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December 8 2017

Daily Beast: Taylor Swift Is No Silence Breaker

by Charlotte Hays

Taylor Swift won a case against a DJ who groped her. According to a story in today's New York Post, the Rape, Abuse Incest Network, a national hotline, experienced a 35 percent increase in the number of calls the weekend of the trial.

So why does a writer for the Daily Beast angrily proclaim that Swift, who was on the cover of Time magazine's "Silence Breakers" cover, doesn't deserve to be there?

In a piece headlined "Taylor Swift Is No Silence Breaker," Daily Beast writer Amy Zimmerman says that Swift's "spineless feminism and political passivity" render her unworthy of being called a "silence breaker."

Swift's sin is not that she didn't break silence--she did, apparently inspiring other women to do so--but that she doesn't publicly and vocally espouse the right political opinions. Ms. Swift tweeted a message of support for the Women's March but she has not revealed her party affiliation. She did not publicly support Hillary Clinton. She has not condemned President Trump (or praised him either  for that matter.

Zimmerman writes:

 Instead of, say, actively protesting in solidarity with women everywhere in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, Swift … tweeted. “So much love, pride, and respect for those who marched” she wrote during the Women’s March. “I’m proud to be a woman today, and every day.”

Because of her spineless feminism and political passivity, Taylor Swift is hardly the figure of female empowerment that Time is making her out to be. In fact, a recent meme has highlighted just how uninspired the internet is by Taylor Swift. After a fan shared an image of Swift and dared Twitter to “name a bitch badder” than TayTay, the world wide web clapped back with lists of women who have actually put their lives on the line, surmounting enormous odds in order to make a difference or achieve greatness. Answers ranged from Zheng Shi, a sex worker in Canton who was captured by a pirate and ultimately commanded a fleet of over 300 ships, to literally any of these women of color.

. . . Time’s “silence breaker” of the year: an out of touch, ACLU-condemned fair weather feminist who probably only agreed to do the interview on the condition that they didn’t ask her about Donald Trump.

Well, of course Zimmerman doesn't know under what conditions Swift was interviewed. But she knows what she would have demanded as an interviewer:

Swift is given a platform to show off her “good” opinions, but isn’t questioned on her decision to neither endorse Hillary Clinton nor denounce Donald Trump during the 2016 election.   

Just for good measure, Zimmerman claims, without any supporting evidence, that Swift is a racist and compares Swift unfavorably to Ashley Judd, "one of the first women to come forward against Harvey Weinstein on the record" and who belongs to the group of women who "have had silence imposed upon them." Just for the record, Ms. Judd is rich and powerful. Wish she had come out against Mr. Weinstein earlier, before the story broke in the media.

Last November the Beast had an article headlined "Who Did Taylor Swift Vote For?" In the U.S., the answer to that question traditionally has been, "None of your business." If people praising the MeToo movement are sincere, that should be their answer to the question too.

Zimmerman appears to be much more interested in whether women share her politics than in whether they helped other women by breaking silence on sexual harassment. She sees the silence breaking movement as a wholly owned subsidiary of her ideological colleagues, not a movement of diverse women who have something in common.

 

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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