First Advisor

Dr. Trudi Wright

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Dr. Amy Schreier and Dr. Laura Narcisi


Dr. Julia Brumbaugh


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

70 pages


Taylor Swift is a worldwide phenomenon, especially in 2023. She follows in the footsteps of the female pop and rock musicians from the 1980s and 1990s who were lighting up the world with their music. Madonna, Gwen Stefani, the Riot Grrrls, and many more set the foundation for the feminist topics discussed in Swift’s music. They all perform songs of female empowerment and struggles by being sexually provocative and aggressively anti-sexist in their lyrics and performances. These lyrics and performances reflected Second Wave Feminism ideas. Swift takes these same feminist themes and inserts them into her lyrics and performances, but instead of being sexually provocative, she maintains a nice, girl-next-door persona. She also exists in a time vastly different than the female musicians from the 1980s and 1990s.

Since the early 2000s, Americans have increasingly used social media in their daily lives, experienced the #metoo movement where women openly shared stories of their sexual assault experiences, and endured a long quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All these experiences are isolating and connect to a loneliness epidemic. People need connection, which is where Swift and her music come into play. By having a nice girl persona, discussing feminist themes that girls and women can relate to, and while living in a time of isolation, she creates a sense of connection amongst her audience in a time when society needs connection more than ever. Provoking this connection amongst girls and women reflects Postfeminism. Additionally, more connection is further needed. After all, Swift is a cis-gender, straight, white, wealthy female, and thus, there is a limit to how much people can connect to her. Nonetheless, there are female pop and rock musicians in the U.S. who are already following in her footsteps and come from more diverse backgrounds. These artists reflect Third Wave Feminism. Some examples include Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, and Camila Cabello. As time goes on, more connection can form with more women and girls seeing people representing them in pop and rock music telling their feminist stories.

Ultimately, due to her feminist pop and rock female predecessors, using her lyrics and performances to reflect Postfeminism, the isolating circumstances of her time, Swift forms a community of girls and women when the need for connection is at its highest.

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colo.

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Available for download on Tuesday, April 22, 2025