Happy Red (Taylor’s Version) Day to all who celebrate. It’s a time to put on your best pair of tights, give yourself bangs, and don a bold lip while setting fire to a picture of Jake Gyllenhaal. The possibly stinky actor is of course the dark muse for the album’s masterpiece, “All Too Well.” As legend has it, Swift and Gyllenhaal dated for approximately three months starting in October of 2010. She was 20, he was 29, and when he broke up with her it shattered her into a million pieces and inspired the song.
Originally five and a half minutes, “All Too Well” is being released in its original, 10-minute entirety for the first time on Red (Taylor’s Version). On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Swift said that “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” came from an impromptu jam session she had with her band while rehearsing for a tour. “The band sort of joined in and I started ad libbing what I was going through and what I was feeling,” she said. “The 10-minute version of ‘All Too Well’ is what was originally written for the song before I had to cut it down to a normal-length song.”
I would be inclined to believe that, were it not for one line in the song. In the second verse, Swift sings, “And you were tossing me the car keys / Fuck the patriarchy / Key chain on the ground / We were always skipping town.” Or maybe she says, “And you were tossing me the car keys/ ‘Fuck the patriarchy’ key chain on the ground.” Upon first listen, I would have guessed it’s the latter version, which is a stirring image of an Etsy purchase shared between two lovers. Genius, on the other hand, claims that it’s the former iteration. Perhaps we are supposed to believe that it’s feminist of Gyllenhaal to let Swift drive? I guess? Either way, I’ve caught Swift red-handed (absolutely no pun intended).
Swift told Fallon that she wrote the song when she was rehearsing for her Speak Now tour, which started in February of 2011. Gyllenhaal broke up with her in late December of 2010, so we can assume that this song was written some time in January of 2011.
Think back to 2011. We were still in the first Obama term, things were ostensibly starting to turn around from the recession, and LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” was sweeping the nation. We were not saying “Fuck the patriarchy.” Swift herself did not enter her feminista era until 2014.
What I’m saying is that Blondie over here is lying to us. There is absolutely no conceivable way that she had even heard the phrase “Fuck the patriarchy” at the time of writing the song. If you aren’t going to trust my gut instinct, surely you will trust data. Below is a Google Trends chart for the phrase “Fuck the patriarchy.”
The first blip on the chart doesn’t even exist until April of 2012. It peaks, predictably, in January of 2017 when people were figuring out what to write on their signs for the Women’s March. If Swift is to be believed, she either actually coined the phrase a full year before any written mention of it made its way to the internet and then didn’t say anything about it for a decade, or, more absurdly, Jake Gyllenhaal did.
I am a true Swiftie. I have owned her CDs and watched the filmed version of the Reputation Tour more than once. But I am also a pedant, and refuse to stay silent when confronted with what is so obviously a lie. However, I cannot deny that “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” is incredible, a masterwork, slayed the house down boots, etc. She really did that (lie).