Before starring in Taylor Swift's fiercely female "Bad Blood" video, before surrounding herself with a girl gang of tremendous talent, before openly discussing daily sexism and before launching her own empowering beauty channel, Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams was a teenage pop-punk prodigy, writing angst-fueled songs about things other angst-fueled teenagers felt. In 2007, it resulted in "Misery Business," one of the group's biggest singles to date.
The song, however, doesn't have a very positive message. It details a woman scorned, battling it out with another woman for male attention with harmful lyrics like "Once a whore, you're nothing more / I'm sorry that'll never change." The video isn't much better. This has led to people questioning Williams' feminist identity, which she shut down in a recent blog post (and in the best way possible!)
"i read a couple comments today about how i can’t be feminist or whether or not i’m a “good” feminist. to speak specifically to one of those comments, i’ll say this: Misery Business is not a set of lyrics that I relate to as a 26 year old woman. i haven’t related to it in a very long time. those words were written when i was 17… admittedly, from a very narrow-minded perspective. it wasn’t really meant to be this big philosophical statement about anything. it was quite literally a page in my diary about a singular moment i experienced as a high schooler.
…and that’s the funny part about growing up in a band with any degree of success. people still have my diary. the past and the present. all the good AND bad and embarrassing of it! but i’m not ashamed. one thing i’m more thankful for than just about anything is all that my experiences - including my mistakes - have shaped me and made me someone i’m happier to be. in songs and in life. it’s always a little nerve-wracking to bring you guys along for the ride but when i step back and think about it… it’s kind of a huge honor that anyone cares in the first place. in conclusion. i’m a 26 years old person. and yes, a proud feminist. just maybe not a perfect one? thanks for reading this."