Taylor Swift Offers Important Advice to Sexual Assault Victims
On the entertainment front, Taylor Swift had a relatively quiet year.
She released a new album and announced a new tour toward the end of 2017, but she remained almost entirely silent for a solid three-quarters of the past 12 months.
In front of the camera or on social media, that is.
Outside of the music industry, Swift was actually involved in a lawsuit that perhaps helped set the tone for the #MeToo movement.
Following allegations that a DJ groped her during a 2013 photo opportunity, Swift testified under oath as part of her harassment lawsuit against David Mueller.
She had alleged that Mueller reached under her skirt and grabbed her butt during a meet-and-greet four years ago, an accusation that actually prompted Mueller to sue Swift for defamation.
But Taylor refused to back down.
First, her testimony and other pieces of evidence caused a judge to dismiss Mueller’s lawsuit.
Then, the singer won her countersuit against Mueller, earning raucous praise for how she handled herself on the witness stand amidst a barrage of victim-shaming attempts by Mueller’s lawyer.
(“I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is any way my fault because it isn’t,” she said at one point to the attorney.)
Due to how strongly she stood up for herself and, by extension, other victims of harassment, Swift was included this week on Time’s Person of the Year cover:
The issue honors the “Silence Breakers” who have helped exposed an unseemly number of sexual harassers and predators around the country.
Asked by the publication why she was so aggressive in her fight against Mueller, Swift replied as follows:
“I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance.
“It was important to report the incident to his radio station because I felt like they needed to know.
“The radio station conducted its own investigation and fired him. Two years later, he sued me.”
Swift added that she spoke to Kesha at one point to find out more of what she went through after suing producer Dr. Luke for sexual misconduct.
To her fans and anyone else dealing with abuse or harassment, Swift has this to say;
My advice is that you not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you.
You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you.
The superstar also praised all the “brave women” speaking out in public about their experiences for helping “move the needle in terms of letting people know that this abuse of power shouldn’t be tolerated.”
The #MeToo movement got underway in earnest after Harvey Weinstein was exposed as a serial sexual predator.
After Alyssa Milano sent a Tweet that asked women (and men) to use the hashtag #MeToo if they had been the victim of any sort of unwanted sexual act or comment, an endless array of social media users followed suit.
As a result, celebrities such as Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer have lost their jobs (and their statuses) in the wake of troubling allegations.
We can likely expect more and more famous men to be outed as generally awful people in this regard in the coming weeks and months.
It’s depressing and disturbing to learn of these incidents.
But it’s clearly about time these perpetrators were held accountable for their despicable actions.