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Taylor Swift Finally Explains Why She’s a Feminist and How Lena Dunham Helped

The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Backstage
Taylor Swift and Lena Dunham at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 10, 2013 in Los Angeles. Kevin Mazur—WireImage/Getty Images

"Becoming friends with Lena... has made me realize that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so."

Taylor Swift’s stance on feminism has been hotly discussed since early in her career: her lyrics and persona have been scrupulously analyzed for evidence (or lack thereof) of an incipient feminist vein. When asked in a 2012 interview with the Daily Beast whether she was a feminist, Swift answered, somewhat evasively, “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.”

Well, the debate over whether one of our era’s most renowned pop stars identifies as a feminist appears to have finally been put to rest.

“As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities,” Swift said in an interview with the Guardian. “What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means. For so long it’s been made to seem like something where you’d picket against the opposite sex, whereas it’s not about that at all.”

In fact, it’s Swift’s friendship with the indefatigable Lena Dunham that appears to have swayed her view. According to the Guardian, Dunham and Swift became friends when the creator of Girls sent the pop singer a direct message over Twitter that said “Can we be friends please?” Things pretty much went naturally from then on.

“Becoming friends with Lena – without her preaching to me, but just seeing why she believes what she believes, why she says what she says, why she stands for what she stands for – has made me realize that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so,” Swift said.

[Guardian]

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