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TAYLOR SWIFT: A LESSON FROM MAE WEST

September 9, 2017

 

I have referenced Mae West before in my articles as a woman who should be the envy of all "feminists." If ever there was a woman who could make a "hard man humble" it certainly was Mae West!

 

Given the same scenario as Taylor Swift, I believe this is how Mae West would respond:

 

REPORTER: Miss West, "Do you have anything to say about David Mueller having "grabbed" your backside? 

MISS WEST: Well, he may have "grabbed" my backside, but I've "grabbed" the headlines!"

 

Mae West was a very confident woman and comfortable with her sexuality. Incidents such as Taylor Swift were taken lightly, unless Miss West just happened to be in a bad mood that day! She never hesitated to comment, or show a facial expression, when she approved or disapproved of a man's conduct.

 

As an aside, and given the fact that women are more casually sexually active with one another, it would have been interesting to know if Taylor Swift would have reacted in the same manner had a woman "grabbed" her rather than a man! I have a suspicious feeling it would have never been brought to the public's attention.

 

So, when did this all begin? I guess we could go back to "biblical" times with Adam and Eve. Was it not Eve, who was tempted by the Devil to eat the fruit (apple) from the tree of knowledge? "In Christian theology, consuming the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was the sin committed by Adam and Eve that led to the Fall of man in Genesis 2-3." With this fall, both Eve's and Adam's eyes were open. They now saw that they were naked and vulnerable sexually.

 

Ever since this time, women have felt vulnerable sexually when surrounded by men. Now, one cannot generalize on this subject matter, for all men are not sexual predators (though some may think contrary) nor do all women feel vulnerable. 

 

One must also keep in mind, that women throughout the world have evolved sexually according to culture and customs. It has been stated, historically speaking, that America was always viewed as "prudish" as opposed to Europe, which traditionally tended to be more open sexually. 

 

Forward to the topic of the day and one finds Taylor Swift subjected to an act of sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual touching, molestation, grabbing. I'm not really sure how they define such acts today! In the case of Taylor Swift they applied the words "sexual assault." I have difficulty referring to a "grab" of the bodily flesh as sexual assault. But then, I'm no expert in the field! In general, there are three parts of the female anatomy that are considered "off-limits." They are the breasts, the posterior (butt) and the vaginal area. The upper leg, or thigh, may also at times be considered "off-limit." 

 

Now that we have briefly touched upon the history and anatomy of a woman, let us look at the psychological impact "sexual assault" may have on a woman. This is truly at the core of the matter. A pinch here, grab there, causes no true physical lasting damage or pain. However, psychologically, it may have grave and lasting consequences for a woman. Over the past decades, women have been told to "take a stand," don't let yourself be "bullied," you are in "full control" of your body, until a man comes along and sexually assaults her for no apparent reason. Psychologically, you may carry the scars for years. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Did I provoke him? All legitimate questions, yet questions that need not be asked?

 

Women have learnt over time that taking a public stand against sexual assault is probably the best route to communicate to society that we do NOT approve of such conduct. It is not acceptable under any circumstances (well, almost any. If you know the male perpetrator you may let him get away with it, since it was your birthday and he was having a picture taken with you, he had a few drinks and could not resist your backside) and should be condemned and denounced. 

 

This is precisely what Taylor Swift decided to do. Condemn and denounce publicly David Mueller's actions. With respect to the court system, he pursued her first, then she followed suite with her own court case against him. When all was said and done, Taylor Swift won, "a victory for sexual assault survivors everywhere."

 

Then there is the other side of the coin. Someone will always question the conduct of the victim. Taylor Swift entered the music scene with that innocent, angelic look and soon became the "wild thing" within the music industry. Does this mean that she has opened herself to sexual vulnerability? Is she a target for sexual advances or even, sexual assault? Obviously not. But in the minds of men, the "wild thing," for some reason, almost gives them the "permission" or "right" to take advantage of such a woman. 

 

Unfortunately, we know that tomorrow will bring another Taylor Swift story. Nevertheless, these unwanted "acts" need to be exposed and dealt with under the law. Beyond these tragic stories is the "bigger" picture. It all boils down to RESPECT. Once we learn how to respect our fellow human beings, all assaults will come to an end. In the meantime, let us hope and pray that these physical attacks against women are on the decline.

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