Taylor Swift and a Reevaluation of the “Basic Bitch” Craze: Links You Need to See


Today is all about the ladies. First of all, Taylor Swift released “Out of the Woods,” her latest single from her upcoming album 1989, and it’s amazing. Swift has said that 1989 is going to be a departure from her previous albums, and with “Out of the Woods,” that much is clear, even more so than from her previously released track, “Shake It Off” (actually, let’s not talk about that song). (Oh, and: Sally Holmes has a fun dissection of the lyrics of “Out of the Woods,” if you’re dying to know what it all means.)

At The Cut, Noreen Malone examines the term “basic bitch” in an illuminating read about the recent insult of the cool girl set. “It was a word we were looking for,” states Malone, then asks–why? What does it mean, this casual barb we’ve begun to lob at other women whom we deem less sophisticated than ourselves?

“While what it pretends to criticize is unoriginality of thought and action, most of what basic actually seeks to dismiss is consumption patterns — what you watch, what you drink, what you wear, and what you buy — without dismissing consumption itself.”

The right to bodily self-determination is once again being thrown to the wolves that are mostly (wealthy)(white)(straight) male lawmakers–but what can’t they do? Silence us. Katha Pollit’s recent book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, has come at a time when Texas has only seven remaining abortion clinics [update!] and medical abortions (which are considerably less invasive than surgical abortions) are increasingly difficult to access. At Elle magazine, Laurie Abraham has an excellent piece about Pollit’s book and her own abortion, thirty years ago; she discusses the difficulties of fertility and “infertility,” as well as how denying women bodily freedom reduces them to their sexuality. She further claims that “gender equality is a hollow concept if a woman can’t control her fertility except by refraining from sex.” Whew. It’s a long piece, and every page is necessary and worth the time it takes to read.

What should you wear today? BuzzFeed has a list of internationally crowdsourced ideas on what you shouldn’t wear, including:

  • skirts
  • leggings
  • shorts
  • trousers
  • underwear

etc. So: be careful with your sartorial choices. Your pants might be too tight, and your underwear could prevent you from getting close to God.

I’m going to conclude with this:

…because this has been an intense Links of the Day and it’s only Tuesday and–sure–Mercury may be in retrograde but we can do this. You OWN this week. Go get it.