By ALEXI VENICE—
I wrote this article about six months before The New York Times broke the Harvey Weinstein story and #MeToo exploded. I think Taylor Swift’s trial was the tipping point for all that followed. Taylor Swift delivered what Hillary Clinton could not—denouncement of and victory over the lecherous male making a pussy or ass grab on a younger female.
Regressing centuries in cultural civility, Taylor Swift had to defend herself in a lawsuit brought by a groping letch who had slobber dripping from his mouth in a photo he took with Taylor—in which he slipped his hand under her ruffled skirt to grab her bare ass.
We haven’t witnessed such boorish behavior since, well, since the presidential campaign last fall when the story broke about The Buffoon advising a Bush playboy to go in for pussy grabs of beautiful young women. Since The Buffoon’s victory, he has set a tone at the top of the nation for a variety of moronic behavior toward men and women alike, domestically and internationally.
So, why does Taylor Swift’s victory mean so much? Because The Buffoon and his ilk are beyond the reach of accountability for normal folk like you and me. We need a megastar with mega resources, and the wherewithal to withstand a media intrusion, to battle the tone at the top. Like it or not, Taylor—a 27-year-old—drew an important line in the sand that gropers and grabbers dare not cross, hence giving birth to the #MeToo movement.
This was Taylor’s statement after the verdict:
“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. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”
Let’s review the facts of Taylor’s case. Four years ago, when she was 23, she was photographed with the 51-year-old groper and his wife backstage before her concert in Denver. (The only reason the groper had access to her is because he was a local radio announcer.) He had a shit-eating grin on his face in the pic, knowing he was gonna tell all his buddies that he had his hand on TAYLOR SWIFT’S ass during the pic.
Taylor’s bodyguard and the photographer saw the ass grab. She immediately told her mother about it. Her team contacted the groper’s boss and reported it. (Taylor extended him a courtesy by not contacting the police. Here’s a lesson—never do a groper a favor.)
The groper’s boss fired him. The groper sued Taylor for $3 million in alleged lost income. Using her considerable resources, intellect and notoriety—standing up for women who “may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts—” Swift countersued, requesting a symbolic $1.00. The jury awarded her that AND SO MUCH MORE.
She could’ve taken the path of least resistance and settled the groper’s lawsuit as a nuisance claim—maybe for $1 million. (Yes, given her vast wealth, that would probably be considered nuisance money for her.) Instead, she hired a lawyer and put her international brand on the line, taking time out of a busy touring schedule, to prepare for—and sit through—a trial in Denver. What was in it for Taylor, aside from the hassle and distraction from her tour? Nothing except two weeks of lost income for a woman who made $180 million in 2016.
Speaking of testimony, when she was in court, she didn’t cower or use clinical terms like “buttocks.” She used the word “ass” more than a dozen times, describing his “ass grab.” On cross-examination, Swift said that no one saw the groper’s hand resting on her ass because she would have had to have a body guard positioned UNDER her, and she doesn’t usually do that.
When the ass-groper’s lawyer tried to trip her up by asking why the front of her skirt didn’t appear to be lifted in the photo, Taylor replied, “Because my ass is located in the back of my body.”
When the ass-groper’s lawyer asked Swift how she felt about the ass-groper losing his job, Swift replied, “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.”
I applaud Taylor Swift for her temerity in countersuing and drawing attention to this absurd claim by a letch. In many respects, we’ve come a long way. In other respects, we’ve regressed, and I blame that regression on the tone at the top—The Buffoon bragging about pussy-grabbing and all his buffoonery.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t reject sexual touch. I enjoy a playful grab—front or back—FROM MY HUSBAND! It’s not the ACTION, it’s the person doing it.
AGAIN, THANK YOU, TAYLOR, FOR DRAWING A LINE IN THE SAND AGAINST THE PUSSY-GRABBER, ASS-GROPER AND THEIR ILK!