Is Taylor Swift’s Latest Speech Empowering, Or is She Playing The Victim AGAIN!?

Taylor Swift accepts the Woman of the Decade award from Billboard

Last week, Taylor Swift became the first-ever recipient of the Billboard Woman of the Decade award. She delivered a 15-minute acceptance speech in which she looked back on her career and how the media has portrayed her.

Many found the speech to be empowering in its examination of women’s treatment in the music industry. However, others see it as an example of Taylor’s victim mentality, and believe she focuses too much on herself.

Taylor Swift accepts the Billboard Woman of the Decade award.

Taylor Swift Accepts Billboard Woman Of The Decade Award

Taylor, who appeared on The Voice as a Mega Mentor this season, said early in her speech that “as a female in this industry, some people will always have slight reservations about you.”

She went on to talk about how she changed her approach and shaped her image following criticism, pointing out that it never seemed to be enough. Taylor argued that “we shouldn’t let obstacles like criticism slow down the creative forces that drive us.”


Taylor also brought up her feud with Scooter Braun over the rights to her music catalog. She said it’s an example of “toxic male privilege” that people respond to her concerns by saying Scooter has “always been nice to me.”

She finished her speech by saying that these days, “I’ve been focusing less on doing what they say I can’t do and more on doing whatever the hell I want.”

Shallon Lester breaks down Taylor Swift’s Woman of the Decade speech.

Is Taylor Playing The Victim?

While Taylor’s fans might have found her speech empowering, YouTube personality Shallon Lester had some issues with it. While she says she agrees with many of the points Taylor made about women in the music industry, she took issue with the self-centered way Taylor delivered the message.

Shallon calls Taylor a “professional victim,” and says she credits herself for all her successes, but blames others for her failures. (She also points out that Taylor doesn’t thank anyone by name in her speech, instead focusing on herself.) She adds that Taylor fails to relate her own struggles to other people’s experiences, which is important in getting them on her side.


She also argues that Taylor doesn’t understand that “fame is criticism,” and that she focuses more on the people who dislike her than the people who support her. Shallon says this is “the height of immaturity.”

“Did you get into this thinking everyone was just gonna blindly love you?” Shallon asks Taylor. “Yes. I think the answer to that is honestly yes.”

What do you think? Do you agree with Taylor’s speech, or do you think she needs to change her approach? Let us know in the comments.


Jill O'Rourke
Jill O'Rourke

Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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