Double Standards

Emma Garcia, Online Editor

At the Grammy’s this year, Sam Smith won four awards and in his acceptance speech, he thanked his ex-boyfriend who broke his heart and because of him “he had four Grammys.”

His speech was given high praise by all kinds of media and has become a staple on Tumblr. But as much as I enjoyed his speech, I can’t help but think about the double standard that comes with it.

A few years ago, Taylor Swift thanked her ex-boyfriend for being the inspiration for her song “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Her acceptance speech was responded with outrage and it was said that she was insulting men everywhere.

It is a well known fact that Taylor Swift writes about her past relationships and experiences. But it’s also a well known fact that she’s not the only one.

What is Sam Smith’s entire album about? His past relationships.

What are all Ed Sheeran’s songs about? His experiences.

Bruno Mars? More of the same.

So why is it so horrible for Taylor Swift to write songs about her ex-boyfriends? She doesn’t name them, she doesn’t drag them through the mud. They’re mainly about her emotions, not how horrible she thinks they are.


Furthermore, these songwriters are artists, correct? They create art. You know what art has always been based off of? The artist’s experiences. This is not some revolutionary idea, it’s been around since the Greeks invented theater, if not before.

This double standard has been around for a long time as well. When Zelda Fitzgerald wrote her novel, Save Me the Waltz, her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald was furious. He was not furious because she had used their lives in her book but because he planned to use that autobiographical information in his book, Tender is the Night.

Zelda’s book was not well received while Scott’s was. She was portrayed as plagiarizing their lives while it was considered his best work.

Although it’s not okay to use art to humiliate someone, it’s ridiculous to say that when a woman writes about her past experiences and relationships it’s horrible but when a man does it it’s okay. I’ve yet to find a Taylor Swift song that purposely tries to humiliate someone, so maybe people should just get over it.