Taylor Swift case shows Cost for treating Girls appallingly has risen

In a preconcert meet-and-greet at 2013, Colorado radio host David Mueller did what many another DJ, promoter or recording exec has undoubtedly done before him he groped the gift. Mueller’s miscalculation — and it was a large one — was that his goal in this case wasn’t some aspiring young singer who could not afford to challenge an elderly guy who may be instrumental in advancing her career. No, the gift was among the most effective pop stars on the planet: Mueller had groped Taylor Swift, who won her attack lawsuit against him Monday.

Sexual harassment is often a crime about power, allowed in offices where there is an imbalance between women and men. Showbiz, particularly, is rife with scenarios where girls who are being promoted partly because of their looks and their youth are vulnerable to the unprofessional assumptions of senior male colleagues who control the enterprise. Even the strangely impersonal term “talent,” the standard term to describe both celebrities and singers, speaks to a situation where artists, if they’re obscenely coddled or about exploited, are seen as products as opposed to people.

If Swift got a quick decision against Mueller from a Denver jury, getting legal vindication where many girls have failed, it was partially because her heft from the music business is much greater than his. She’s not some nobody whom a smart lawyer could describe as undependable, attention-seeking or mercenary. In cases like this, her actress counted for a lot.

Yes, Swift had lots of other things going for her, too, as she countersued Mueller for a symbolic $1 for assault and battery after he had sued her, alleging she had got him fired from his job with a Colorado radio station. The case was a civil one, in which the standard of evidence in both the USA and Canada is significantly lower than in a criminal trial: Swift’s lawyer had only to show that, on a balance of probabilities, Mueller had seized the singer’s buttocks as they posed for a picture, not prove him guilty of assault beyond a reasonable doubt.

She, judging from media reports of this short trial, acquitted herself on the witness stand with a firm and unwavering account of an experience during which she stated Mueller put his hands under her skirt, grabbed her flesh and held on as she lurched away from him toward another girl standing on her other hand. (In the photograph taken at the moment, she’s smiling but leaning away from him. His hand is concealed by her body but positioned well below her waist{})

Additionally, it assisted Swift’s case that she did not begin the legal struggle; Mueller had established it by suing her, alleging she cost him his job and claiming his position throughout the shoot was embarrassing but he didn’t touch her buttocks. After the shoot, she’d told her mother and photographer what had occurred; her mother had complained to the radio station’s representative; the channel had fired Mueller. But last week, the judge in the case found there was no evidence that Swift had directly intervened with the channel, while the prosecution then rejected Mueller’s claims against Swift’s mother, Andrea, and the radio rep, Frank Bell.

And it probably did not hurt Swift that six of the eight jurors were women, more likely to have direct personal experience of this unwanted-male-hand syndrome.

Yet in addition, in case of he-said-she-said, Swift’s power and fame gave her the authenticity that carried the day: after a series of verdicts that appear to tell women there is just no point whining about sexual assault — the Jian Ghomeshi case in Canada; the Bill Cosby mistrial in the United States — a jury chose to believe Swift over Mueller. She was subjected to the identical insulting line of questioning that so often marks these instances: Mueller’s attorney asked her what she may have done differently during the photo-op and wanted to understand why the front of her dress was not bothered by the incident. She tartly replied, “Because my ass is on the back of my body{}” She triumphed over the shaming.

Swift certainly acknowledged her privileged place in the instance. She sought no damages from Mueller but has vowed to provide an unspecified number to groups working with victims of sexual assault. Perhaps the best gift she could offer she’s contributed already when she refused, in the court, to be guilted about Mueller’s fate. She told his lawyer: “I am not going to enable you or your customer to make me feel at all that this is my fault as it isn’t … I’m being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life which are a product of his conclusions rather than mine.”

It can come as a dreadful surprise to Mueller that what was likely just the thoughtless practice of his conventional privilege could destroy his career. As it came as a surprise to some young Ontario Hydro engineer that his company might attempt to fire him for a Toronto television reporter at the road in 2015. Yes, the cost for appalling misbehaviour toward women has gone up. From the Swift case you expect the message rings throughout the music industry loud and clear that the days when you’re able to casually paw the young girls around you’re long over, and that complete professionalism is necessary in the numerous social situations the company produces. She could be talented, but she is not just “the gift.”

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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