WELL, THAT HAPPENED: Taylor miffed

By on November 11, 2014

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – For my third act, dear readers, I’d like to offer up four female celebrities that will no doubt elicit some sort of emotional response from you.

Taylor Swift. Lena Dunham. Anne Hathaway. Gwyneth Paltrow.

If you’re familiar with any of these women, it’s very likely that you have expressed your distaste for them. You may have even used the phrases “I hate her” or “she is so fake” or expelled a simple “ugggghhhhh” in conversation with your friends or local spiritual leaders. In fact, these women might make you so angry that you’re willing to crap on pop music, HBO, the Academy Awards and veganism for the sole reason that these celebrities simply exist.

So what’s the deal? Why do these four exceptionally successful role models evoke such intense annoyance and hatred?

Having read two comedic autobiographies in the past two weeks (by Amy Poehler and Neil Patrick Harris), I felt the need to embrace the upcoming frigidness of winter and revisit The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson. As memorable as the title is, it doesn’t even come close to the impact of the original Swedish title: Män Som Hatar Kvinnor.

Men Who Hate Women.

The title was changed in America as the original was too confrontational and accusatory. Not every male character in the novel hated women, so why the generalization?

Let’s jump back to Taylor Swift, America’s plastic sweetheart, whose album, 1989, is the first album of 2014 to reach platinum, selling more than a million copies in its first week. But rather than admire Taylor Swift’s success, we roll our eyes and mutter that, if we must be forced to endure a world with her in it, she should have just stuck with country music.

Lena Dunham, showrunner of HBO’s Girls and bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl, is an easy target, right? She’s an overweight, pseudo-feminist trailblazer with crooked teeth and an annoying habit of being on the cover of everything. Recently she has been slammed for writing about a show-me-yours-I’ll-show-you-mine moment with her little sister in her memoir. Now, accused of being an incestuous sexual predator, we would prefer that she take her $3 million book advance and shove it up her constantly exposed rump.

“It came true,” Anne Hathaway sighed upon receiving her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Les Miserables in 2013, and America collectively groaned. Having portrayed the iconic Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, she now basks in a starring role in Christopher Nolan’s visionary space epic Interstellar. It seems I can’t just see a cool dude movie without having to be exposed to Anne Hathaway’s blubbering all over my action scenes. Think of how many more SFX shots her $10 million-per-film paycheck could have bought.

And now for Star Magazine’s 2013 Most Hated Celebrity in the World: Gwyneth Paltrow. Not only is she the annoyingly mostly-vegan author of the book, It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great, and the mother of a human child named Apple, but she also rolls around in a net worth of $60 million and totally divorced that hot Coldplay guy. What an annoying, self-entitled woman she is! Grumble, grumble.

Reading over these defining attributes may have caused you to nod your head in agreement. But ultimately, why is it so easy to hate these women? What is it about their success and confidence and career-driven attitudes that makes it so easy for us to despise them?

One theme present in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the idea that both men and the world of men easily overpower women. Outside of the fiction realm, misogyny is trendy — it’s easily ignored and accepted because it’s been the norm for centuries. When was the last time you expressed as much hate for a male celebrity as you did for one of the aforementioned females?

In a time when the wage gap is such a large issue, why are both men and women hating on these celebrities who have clearly broken through a glass ceiling of 21st century success? It’s a big discussion for an even bigger issue.

Can we beat misogyny if we can’t even justify why we hate some women?

About Andrew Munz

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