dozen badder bitches at the DMV."
or
"My mom and I walked past a long, long line of men waiting to get their books signed by Chuck Palahniuk, and she said to the last guy in line, 'You don't have to live your life like this.'"
posted by fleacircus at 9:48 AM on December 3 [76 favorites]


fleacircus that second one was from the best reply, a thread from @hunktears about his mom. My favorite one:

@hunktears: my mom went to woodstock and left immediately because it was too crowded
posted by Emily's Fist at 10:14 AM on December 3 [9 favorites]


Rose McGowan and Ashely Judd and Gretchen Carlson and the hundreds of women who are taking down predators.

My mom, who walked around Brussels as a young girl puffing her chest out, proudly displaying the yellow star she was forced to wear, giving the middle finger to the SS.

Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers.

My 80-year old neighbor Elise, who ended our very first conversation with, “I could really use a fuckin’ joint.”

Limor "Ladyada" Fried and Lenore M. Edman

One of my besties, Ana Fernandez. She's Walter and I'm The Dude and I miss her so muchmovebacktoLA 😩

Jamie Sommers
posted by Room 641-A at 10:14 AM on December 3 [28 favorites]


I didn't have the patience to wade through the entire Twitter thread, but in scanning it I didn't notice any mention of Assata Shakur, or Angela Davis.
posted by montbrarian at 10:45 AM on December 3 [7 favorites]


A reminder: Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott on December 5th, 1955. Rosa took a backseat to nobody, nossir!
posted by SPrintF at 10:59 AM on December 3 [7 favorites]


" Germaine Tillion (30 May 1907 – 18 April 2008) was a French ethnologist, best known for her work in Algeria in the 1950s on behalf of the French government. A member of the French resistance, she spent time in the Ravensbrück concentration camp."

Sophie Scholl

Shout out all the Russian women who killed nazis.
Shout out to all Kurdish women who fought Isis.
Shout out all women who push back.
posted by os tuberoes at 11:07 AM on December 3 [13 favorites]


Hedy Lamarr
posted by Thorzdad at 11:08 AM on December 3 [2 favorites]


Every day I learn how much shit, normal everyday women wade through just to live a similar life to me. I say you're all a bunch of badasses and we should all take a moment to appreciate that.
posted by evilDoug at 11:08 AM on December 3 [10 favorites]


Rosa Luxemburg
posted by indubitable at 11:12 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]


Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall.
posted by The otter lady at 11:29 AM on December 3 [3 favorites]


What did Taylor Swift do (or her staff did/told her to do) that prompted the text of the viral tweet?

Last thing I saw anything about her was Nazi's. Did she blackout punch one in reaction to the nazi idea?
posted by rough ashlar at 12:02 PM on December 3


The old celebrity occupational hazard of acute lack of perspective? (See also: Kanye, Madonna, Bono, and others too numerous to name.)
posted by acb at 12:04 PM on December 3


Imma let you finish but yarrrr.
posted by condour75 at 12:14 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]


Many of these are on Badass of the Week if you like his breezy, ultra-caffeinated style.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:14 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]


This is basically the twitter version of this AskMe.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:17 PM on December 3


Maxine Waters
posted by Room 641-A at 12:28 PM on December 3 [3 favorites]


I mean, y'all get that this makes us talk about Taylor even more, right?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:29 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]


No. We're discussing courageous, important woman.
posted by Stonkle at 12:34 PM on December 3 [16 favorites]


I'm not talking about Taylor I'm talking about truly amazing women, in the vernacular "bad bitches".
posted by hippybear at 12:35 PM on December 3


Well-behaved women seldom make history.
Rejected Princesses celebrates those who did.

I follow the website and bought the book.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:37 PM on December 3 [5 favorites]


I was expecting at least one Baader-Meinhoff joke.

I'm going to add Marina Popovich, aka Madame MiG, who passed away a few days ago. Engineer, author, Russian test fighter pilot, and later in life, UFO hunter. First woman to break the sound barrier and holds over 100 aviation records to her name.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:37 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]


Rejected Princesses celebrates those who did.

Wow. What a great site.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 12:42 PM on December 3


I mean, y'all get that this makes us talk about Taylor even more, right?

I totally forgot this post was about Taylor Swift when I came back to add Maxine Waters. I assume once I hit post I'll forget again.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:48 PM on December 3 [5 favorites]


If we want to keep this in even vaguely Swiftian territory, we could mention Tina Turner.
posted by hippybear at 12:55 PM on December 3 [3 favorites]


Hedy Lamarr: "Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid."
posted by leotrotsky at 1:01 PM on December 3 [12 favorites]


They are all bad bitches Brent.
posted by srboisvert at 1:08 PM on December 3 [29 favorites]


Temple Grandin
posted by nestor_makhno at 1:23 PM on December 3 [8 favorites]


Jerri Blank inspired all around her to be better people by being bad. Or maybe Aung San Suu Kyi, I can't remember.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:29 PM on December 3


Even just staying within contemperary american mass entertainment, Kate Mackinnon is a hundred times the badass TayTay wishes she could be.
posted by ejs at 1:30 PM on December 3 [4 favorites]


This also seems like a good moment to share a clip of Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock kicking all the ass to a cheery Carly Rae Jepsen song.

Michelle Yeoh does most of her own stunts. Rothrock has five black belts. I'm just sayin'.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:39 PM on December 3 [9 favorites]


Cora M. Strayer
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:56 PM on December 3




Who was the Russian woman who was so pissed off at the Nazis for killing her husband that she bought her own tank and went to war?
posted by LindsayIrene at 2:29 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]


Game. Set. Match.
posted by happyroach at 2:30 PM on December 3 [3 favorites]


I'm OK with not going either/or on this one. TayTay can be a bad bitch too. No need to dis her just because she's popular. (Definitely celebrate all bad bitches, definitely.)
posted by chavenet at 2:38 PM on December 3 [5 favorites]


Yes - I find the politics of this meme weird because when it derails to "women who have impacted things" it seems to ignore her own position as a powerful woman in the music industry and suggest that that's nothing.

Besides, Beyoncé and Madonna are right there.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:50 PM on December 3 [8 favorites]




it seems to ignore her own position as a powerful woman in the music industry and suggest that that's nothing

It's not nothing, but when it comes to "bad bitches," I personally am more interested in women who kick orthodoxy in the nuts and push humanity forward. Exploiting the machinery of capitalism and patriarchy for personal gain does neither. She's powerful because she's marketable.
posted by klanawa at 3:08 PM on December 3 [7 favorites]


it seems to ignore her own position as a powerful woman in the music industry and suggest that that's nothing


the original tweet was stannish blowing up her #badass persona in that shiny glitzy passive-aggressive first single off her latest album about how mean ppl have been to her in the wake of the Kim KW expose of her, that's what the semi-serious, semi-trolling responses on twitter had been about
posted by cendawanita at 4:19 PM on December 3 [7 favorites]


As a person who is constantly, constantly on twitter: This has been great marketing for Taylor Swift.

I see her face associated with tales of greatness, over and over. I am not kidding that it's well over 300 times this weekend.

Kind of amused at the comics artists who are wanting to burn her, who should know better than to think people look at nested stacks of words when they can glance at a top line and an image.

One of my friends theorizes that this is a marketing account, using techniques perfected by the Kardashians/Jenners. Maybe? v0v

I can tell you I am more aware than EVER that she has an album out now.
posted by taterpie at 4:51 PM on December 3 [5 favorites]


Hypatia.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:21 PM on December 3 [2 favorites]


The Nachthexen.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:56 PM on December 3 [2 favorites]




Finally a use for moments.

This one is great:
Lyudmila Pavlichenko. Russian sniper who killed over 300 Nazis including dozens of officers. When on a tour of the US, she was asked how many men she had killed, and responded, "No men, just fascists." Woody Guthrie wrote a song about her."
posted by kenko at 7:28 PM on December 3 [14 favorites]


Who was the Russian woman who was so pissed off at the Nazis for killing her husband that she bought her own tank and went to war?

Mariya Oktyabrskaya
posted by pompomtom at 7:42 PM on December 3 [2 favorites]


Bree Newsome!
posted by ergomatic at 10:56 PM on December 3 [4 favorites]


The Night Witches?
The 588th was the most highly decorated female unit in that force, flying 30,000 missions over the course of four years -- and dropping, in total, 23,000 tons of bombs on invading German armies.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:45 PM on December 3 [3 favorites]


it seems to ignore her own position as a powerful woman in the music industry and suggest that that's nothing

Well yeah, compared to the Night Witches? I'd say that being a pampered tool of a media conglomerate is not so much.

If he had asked "Is Taylor Swift a talented music maker?" that I could get behind. But no, it was "Baddest Bitch" .

Challenge?
Challenge Accepted.

Sorry, she just doesn't compare with the woman listed in that thread.
posted by happyroach at 12:46 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]


To those who say this is a deliberate marketing ploy - sure you are now aware that T Swift has a new album out. Does that necessarily translate to you buying / spotifying/insert music service here/ the album though?

I'm not so sure that in this case visibility will directly correlate to sales.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:52 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]


@swordwields: Julie d'Aubigny was a French opera singer/swordswoman in the 1600s who killed over ten men in duels over other women and once took holy vows so she could break into a nunnery, sleep with a blonde nun, then burned the church down and escaped with her.
posted by jaduncan at 3:40 AM on December 4 [7 favorites]


I'm not so sure that in this case visibility will directly correlate to sales.

Well it's more effective than invisibility.
posted by chavenet at 4:08 AM on December 4


Sorry, she just doesn't compare with the woman listed in that thread.

Taylor Swift has probably had more of a direct hand in empowering girls and young women of today than almost anyone else mentioned in this thread. Know any girls? Ask them who their role models are. They're not going to say the Night Witches.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 5:17 AM on December 4 [3 favorites]


My seven year old niece is not impressed by Taylor Swift. But she gets super pumped about being a girl because of Beyoncé, Moana, Chihiro from Spirited Away, and Ma from the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.
posted by palomar at 6:13 AM on December 4 [4 favorites]


And once I get the kid-oriented book on Malala to her this Christmas, that'll be her newest hero.

Don't underestimate girls and their interests.
posted by palomar at 6:14 AM on December 4


Oh! Almost forgot that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is also on her list of cool ladies, as is Hillary Clinton, thanks to mild kid-appropriate politics talk in her house.

Girls are vast. They contain multitudes. If a girl only has Taylor Swift on her list of women she admires, I'd posit that she's been kept in a cage with a tablet strapped to her face that only plays TS videos.
posted by palomar at 6:17 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]


Taylor Swift has probably had more of a direct hand in empowering girls and young women of today than almost anyone else mentioned in this thread.

is that more a direct result of Taylor Swift or of corporate capitalism and the institution of pop media? is that because T. Swift is worth worshipping or is it because she's heteronormatively white, apolitical, and has a team of people working on her image?

also - who are these 'girls' being empowered? in what way? to what end? also, does it speak well about her expressed values if Swift can be worshipped by teenagers on the one hand and Nazis on the other?
posted by runt at 6:29 AM on December 4 [4 favorites]


Know any girls? Ask them who their role models are. They're not going to say the Night Witches.

Well shit, now I have to make my kids read a Garth Ennis comic.
posted by Artw at 6:32 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]


taylor swift is empowering because girls and women enjoy listening to her

whatever the political value judgement of some twitter obsessed internet user thinks is besides the point
posted by laptolain at 6:35 AM on December 4


Lyudmila Pavlichenko. Russian sniper who killed over 300 Nazis including dozens of officers. When on a tour of the US, she was asked how many men she had killed, and responded, "No men, just fascists."
This seems to be a paraphrase of an invention of the "Battle for Sevastopol" movie script... at least, if anyone can find an older or better-attributed source, I'd like to hear about it.

The quote it was based on is even more bad-ass, though. During a tour of the US in 1942, trying to drum up support for an invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe:
“Gentlemen,” she said, “I am 25 years old and I have killed 309 fascist occupants by now. Don’t you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?”
posted by roystgnr at 6:55 AM on December 4 [5 favorites]


taylor swift is empowering because girls and women enjoy listening to her

whatever the political value judgement of some twitter obsessed internet user thinks is besides the point


lol and here I was thinking that I had heard all there was to hear in regards to ridiculous things white feminists say having organized an anti-racist group comprised of so many of them but then today happened
posted by runt at 7:01 AM on December 4 [7 favorites]


The press blitz following Swift's recent album was kind of embarrassing. It seemed like they were desperately trying to puff up what seems to be a pretty workaday pop album into an IMPORTANT EVENT.
posted by thelonius at 7:06 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]


Keep finding new ways of gatekeeping to divide feminists I hope that works out for you and your anti-racist groups
posted by laptolain at 7:16 AM on December 4




Keep finding new ways of gatekeeping to divide feminists I hope that works out for you and your anti-racist groups

I didn't realize that being inclusive of oppressions other than gender equity and the self-criticism of class privilege was gatekeeping so much as it is crucial in uniting different grassroots activist groups into common cause but hey, your organizing mileage might be very different from mine
posted by runt at 7:34 AM on December 4 [5 favorites]


taylor swift is empowering because girls and women enjoy listening to her

Then I guess I don’t understand what makes Swift any more or less empowering than any other band or musician one likes.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:57 AM on December 4 [5 favorites]


"taylor swift is empowering because girls and women enjoy listening to her"

That's not how that works. Some girls and women enjoy listening to Harry Styles or Justin Beiber.
posted by Selena777 at 8:00 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]


Plus column:
Shake it off
That CHVRCHES rip off album

Minus column:
That CHVRCGES rip off album
Nazis
posted by Artw at 8:01 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]


So then watching The Little Mermaid would also be empowering?
posted by rdr at 8:05 AM on December 4


"Don't you wish you were a man?" She paused her speech to retort, "Don't you?"
I was about to say "Wait, isn't this another movie quote?" but Google Books finds people quoting MacPhail's zinger as far back as Canadian House of Commons debates in 1947. I wonder if James Cameron (Canadian) had ever heard the story...
posted by roystgnr at 8:20 AM on December 4


I'd be wary of coming to any strong political conclusions about a person based solely on the media they consume.

It gets a little old having to justify listening to a Taylor swift song to my educated peers because apparently the hot virtue signaling of the moment is she's The Media's White Devil Princess.

But then I guess I have to remember this is metafilter.
posted by laptolain at 8:24 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]


Hedy Lamarr did not invent WiFi. What she did do is real and worth remembering as co-author of a patent related to frequency-hopping used to evade jamming. We don't credit her with creating WiFi any more than we credit George Brayton (the creator of the first reliable gasoline engine) with inventing the automobile.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:25 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]


second-wave feminists in the 1970s: the personal is political

white feminists of 2017: anything I like is fine, don't question me, I'm LEANIN IN
posted by runt at 8:27 AM on December 4 [6 favorites]


I like Taylor Swift. I am utterly uninterested in debating whether Taylor Swift has enough badassitude to be sufficiently badass. I am using this thread solely as an excuse to talk about other badass women who are or were awesome.

And maybe sing a bit. We are never ever ever getting back together / We are never ever ever getting back together / You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me / But we are never ever ever ever getting back together / Like, ever...
posted by kyrademon at 8:27 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]


I'd be wary of coming to any strong political conclusions about a person based solely on the media they consume.

No one is doing that when they point out that Taylor's new marketing as a "badass bitch" is hollow, and that the self-image she's selling isn't actually that feminist or progressive.

This is not a criticism of people who like Taylor. This is a criticism of Taylor. You can still like Taylor, whatever. Liking Taylor does not have to be a statement about your politics. It's your choice to make it a statement about your politics, like you've done in this thread. People are reacting to your vague and not particularly well thought out political statements about Taylor, not the fact that you like her.

It's an important difference.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:15 AM on December 4 [3 favorites]


I like Taylor Swift. I am utterly uninterested in debating whether Taylor Swift has enough badassitude to be sufficiently badass.

Most days I'm this. Usually when I don't have to interact with her fandom.

The press blitz following Swift's recent album was kind of embarrassing. It seemed like they were desperately trying to puff up what seems to be a pretty workaday pop album into an IMPORTANT EVENT.

In Reputation's case, it truly took two to tango. She wanted it to be An Event. Basically if she came up in the 90s she'd been hyooge.

It gets a little old having to justify listening to a Taylor swift song to my educated peers because apparently the hot virtue signaling of the moment is she's The Media's White Devil Princess.

Yo, I'm a POC who literally has 1989 on heavy rotation still. I mean, I think Reputation's a regression and though lightly, still leaned on the trope of white girls performing black culture to indicate maturity (recently Miley, but really Christina Aguilera is a better comparison), but it's fine. The new album's not really keeping me interested but I like her last 3 albums before that. The problem is the idea of signalling your politics through your consumer choices, which, lemme tell ya as a non-white women, leaves me with no good recourse. I don't care to know your justification, listen if you like. These other things can exist independently, or informed by context but no less an obstacle to your consumption.
posted by cendawanita at 9:20 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]




Emma Goldman
posted by booksarelame at 3:07 PM on December 4


Heh.

Name a B badder than Ayn Ran
posted by Artw at 4:36 PM on December 4


taylor swift is empowering because girls and women enjoy listening to her

Danica Roem is empowering to girls and women because she ran against a horribly sexist and genderist Republican, and WON. And she sings heavy metal, which is inherently more badass than corporate pop.

Your move.

Let me know when Taylor Swift does something truly badass like that. Or something besides tedious lyrics about how the old Taylor Swift isn't here right now.
posted by happyroach at 5:06 PM on December 4 [1 favorite]


Danica Rome is an inspiring figure, but it seems insane to pretend that she had anywhere near the cultural impact of a Taylor Swift in the headspace of a young woman, or or that successfully rising to the pinnacle of the music industry -which has plenty of its own problems with sexism- is less "empowering" than winning a state-level election. Roem's success is a huge deal for the trans community, but it's not as if other female politicians haven't come before her or flown higher.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:31 AM on December 5


Actually, after spending the last twenty or so minutes with the notions of soft cultural power vs. hard political power, soft and hard power structures and the constraints that one's place within them outs on you, the impact of squandering such power, the nature of what it means to empower others, and the relative significance of generic self-made female pop-phenomenon vs. generic female state level Democrat, the deviations from these norms captured by Swift and Roem, and the tormenting idea that there are even more complications to this story that I'm failing to handle, I'm just going to back away. You be more empowered by Roem than Swift if you feel more empowered by one than the other. None of these hills are worth dying on for me.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:38 AM on December 5


Regardless of ~who started it~ or whatever, a resounding meh @ "there can only be one" mentality.

Setting that aside... from the Wikipedia article on Olive Yang:
In the 1950s, after the Nationalist defeat and their subsequent expulsion from mainland China, she partnered with the Kuomintang to establish opium trade routes along the Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia).
That's a piece of KMT evilness that I hadn't known about before. And reading the cited source, which also describes oppression of the Burmese locals... there was CIA involvement, too? I shouldn't be surprised, and yet.
posted by inconstant at 10:11 AM on December 6 [1 favorite]


Plus column:
Shake it off
That CHVRCHES rip off album

Minus column:
That CHVRCHES rip off album
Nazis


Wait, Taylor Swift created the Nazis ?
posted by Pendragon at 12:40 PM on December 6 [1 favorite]


I was gonna say Debbie Harry...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 9:42 PM on December 8


About 25 years ago I had the joy of hearing Marian Wright Edelman speak at an event for the Children's Defense Fund. I care and I am willing to serve
posted by Room 641-A at 4:50 AM on December 9


Late but good: Alexandra Elbakyan.
posted by klanawa at 3:38 PM on December 9


Taylor Swift didn't create Nazis, but she sure refuses to denounce them.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:11 PM on December 9


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