Taylor Swift
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
July 9, 2024 ·  5 min read

Taylor Swift Op-Ed Writer Criticized for Saying She’s a Bad Role Model

Taylor Swift, renowned for her powerful songs about feminism and her bold “f*** the patriarchy” attitude, has recently become the subject of intense debate following an article by conservative journalist John Mac Ghlionn. The piece has ignited a storm of criticism, highlighting the polarizing views on Swift’s influence and personal life.

Criticism from John Mac Ghlionn

John Mac Ghlionn (pictured) was slammed for his article accusing Taylor Swift - who's Eras tour is the highest-grossing concert tour of all time - of being a bad role model to young girls
Image Credit: The James G. Martin Center

In a controversial Newsweek article titled “Taylor Swift Is Not a Good Role Model,” Ghlionn criticizes Swift, whose Eras Tour is now the highest-grossing concert tour of all time. He argues that Swift is setting a poor example for young girls due to her being “34, unmarried and childless,” while conspicuously failing to mention that her boyfriend, NFL star Travis Kelce, shares the same marital status and age.

Read More: Fans Left ‘Disgusted By Taylor Swift at Her Concert

Backlash Against Ghlionn’s Views

Taylor Swift at the 2022 American Music Awards held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, USA on November 20, 2022.
Source: Shutterstock

Ghlionn’s op-ed, intended to push back against the widespread admiration for Swift, has been met with swift and vehement backlash. Critics have lambasted his views as outdated and misogynistic, reminiscent of 1950s gender norms. In his piece, Ghlionn acknowledges Swift’s undeniable talent and business acumen but insists that her personal life makes her an unsuitable role model for young girls.

The Role Model Debate

New York, NY, USA - December 13, 2019:  Taylor Swift performs at the 2019 Z100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden.
Source: Shutterstock

Central to Ghlionn’s argument is the notion that Swift’s marital status and past relationships should disqualify her from being seen as a role model. He questions whether any “loving parent” would want their daughter to emulate Swift’s dating history, which includes relationships with 12 different men over a few years. Despite recognizing her professional achievements, Ghlionn contends that young girls should aspire to a more “wholesome” romantic lifestyle.

Swift’s Supporters Respond

Taylor Swift at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, USA on March 14, 2019.
Source: Shuttertock

The op-ed’s omission of any criticism towards Kelce, who is also 34 and unmarried, did not go unnoticed by readers. Many have called out the double standard, branding Ghlionn as an “incel misogynist coward” and taking to social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to express their outrage.

One user wrote, “What the actual f*** is this misogynistic claptrap from @Newsweek?! Taylor Swift isn’t a role model because she’s ‘unmarried and childless,’ what the hell? Written by a man, of course, but you should be ashamed to have published this vacuous nonsense.” Another pointed out, “No man has ever been chastised in the media for being a ‘bad role model for boys’ because he was ’34, unmarried and childless.'”

Defending Swift as a Role Model

Supporters argue that Swift's hard work, financial independence, and philanthropy make her a positive role model.
Image Credit: X

Supporters argue that Swift’s hard work, financial independence, and philanthropy make her a positive role model. One user highlighted, “Young girls do not need to aspire to marriage and children. I personally have no interest in Taylor Swift but there are worse role models than someone who evidently works hard and is financially independent and also made huge donations towards food banks.”

Ghlionn’s Supporters Speak Out

Supporters argue that Swift's hard work, financial independence, and philanthropy make her a positive role model.
Image Credit: X

Despite the heavy backlash, some have praised Ghlionn for voicing his opinion. One supporter commented, “It is a point of view. Everyone is allowed to have one. I wouldn’t want a daughter seeking out hollow fame personally. Money and adoration of the masses tend to be cold comfort in later life.” Another remarked, “Personally, I absolutely love how triggered all the woke feminazis are by this. If there’s nothing wrong with being unmarried and childless, what are you all so angry about?

Ghlionn’s Response

Taylor Swift at the 2018 American Music Awards held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, USA on October 9, 2018.
Source: Shutterstock

Amidst the uproar, Ghlionn has since deleted his X account, seemingly stepping back from the controversy his article generated. As the debate continues, it underscores the ongoing societal tensions around gender roles, personal choices, and what constitutes a positive role model in today’s world.

Read More: What Makes Taylor Swift So Great?

Taylor Swift’s Dating Timeline

LOS ANGELES - OCT 9:  Taylor Swift at the 2018 American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater on October 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA
Source: Shutterstock

Taylor Swift’s love life has often been under public scrutiny, with each relationship inspiring new songs and fueling media interest. Here is a brief overview of her past boyfriends:

Joe Jonas (July 2008 – October 2008)

New York, NY - May 3, 2022: Joe Jonas attends 'The Staircase' TV show premiere at MoMA
Source: Shutterstock

Taylor Swift dated Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers for a few months in 2008. Their breakup was famously swift, ending in a 27-second phone call. Swift later wrote about their relationship in songs like “Forever & Always” and “Last Kiss.”

Taylor Lautner (August 2009 – December 2009)

Taylor Lautner arriving for the "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. 14/11/2012 Picture by: Henry Harris
Source: Shutterstock

Swift’s relationship with actor Taylor Lautner began after they co-starred in the film “Valentine’s Day.” The couple, known as “Taylor Squared,” ended their romance amicably. The song “Back to December” is widely believed to be about Lautner.

John Mayer (December 2009 – February 2010)

9 October 2019. Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Concert of John Mayer
Source: Shutterstock

Swift’s brief relationship with singer John Mayer was tumultuous. Their 12-year age difference and the fallout from their breakup inspired Swift’s scathing song “Dear John,” which details her heartbreak and Mayer’s alleged emotional manipulation.

Jake Gyllenhaal (October 2010 – January 2011)

 Jake Gyllenhaal  attends the closing ceremony during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 24, 2015 in Cannes, France.
Source: Shutterstock

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal and Swift’s romance was brief but intense, reportedly ending because of their age difference. The relationship inspired several songs on her “Red” album, including “All Too Well,” which vividly recounts their time together.

Conor Kennedy (July 2012 – October 2012)

Hyannisport MA Saturday July 28,  2012. EXCLUSIVE Conor Kennedy and Taylor Swift in. Conor is the 18 year old son of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Source: Shutterstock

Swift dated Conor Kennedy, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, during the summer of 2012. Their relationship was marked by Swift’s frequent visits to the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port. The song “Starlight” is rumored to be about their romance.

Harry Styles (December 2012 – January 2013)

New York, NY - February 26, 2020: Singer Harry Styles performs on stage during Citi Concert Series on NBC TODAY SHOW at Rockefeller Plaza
Source: Shutterstock

Swift’s relationship with One Direction’s Harry Styles was highly publicized. Despite their brief time together, it had a lasting impact on Swift’s music, inspiring songs like “Style” and “Out of the Woods.”

Calvin Harris (March 2015 – June 2016)

London, United Kingdom- February 20, 2019: Calvin Harris attends The BRIT Awards at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Source: Shutterstock

DJ and producer Calvin Harris was Swift’s longest relationship at the time. The couple often shared their love on social media, and collaborated on the hit song “This Is What You Came For,” which Swift co-wrote under a pseudonym. Their breakup was reportedly amicable, though it was followed by public disagreements over songwriting credits.

Tom Hiddleston (June 2016 – September 2016)

London, United Kingdom - April 7, 2019: Tom Hiddleston attends The Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
Source: Shutterstock

Swift’s whirlwind romance with British actor Tom Hiddleston, dubbed “Hiddleswift,” was highly publicized. Their relationship was marked by grand gestures and global travels, but it ended after a few months, with both citing intense media scrutiny as a contributing factor.

Joe Alwyn (September 2016 – April 2023)

London, United Kingdom - September 20, 2022: Joe Alwyn attends the Catherine Called Birdy UK premiere at The Curzon Mayfair in London, England.
Source: Shutterstock

Actor Joe Alwyn was Swift’s longest relationship, lasting nearly seven years. The couple kept their romance mostly private, with Alwyn co-writing several songs on Swift’s albums under the pseudonym William Bowery. Their breakup was reportedly amicable, focusing on their busy careers and personal growth.

Current Relationship: Travis Kelce

Washington, DC USA 5-31-2024 - President Biden hosts Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs at the White House.
Source: Shutterstock

As of 2023, Swift is dating NFL star Travis Kelce. While their relationship is relatively new, it has already attracted significant media attention, adding another chapter to Swift’s high-profile romantic history. Taylor Swift’s relationships have not only influenced her music but also provided a window into her personal growth and evolving views on love and life. Despite the scrutiny, Swift remains unapologetically herself, continuing to inspire fans around the world.

Read More: Taylor Swift’s Former Class Mate Claims ‘Most People Hated Her’ During High School


  1. Taylor Swift op-ed writer is SLAMMED after claiming the popstar is ‘not a good role model’ because she is ’34, unmarried and childlessMailonline. Emily Lefroy. July 2, 2024.
  2. Presenting: A Quick Refresher on Taylor Swift’s Complete Dating History and ExesCosmopolitan. April 18, 2024.