Taylor Swift’s powerful win is a reminder that all women deserve better

39

Buy Organic Traffic | Cheap Organic Traffic | Increase Organic Traffic | Organic Traffic


 

In a victory for survivors of sexual harassment and abuse everywhere, pop star Taylor Swift has been awarded $US1 ($1.30) in damages after successfully counter-suing a former radio DJ who assaulted her four years ago.


Taylor Swift wins groping trial

The pop star has won a court trial against a Colorado DJ she accused of grabbing her bare bottom at a 2013 meet-and-greet event.

David Mueller, a former employee of Colorado station KYGO, took a photograph with the pop star during a meet and greet in 2013. As the pair posed with Mueller’s former girlfriend, Mueller placed his hand underneath the back of Swift’s skirt and grabbed her bare bottom. Following the assault, Swift filed a complaint with KYGO management and Mueller’s contract was terminated. This prompted a lawsuit from Mueller seeking damages to the tune of $US3 million, which led to a countersuit from Swift for the grand total of $US1. Two years of legal back and forth later, and the verdict is in: Swift wins.

The case is groundbreaking in many ways, not least of which is that, with only $US1 on the line, Swift’s countersuit was largely symbolic in nature. But it was also legendary in Swift’s refusal to be cowed or shamed by Mueller’s legal team.

Throughout the course of the trial, Swift shot down repeated attempts to undermine her testimony or prove her complicity in the assault. When Mueller’s lawyer tried to suggest that if Swift were so distressed by the event she could have taken a break from posing, Swift explained that a pop star has an obligation to her fans and that “your client could have taken a normal photo with me”.

Every attempt to shame her into silence or self doubt was met with clarity, strength and resistance.

Her testimony has already inspired prominent women in Australia to come forward with their own records of abuse. In a Facebook post following Mueller’s defeat, comedian and radio presenter Jo Stanley wrote about some of the times she’s endured unwanted groping, abuse or harassment and felt obliged herself to “shake it off”.

Fifi Box revealed she’d been sexually assaulted at work by a high-profile male celebrity whose unacceptable and very public behaviour culminated in him grabbing Box’s head and forcing it into his crotch. Box also noted this was just one of many circumstances in which she had found herself “as a young woman particularly working in the media” in situations that made her uncomfortable. Clarifying further, she said, “You could argue I’ve been sexually assaulted, and yet laughed or giggled my way through because I’ve been scared or intimidated by the situation.”

Unbreakable, the recent collection of first person essays edited by Jane Caro, delves into similar accounts of violence, abuse and garden variety harassment endured by women in Australia. Contributors to the anthology include Mariam Veiszadeh, Tracey Spicer, Tjunypa Buckskin, Nina Funnell and Caro herself, and each offer the power of a public face bearing testimony.

For those inclined to downplay the impact and reach of sexual harassment in particular, it’s an extraordinary act of defiance to show that “famous” women are its targets too. Women in public roles who challenge misogyny and violence aren’t speaking from a theoretical position. We are speaking from a place of first hand knowledge.

I include myself in this number. At a nightclub when I was 18, walking towards the bar. A man casually reaches his hand out as I pass him and grabs my crotch underneath my dress. Thirteen years old, with a boss who likes to tiptoe his fingers up the back of my leg while I giggle and slap his hand away. Drunk on a bus during my university orientation camp at 17, sitting next to a member of the band invited to perform, and trying to figure out what to say about the fact he has his hand down the back of my jeans. At school, joking with the other girls in my class about the lecherous science teacher who likes to “check our work” by clinging to us and leaning over to look down our tops.

Often, we learn to laugh about such things. We offer them up as scandalous stories in conversations with each other, teaching ourselves to accept that this is just the way the world is for us. We learn not to cause a fuss, because the worst thing you can do if you’re a woman is cause a fuss. We get on with things and tell ourselves that we weren’t really hurt so it’s silly to complain.

But despite all this downplaying, all the jokes, all the withering commentary, all the remonstrations to ourselves for probably being at fault in the first place… we never forget. And isn’t that interesting?

Swift is an enormously privileged woman with access to the kind of money and support that allows her to pursue a case of this kind. And thank goodness she did. Because we really needed to see what it looks like for a woman to stand her ground against victim blaming and gaslighting.

And it’s not just for our own strength. It’s for the strength of the women we’re raising up alongside us. As Stanley wrote, “When [Swift’s] Mum said the incident, ‘made me, as a parent, question why I taught her to be so polite’ I felt a deep understanding, both as a girl who was raised the same way, and as a mother of a daughter who innately knows not to be loud or rude. I feel like, what am I doing? How do I arm my daughter to defend herself and speak up when someone takes advantage of her gender and she is sexually harassed in this way?”

It’s a vital question, particularly in a culture that still trains women to absorb the bad behaviour of men in order to avoid negatively impacting their lives.

Taylor Swift might not be loved by everyone, but this was undoubtedly her moment to act as a beacon for women everywhere who have the right to stand their ground against a tide of disbelief, gaslighting and blatant misogyny.

And this is what it’s about. It’s about standing our ground, and standing with each other.

Buy Website Traffic | Cheap Website Traffic | Increase Website Traffic | Website Traffic



Source link