The song Taylor Swift should write

A parody of the pop princess's "Fifteen" offers girls some smarter (and much funnier) life lessons

Published February 22, 2010 8:14PM (EST)

Last December, I wrote that whether you see 20-year-old pop phenom Taylor Swift as an inspiring example of female achievement (she's a wildly successful artist with an unusual degree of apparent control over her career for one so young) or a regressive, slut-shaming, princess-addled influence on impressionable young girls (have you listened to her music?) "really comes down to Taylor Swift, lyricist, vs. Taylor Swift, public figure." And on that particular day, at least, I decided I'd rather celebrate the latter than dwell on the former.

But YouTube user "Madinthemoon" just couldn't get past the lyrics, so she took it upon herself to produce "The Song I Wish Taylor Swift Would Write" (below). It's a video parody of Swift's "Fifteen" -- a song whose message Tiger Beatdown's Sady Doyle translated as: "Teen Girls of America, here are your choices: have sex and wind up broken and sad and feeling as if you've lost 'everything you had,' or wait until your untouched vagina accumulates enough charge to make you rich and famous" -- in which Madinthemoon dons a curly blonde wig and sings prettily, "Listen up, all you young girls who watch and worship me, I'm here to make some major revisions to all my songs' philosophies."

Those revisions include sage advice like "Just 'cause you wear thick glasses in marching band don't mean you're undesirable," and a special message for Swift's newly deflowered friend Abigail from the original song: "If you're a virgin and some jerk steals your hymen, your life isn't over/Because your hymen ain't all you've got to offer in this world." After she segues into an unexpected and slightly dizzying blend of "Fifteen" and "Bad Romance," her final suggestion for all young ladies in the Taylor Swift demographic is something we at Broadsheet can thoroughly get behind: "If you're going to listen to someone, listen to Gaga." Listening to Madinthemoon is all right by us, too.

By Kate Harding

Kate Harding is the author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It, available from Da Capo Press in August 2015. Previously, she collaborated with Anna Holmes, Amanda Hess, and a cast of thousands on The Book of Jezebel, and with Marianne Kirby on Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere. You might also remember her as the founding editor of Shapely Prose (2007-2010). Kate's essays have appeared in the anthologies Madonna & Me, Yes Means Yes, Feed Me, and Airmail: Women of Letters. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from University of Toronto, and is currently at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing from Bath Spa University

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