You can be an international megastar and a millionaire but, unfortunately, if you’re a woman, there’s still a good chance you might become the victim of a sexual assault. According to a survey undertaken in 2014 by the organization Stop Street Harassment, 23 percent of women in the U.S. have been sexually touched without their permission. Clearly, it’s an enormous problem. And when it happened to Taylor Swift, she decided she wasn’t going to keep quiet about it until some justice had been done.
Taylor Swift isn’t generally thought of as a political artist. Over the years, however, her songs have signaled her evolution from an uncertain teen to a champion of the sisterhood. After facing a backlash that all her tunes were about boys and breakups, she used songs like “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space” to bite back at her critics. “Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane,” she commented, tongue-in-cheek, on the latter track.
Even before she released those songs, though, the singer-songwriter was aware that some people considered her promiscuous. Every time she was even seen with a man, it seemed to make headlines. Plus, Twitter trolls and misguided people who thought they had a point to prove would go after her using nasty and misogynist language. And even retailer Abercrombie & Fitch got in on the act in 2013, releasing a T-shirt which read “more boyfriends than t.s.” – although this was eventually dropped after a storm of complaints.