By: Erin McGovern
The world’s love affair with Taylor Swift started gaining traction in 2010 when a wide eyed and innocent girl became the youngest person ever to take home the Grammy Award for Album of the Year her country album, “Fearless.” The award cemented her place in the music industry. “Fearless” was young, dreamy, and blissfully naive.
Fast forward seven years.
The word “fearless” takes on a whole new meaning for Taylor Swift as she testified before a judge, recounting the moment she was sexually assaulted.
At a meet-and-greet before one of her 2013 concerts, she posed for a picture with a Radio DJ and his girlfriend. The KYGO-FM Radio DJ, David Mueller, lifted Swift’s skirt and groped her bare backside as the picture was being taken. The singer informed her bodyguard of the incident, who informed KYGO-FM. Mueller was later terminated, which led him to sue Swift for character defamation, claiming she was the reason he lost his job.
Mueller was seeking $3 million in damages.
Swift then countersued David Mueller for sexual assault and battery, seeking just $1 in damages. Her lawyers have made it clear to the public that she’s not looking to bankrupt this man. She’s just looking to stand up for herself and the millions of victims who don’t have the same platform and resources that Swift has.
Her words are firm and confident when she responds to Mueller’s accusation that she’s responsible for his unemployment. According to CNN, Swift answers Mueller’s lawyer by saying, “I’m not going to allow you or your client to make me feel in any way that this is my fault, because it isn’t.” She goes on to say, “I am being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions, and not mine.”
Her words are going far beyond the courtroom. Knowing very well that every second of this trial is being heavily reported on, she said exactly what the world needed to hear. She said what victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment need to hear. The only person who is ever at fault in these situations is the assaulter.
With difficult, but confident and articulate, testimony, Taylor Swift is found not guilty of costing David Mueller his job, and Mueller is found guilty of sexual assault and battery. This isn’t just a win for Swift; this is a win for every woman who has ever been taken advantage of in the workplace. This is a win for sexual assault victims everywhere.
The Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates, Noreen Farrell, even commented on the importance of this high profile case: “The studies and surveys confirm one in three women have experienced sexual harassment at work.” No one is immune to these heinous acts, and Swift is doing her part to hold assaulters accountable for their actions.
This case holds a significant amount of importance because of how well known Swift is. She refuses to stay silent, be embarrassed, or sweep this whole situation under the rug. She’s assertive and determined, setting an incredible example.
After taking a stand and winning her case, Swift released a statement: “I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society, and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard.”
The wide eyed and innocent girl from 2010 is now a confident woman who isn’t backing down from anyone or anything. She’s fearless.