TW: This post contains discussion of and reference to sexual assault. It may be triggering for some readers.
You already know that’s Taylor Swift. She needs no introduction as one of the most successful musicians of all time. Her albums Fearless & 1989 are the most awarded country and pop albums in history, respectively.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the level of fame she has acquired over the last decade would somehow magically make her exempt from the darker side of humanity. But it has not. Today, juror selection begins for a court case in which she identifies as a victim of sexual assault.
The assault took place back in 2013. Taylor was attending a meet and greet at an American radio station and posing for a photo with a radio DJ when he allegedly put his hand up the back of her skirt and grabbed. I use the word allegedly as it’s a court case and the verdict will be delivered by the jury NOT because I don’t believe Taylor. It is also worthy to note that in all documents and statements surrounding the incident, the fact of her assault has not been disputed or discredited, merely moved around as the act of different assailants (according to the unreliable statements of the DJ in question).
Now, statistics show that every 98 seconds, an American citizen, irrespective of gender is sexually assaulted in some manner. You can imagine this horrifically harrowing statistic becomes amplified when we consider global incidence rates.
Taylor’s reporting of her sexual assault got the DJ in question fired from his job, after investigation. He sued her and is seeking $3 million in damages. She has countersued him, for the lowest amount she possibly can, $1 in an effort to hold him morally accountable “serving as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts”.
The court case has been made open to the public but if any Taylor fans are reading this, I urge you not to go. This is not an instance where meeting Taylor is appropriate and although many might have pure intentions for supporting our girl, it’s going to be hard enough I think…
Now instead of the outpouring of support and respect, at least from media outlets and other high profile figures (there has been none for Taylor from anyone high profile) that you might expect in light of Taylor’s attempt to destigmatise a taboo and raw subject, these are a few examples of how media has reported the situation:
These disgusting and demeaning examples of journalism you see exhibited above, indicate to me just how deeply our global toxic rape culture, where victims are relentlessly shamed and the actions of their abusers justified, has subconsciously permeated.
I’ve been seeing a lot of comments like these on social media:
She’s ugly. She deserved it.
She was wearing a short skirt. What does she expect? She was asking for it.
She’s just looking for attention.
She’s a man-whore. who dates everyone she looks at. It was going to happen eventually.
Oh no, she’ll write a song about it.
I am shaking as I type this because, as you may or may not know, Taylor’s saved my life. Her songs have been my soundtrack for coping with all sorts of obstacles over the years and now it’s my turn to be here for her and all other people who have been victims of such filth, so listen carefully:
VICTIM SHAMING IS NOT OK.
NO ONE DESERVES TO BE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED.
THERE IS NO NEED FOR SHAME IF THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOU!!!
Talking about it is so brave. So many of us are here to listen xxx
HOWEVER, BY NO MEANS, ARE YOU OBLIGATED TO TALK ABOUT IT!!!
Taylor, you may never know who I am but I hope that if you or anyone else who has been subjected to this filth reads this, that you know you have support. You’ve saved my life T and for that I will be forever grateful. So if this post goes any way towards helping someone the way, your music has helped me, then it’s all worth it.
Love to you and anyone who’s reading this