Taylor Swift and More ‘Silence Breakers’ Named TIME‘s Person of the Year 2017
Every year TIME magazine names a Person of the Year, a highly coveted honor. In 2017, the ‘winner’ is not just one person, but rather a group of people — The Silence Breakers, or those who “started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day,” to expose sexual predators.
Taylor Swift was one of the female celebrities to land a spot on the cover of the issue. The 27-year-old singer was sexually assaulted by a Colorado radio DJ named David Mueller in 2013. The man sued Tay for $3 million because he was fired from the station as a result, and she countersued for $1.
“When I testified, I had already been in court all week and had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger and harass my team including my mother over inane details and ridiculous minutiae, accusing them, and me, of lying,” the “Call It What You Want” crooner told TIME.
“My mom was so upset after her cross-examination, she was physically too ill to come to court the day I was on the stand. I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me, and his lawyer didn’t hold back on my mom — why should I be polite? I’m told it was the most amount of times the word ‘ass’ has ever been said in Colorado Federal Court.”
Tay said she talked to Kesha, who also went through a public sexual assault trial, to help her get through the greuling court process. Ultimately, Taylor won the case and wants fans to use her victory as inspiration.
She said, “I would tell people who find themselves in this situation that there is a great deal of blame placed on the victims in cases of sexual harassment and assault. You could be blamed for the fact that it happened, for reporting it and blamed for how you reacted. You might be made to feel like you’re overreacting, because society has made this stuff seem so casual.”
“My advice is that you not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you,” she continued. “You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you.”
Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan are two more female stars who were included in the iconic group, for going on record to help expose famed movie producer Harvey Weinstein as a repeated assaulter, harasser and rapist.