It’s time for another Fierce Female of the Week post! Are you ready for it…? Because this week we’ll be highlighting none other than pop princess Taylor Swift. She hardly needs any introduction as she is one of the biggest stars in the world right now. Currently on tour for her latest album ‘reputation’, Taylor manages to be one of the most badass babes of our time, using her platform to make a real difference.
In 2005, Taylor was signed with Big Machine Records. After months of work, her debut self-titled album was released in October 2006, when Taylor was just 16 years old. Many of the songs on the album were written by herself when she was barely an adolescent. Her brilliance was clear to critics and fans right off the cuff. Since then, she has quickly become one of the most powerful people in the music industry, showing young women around the world that their story is worth telling and that they can be successful even in a historically male-dominated industry.
Though her second studio album ‘Fearless’ was released in November 2008 and much promotion was done for it, Taylor made a point to use her celebrity to promote the ‘Every Woman Counts’ campaign, aimed at engaging women in the political process. It was the first year that Taylor was legally able to vote in a Federal election and she wanted other young women to realize the importance in having a voice. This campaign stands to be one of Taylor’s first feminist efforts, foreshadowing to the impact she would make in future years.
Taylor was named ‘Most Charitable Celebrity’ four years in a row from 2012 to 2015. She has donated millions of dollars to efforts such as the Louisiana Flood Relief and the arts fund in New York City. She also donated $50,000 to a fan who had to miss her ‘1989’ tour because she was undergoing treatment for Leukemia. Despite her busy schedule, Taylor is constantly making visits to children’s hospitals, making each child feel special and loved during trying times.
Taylor used her Speak Now tour dress rehearsal as a benefit concert for victims of the 2011 tornado ‘Super Outbreak’, raising more than $750,000. She did a similar endeavour earlier this month, turning her ‘reputation’ tour final dress rehearsal into a concert for over 2000 foster families in the Glendale, Arizona area. After her two hour performance, Taylor stayed behind for another four hours to take photos with the families, eat pizza and mingle with fans.
Upon learning the true definition of Feminism, Taylor publicly declared herself a feminist during the promotion of her 2014 album ‘1989’. Though, like all of us, she has made mistakes and been misinformed on certain gender and race related issues, she has also made great strides against inequality. Most notably, her case against David Mueller, a radio DJ who was fired for allegedly groping her during a 2013 meet-and-greet. Upon the firing, Mueller sued Taylor for $3 million USD. Taylor countersued for a settlement of just $1 and won. After a four-hour court deliberation in 2017, the jury found Mueller guilty. In the closing remarks, Taylor’s lawyer said this, “By returning a verdict on Ms. Swift’s counterclaim for a single symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation…You will tell every woman…that no means no.” Taylor impressed media and fans with her strong comebacks and testimony during the trial. You can read more about it here.
AP Photo/Jeff Kandyba
Since then, TIME magazine named ‘the #MeToo Silence Breakers’ their 2017 Person of the Year. Taylor was included as one for being a voice for victims of sexual assault. Like many of the people interviewed for the article, Taylor refused to accept blame for the abuse she experienced. She gave this advice to readers, “…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. You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment.” Read her full interview here.
Her winning trial against Mueller and her interview with TIME magazine weren’t Taylor’s only efforts against sexual assault and inequality. In 2016, Taylor donated $250,000 to fellow female singer-songwriter Kesha to show support and help with financial needs following her unsuccessful case against Sony Music producer known as ‘Dr.Luke’ for sexually assaulting her during production of one of her past records. Taylor was also one of 300 women who contributed in the launch of the Time’s Up movement, an organization that is pushing for safe and fair work for women of all kinds.
Taylor’s impact has been nothing short of incredible. Though we couldn’t touch on all of her accomplishments in this short article, I think it’s safe to say that we can expect to see her continue to shine in the future. Thanks for being Fearless, Taylor!