Mad Woman [UPDATED]
Entertainment Weekly commented that the song reflected the social perception of female anger: "if a woman is emotional or angry, she gets labeled as 'crazy' ", especially through the lyrics "And there's nothing like a mad woman / What a shame she went mad / No one likes a mad woman / You made her like that." The magazine also compared the message of "Mad Woman" to that of "The Man", Swift's previous single from her 2019 album Lover: "Both songs tackle the ways in which women are defined, but where 'The Man' is broad in its complaints, 'Mad Woman' is more specific. Where 'The Man' is cheeky, 'Mad Woman' is dark, cynical, and angry."
It's also likely, of course, that the song is a larger critique of the gaslighting women face. Specifically, it feels as if Swift is railing against the idea that if a woman is emotional or angry, she gets labeled as "crazy." And indeed, with lyrics such as "And there's nothing like a mad woman/What a shame she went mad/No one likes a mad woman/You made her like that," it's clear that parts of the song, at least, are about just that.
This project examines the use of the madwoman character in narrative fiction as it changes within the context of different waves of feminism. The figure of the madwoman is characterized by her apparent insanity and extreme emotion; however, the madwoman can further be examined as a character in opposition to the norms and values of a society. As such, female madness as a social and cultural construct can be used to delineate perceived boundaries within society and their implications for women. In this thesis, I aim to demonstrate these boundaries and the usage of the madwoman character in narrative fiction as she rages against them. Broken into two sections, I examine the development of the madwoman trope and its history, as women have long been situated as both threatening and subordinate to men, and then how the implementation of the trope has changed in conjunction with the changing roles of women and definitions of femininity.
The chorus rings in with the words, "And there's nothing like a mad woman." Then, Swift sings, "What a shame she went mad/ No one likes a mad woman/ You made her like that/ And you'll poke that bear 'til her claws come out." Some are suspicious that this is Swift relating to how the feud with Braun went down and his denial of anything shady on his part ever happening.
Swift previously referenced a GOT character in her Reputation album. This is pretty evident in her lyrics, "I got a list of names, and yours is in red underlined," as it sounds like Arya Stark. Now, imagery in "Mad Woman" is getting analyzed, such as the scorpion lyric, since Targaryen dragons were referred to as scorpions, and Swift's description of a woman getting madder the more she is called crazy or angry, since "the Targaryen madness" was a common speculation surrounding Targaryen in the final seasons.
mad womanGeneral informationArtistTaylor SwiftReleasedJuly 24, 2020Recorded2020GenreIndie folkLength3:57Albumfolklore LabelRepublic RecordsWriter(s)Taylor Swift Aaron DessnerProducer(s)Aaron Dessnerfolklore track list"invisible string""mad woman""epiphany"Music video"Mad Woman" (stylized as "mad woman") is the twelfth track from Taylor Swift's eighth studio album, folklore. It was released on July 24, 2020, through Republic Records.
When Aaron Dessner sent Taylor the piano part of the song, she immediately knew that it had to be about female rage. She thought of the most rage-provoking element of being a woman, the gaslighting when a woman responds to toxic male behaviour. Taylor mentioned that someone she had this experience with in her life tried to make her feel like she's the offender, but she has no right to respond or else she's crazy or out of line. This track is a way to explain why this kind of experience feels bad.
I have spent years of my life reading and loving Charlotte Brontë's novel "Jane Eyre." But in the last few years I have realized something: The main character of this novel isn't Jane, but Bertha; the woman who we call "The Madwoman in the Attic." As I have looked closer and closer at Bertha over the years, I have realized something important. I don't think she's a madwoman. I think she's an angry woman. I think she wields her anger like a scalpel, and I want to learn from her precision.
I have found myself in these situations too many times in my life and yet as a white, cisgender woman, fewer than others. I get to go to the bathroom in peace and am seen as acting "mad" much less quickly than women of color, who by and large have to endure more frequent and egregious forms of this form of toxicity. I'm speaking for myself when I say that these are situations when I feel as though my only two options are to let myself be steamrolled or to call someone out.
I am trained as a chaplain. I am supposed to live a life of kindness, compassion and empathy. But there are so many moments in my life when I feel like my two options are to swallow my anger or to be seen as "psycho." To be made mad or to be seen as a madwoman.
Bertha Mason Rochester in Jane Eyre is called the "madwoman" because she lights beds on fire, stabs people, sneaks into rooms and rips veils, lights the house on fire. But when you look more closely at her actions, they make perfect sense. She sneaks out one night after ten years of being locked in the attic by her husband. Her caretaker has fallen too deeply asleep and Bertha has stolen the key. She does not injure her caretaker who is being paid to do a job. Bertha lights the bed of the man who is locking her up on fire. She never lunges for the maids who come to help tend her. But she stabs her brother who knowingly leaves her locked in an attic. When she is in a room with the woman who her husband is going to marry, she does not hurt the young, unknowing fiancée (Jane Eyre herself). Bertha rips up the veil that Jane will put on in the morning to marry Bertha's husband. Bertha doesn't hurt Jane: she warns her.
Warner Bros. is trying a new ad campaign for "The Madwoman of Chaillot," in which we're advised that Katharine Hepburn is "magnificently hip." The ad elaborates: "Groovier than she was in 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner!'"
Katharine Hepburn is a great actress and possibly even a great woman, but there's some question whether anyone wants to see her hip and groovy. The trouble with ad campaigns like this is that they sell the movie the producers wish they had made. Paramount, for example, hired pop artist Peter Max to do a lot of ads for "Paint Your Wagon," apparently in the hope that Max would magically rub off on the movie and - presto! - make it contemporary.
No doubt a hip, groovy, contemporary film version of "The Madwoman of Chaillot" was possible, but Bryan Forbes has not directed it. He's taken Jean Giraudoux's late 1940s play, jacked it up with some easy references to nuclear testing and radical students, and attempted to pass it off as relevant.
But that won't do. If "The Madwoman of Chaillot" is relevant at all, it's in its irrelevance. The notion of an old woman who is naively committed to justice, and who hopes to bring down a gang of international thieves all by herself, is charming, only so long as we protect it from the logic of the real world.
Who knows? As it is, "The Madwoman of Chaillot" is an expensively produced, star-laden extravaganza that staggers under its own dead weight. The photography was done (about half and half, I believe) by Claude Renoir and Burnett Guffey, who try to outdo each other with elaborate effects. Hardly a shot, it seems, isn't reflected against a car door or bounced off a mirror, or filtered through gauze and out-of-focus leaves. This style of photography gives the picture a certain leaden pace; you can shoot pretty pictures, or quickly paced ones, but rarely both.
The acting is handicapped by Forbes' slow, exquisite, expensive style. The story is unlikely enough to begin with (the madwoman uncovers a plot to drill for oil beneath Paris, defacing it with countless derricks), but the plot shouldn't matter that much in a fantasy. By directing so slowly, however, Forbes forces his actors to pretend they're really serious; what could have become whimsy becomes stale.
When looking at lyrics of mad woman and certain aspects of reputation and Lover through the lens of The Yellow Wallpaper, the short story from 1892 feels as if it could have been written by Swift herself, a modern day story of timeless female pain. 041b061a72