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Martina Navratilova Slams ‘Misogynistic’ Article Criticizing Taylor Swift for Being ‘Unmarried & Childless’

Whether or not it was their intention, Newsweek got quite a bit of negative attention last week for publishing an opinion piece by writer John Mac Ghlionn that criticized Taylor Swift for being “not a good role model” due to her status as “unmarried and childless.” Now, Martina Navratilova is leading the charge against the author’s views, which she slammed as being “a massive pile of misogynistic bull” on X Sunday (June 30). 

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“This guy should be ashamed of himself and I can’t believe he writes for Newsweek…and they printed it,” the tennis champion wrote. “I mean…” 

Navratilova also pointed out in the replies: “Taylor never claimed she was a role model.” 

The former Olympian’s comments come in response to Ghlionn claiming in his piece — which was simply titled Taylor Swift Is Not a Good Role Model — that the public “must ask if [Swift’s] personal life choices are ones we want our sisters and daughters to emulate.” 

Why? Because, as the writer put it, “at 34, Swift remains unmarried and childless, a fact that some might argue is irrelevant to her status as a role model … But, I suggest, it’s crucial to consider what kind of example this sets for young girls.” 

Ghlionn also took issue with the 14-time Grammy winner writing songs that he claims “depict her as the victim” and promoting what he sees as “romantic promiscuity” through her public relationships.  

Navratilova is just one of countless people to comment that the opinion piece is rife with sexist connotations, while The Standard recently published a counterargument pointing out that male pop stars almost never receive the same type of critique. 

“To claim that Swift’s power as a role model is diminished by those mediaeval metrics is pure misogyny,” added writer Claire Cohen. “It positions a woman’s worth in terms of her duty towards men and sends us back to an era in which we were little more than walking wombs … And no doubt if Swift was married with children, she’d be criticized for leaving her family at home while she selfishly went on tour and accused of emasculating her husband by being the breadwinner.” 

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Billboard has reached out to Newsweek for comment. 

So far, Swift herself hasn’t responded to Newsweek’s article. The “Fortnight” singer – who’s been open for years about her stance as a feminist as well as her experiences battling sexist commentary — is currently busy on the European leg of her global Eras Tour, which most recently wrapped three nights in Dublin. 

See Navratilova’s tweets below. 

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