Home Features What Taylor Swift’s Case Tells Us About Society

What Taylor Swift’s Case Tells Us About Society

Last year it was Kesha, and now we see Taylor Swift in a public legal battle over alleged sexual assault by DJ David Mueller.

While the case against Swift has been resolved in her favour, the courtroom drama rages on. This, as her mother and manager face the same charges.
It’s interesting how many people have misunderstood the nature of this case. We won’t deny that Swift’s high profile relationships that border on publicity stunts leads one to question her motives for many things.
But the situation here is different.
HE brought the suit against her. And this raises so many issues about the society we live in today.

What is Molest?

Molest is sexual assault, and sexual assault is a crime. But just what does ‘molest’ entail? Basically, it’s any part of your body without your consent.
Yes, if someone taps you on the shoulder without your explicit approval, and you feel violated, they have molested you. Of course, if you bring such a case to court, you deserve to be molested with a hammer to the face.

Why Didn’t She Report It to the Police?

Amidst the slew of victim-shaming that we’re seeing, we encounter the issue of why she didn’t feel the need to report an alleged sexual predator to the police. Her mother commented in court that they didn’t want the incident to colour her career, or for her to have to relive the encounter.
So much for that.
It’s interesting to note how often this is mirrored in the workplace. Women don’t report sexual harassment by colleagues or superiors for fear of reprisal. How is this still the state of affairs in 2017? We’re not saying that men don’t suffer as well, just that the incidence is higher in women.

‘She asked for it.’

This is the sentiment that’s underpinning the entire issue. Did she deserve it? No. She could have been naked while wearing a Playboy bunny tail, and no one would have had a right to touch her.
It doesn’t matter how many men she’s been with or what she’s wearing, personal space is not a concept we can negotiate.
If the allegations are true, and he actively slid his hand under her skirt, the brazen nature of his act is very telling. All too often these are matters swept under the rug.
“Oh, he was just staring at your boobs. Take it as a compliment.”
“Oh, he was just copping a feel. No harm done.”
At what point do we feel we have a right to stop this? Does it have to be all-out rape?
Cavalier comments can amount of sexual harrassment.
It came out during the trial that the KYGO’s Programme Director, Eddie Haskell,¬†was allegedly discussing what she was wearing under her skirt.
Haskell defended his statement by saying it was general curiosity about how those on stage changed so quickly, and they had to have bicycle shorts underneath.
The allegation, however, is that this took on more of an, ‘I wonder what she’s wearing under that skirt’ tone. Mueller has gone as far as to point the finger at Haskell as the molester.

A Systemic Issue

Interestingly, Nelly Furtado has come out in support of Swift with her revelation on Twitter of how she has had similar experiences with radio staff.
Is this systemic? What happens to the women who aren’t famous enough to get people fired?
In any event, we applaud Swift for not settling the matter out of court, and bringing an issue that plagues women daily back into the spotlight.
The question of whether this will be enough remains. Would he have had the audacity to bring this suit if she had reported him to the police when the incident occurred?
What are your thoughts on this issue? Tell us in the comments below.
If you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, here’s what you can and should do.
Picture of Taylor Swift and David Mueller from TMZ, and Taylor Swift on the stand from AAP. Featured image from Taylor Swift’s Instagram.



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