I wouldn’t class myself as a fan of Taylor swift but honestly, I’m jumping for joy after reading her testimony on the stand against the man, David Mueller, who sexually assaulted her by grabbing her bare butt in a photo op.
Not only is this something many, many women have actually dealt with, it’s something many men know they can get away with. They must thrive on the sheer shock they cause by creepily grabbing unsuspecting ass, the disgust they make their victims feel. The horror of the fact that more often than not its public but slightly concealed.
This seems to ring true for Mueller as he grins from check to cheek (not sure how intentional that pun is) in a photo with Swift, while holding onto her bare ass under her skirt. For some of you out there who are questioning the validity of such an action, blaming her for misreading a situation because surely such an act of assault would not be done in public while people watch, I can assure you, it happens. It has happened to me with onlookers present. It has happened to others. It will continue to happen.
But thankfully Swift isn’t letting it go. She didn’t shake it off and continue with her life like most of us do because what’s even the point?! She has the privilege, the time to go after him. Which she did when she called his bosses soon after the event. He was consequently fired for the assault and instead of checking himself and taking a long look in the mirror, he decided suing her for millions was more appropriate.
Enter Swift’s counter sue for a total of $1. Yes you read that right. One dollar. Because she doesn’t need the money. She needs him to take responsibility for feeling entitled to grabbing her ass without her consent and the audacity to do so in public.
So the court case begins, and while being questioned Taylor Swift is the hero we all want to be in situations like these. Instead of succumbing to the victim blaming techniques the defence seems to always lower itself to, Taylor is forthwright with bringing the questioning right back to the culprit.
Everything the defence came up with, she had a perfect response. When asked why the front of her skirt in the photo shows no signs of being lifted she responds with
“Because my ass is located in the back of my body”
You fucking tell them Taylor! This is a tactic that openly gaslights victims of such assaults, as if expecting the victims to throw their hands up and confess ‘you got me, I’m a liar, my skirt isn’t how it should look if I was being subtly assaulted and groped’. I myself would have shrugged and suggested we do an experiment to see if indeed it is possible to keep the front of a skirt from ruffling while having an ass groped from behind but Taylor’s response is more than perfect.
When asked why she wasn’t critical of her body guard who let such a thing happened, Swift responds with
“I’m critical of your client sticking his hand under my skirt and grabbing my ass”.
Bringing it back to the attacker. She doesn’t answer the question asked because it has no actual bearing on the situation being discussed. Victim blamers will always portray a scenario as something that could have been avoided if the victim did something different instead of something the attacker should have done differently.
When asked how she felt about her 51 year old attacker getting fired because of the incident, Swift yet again turns it back around on her attacker saying
“I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is any way my fault, because it isn’t…I am being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions and not mine”.
Many victims of assault are blamed for ruining the lives of the men who have assaulted them, the Brock Turner case portrayed this so blatantly. It is not the lives of the attacker that we should be wary of ruining, it is the victims. And more importantly, it shouldn’t matter how the victim feels about it.
So Taylor Swift. I am throwing you the most supportive virtual high five for this. You have not only shown that women can be strong on the stand against their attackers, you’ve shown us that we can sassy and confident too.
Not all heroes wear capes.
It just so happens that this one sometimes does.