I watched the Taylor Swift groping case with great interest. Here was a woman in the public eye bringing a man to task over a sexual assault. I was interested to see how it would play out with equality being a hot topic in the USA currently.
In June 2013 Taylor Swift was at a meet and greet event at one of her shows. She posed for a photo with radio DJ David Mueller and his then girlfriend. As the three of them posed Swift alleged that Mueller put his hand up her skirt and onto her backside, holding on as she jerked away from him. As soon as she informed her security team he was removed from the venue.
Her mother asked their radio liaison to inform Mueller’s employers and as a result he was sacked from his job. Mueller then sued Taylor Swift as well as her mother and their radio liaison, claiming that the allegation cost him his job. She then countersued for a symbolic $1.
A jury determined that Mueller was guilty of assault and battery and the judge ruled that Swift’s mother and radio liaison were within their rights to contact Mueller’s employers.
What really gets me about this case is the arrogance of Mueller. Taylor Swift didn’t report the assault to the police so Mueller could have walked away quietly and carried on with his life. But it was not to be.
To him, losing his job over a sexual assault was much too severe a punishment. He didn’t give a second thought to the poor woman who he CHOSE to violate. Mueller knew that he was guilty of the allegations made by Taylor Swift and sued her anyway. He chose to make her re-live, quite possibly, the worst moment of her life under cross examination.
In a way I’m glad he did. It angers me that Swift had to go through the ordeal of a court case but now the whole world knows him for what he is. Women everywhere will know what a vile creature he really is. What kind of person sexually assaults the person standing next to their partner? Who does that!?
Boys Will Be Boys
This whole situation smacks of ‘boys will be boys’ culture. At no point during this saga has Mueller taken any responsibility for his actions and issued a proper apology.
We need to teach boys from a young age to take responsibility for their behaviour. We need to get rid of this ‘boys will be boys’ attitude which only enourages rape culture. It gives boys a ready made excuse for any undesirable behaviour.
I’m not suggesting that all boys who have boisterous behaviour dismissed in this way will become rapists, far from it. But how often when a case of rape or sexual assault is reported do we hear comments like ‘well, what did she expect dressed like that?’ or ‘she shouldn’t have been so drunk’? Comments like this seek to place the blame at the victim’s door and not that of the attacker. They suggest that attackers just can’t help themselves when faced with temptation or rejection. Rape and sexual assualt are NEVER the fault of the victim, they are ALWAYS the fault of the perpetrator.
Victory for Women Everywhere
I’m delighted that Taylor Swift got the chance to show the world that she will not be a victim. She has become a beacon proving to women everywhere that we don’t have to take this kind of treatment. She has shown that women are not objects to be used and abused by men as they see fit. We are people with real emotions who deserve to be treated with respect and more importantly as human beings.
I’m not a fan of her music but the Taylor Swift groping case has made her one of my favourite female celebrities. She countersued for a symbolic single dollar, not for herself, but for women across the world. For every woman who has been made to feel uncomfortable by a man. For every woman who has been touched without consent.
She could have let this go quietly as she tried to do in the first place. She didn’t have to put herself in the awful position of being cross-examined and called a liar, but she did. Swift has also said that she will be making monetary donations to organisations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.
Taylor Swift went to court to silence her assailant, but the victory was one on behalf of all women.
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