We all remember the great feud of 2016.
And it wasn’t Trump vs. Clinton.
No, it was the great Snapchats of July, aka Kimye vs. T-Swizzle.
In case you don’t know what happened, Kanye put out a song calling Taylor a “bitch,” saying that he and Taylor would have sex and that he “made her famous.” In the video for that song, he put a naked wax figure of Taylor in a bed with him.
Taylor was reportedly pissed about the song and video, and Kim Kardashian released Snapchats of Taylor approving the lines about sex and him making her famous. Everyone seemingly turned on Taylor. Taylor then said she was upset about being called a bitch and the wax figure.
She did not give Kanye permission to do either. Kim’s Snapchats didn’t show Taylor approving either of those ideas. Despite this, and the fact that Taylor made some legitimate points, she was branded as a snake and a liar. She was told her career was over, and no one wanted to listen to her.
While the media seems to have gotten over this and have moved on to critiquing other aspects of Taylor Swift, like her politics, it reared its ugly head again.
On Tuesday, Kim posted a photo of the wax figure on Instagram with the caption “Famous.” This, naturally, enraged many people. The photo seemingly had no point other than to throw shade at Taylor, and was kind of creepy.
But the reason most people were angry, myself included, was that Kim never had permission to post this photo. And more importantly, they remembered that Kanye never had permission to use her image in his video. Therefore, this is a form of sexual harassment.
Taylor already is a victim of sexual assault. In 2013, she was groped by a radio DJ, and reported him to his manager. After the DJ was fired, he sued Taylor for millions. She countersued him for $1 in order to prove a point. The trial was a long process for Taylor to handle.
She recently told Time magazine that the prosecutors kept talking down to her and insulted her mother. After her mother became too physically ill after her cross-examination, Taylor said she decided to not use any courtroom etiquette and delivered a powerful testimony.
The testimony was so powerful it encouraged several others to report their sexual assaults and reports increased by 35%. Time magazine named her as one of their “silence breakers,” or people who reported sexual assaults in 2017.
However, she remained unsupported and was taunted during her trial, and during Kanye’s video release. Several people made fun of her, saying, “She’s suing another person.” Also, several headlines referred to the trial as a “butt-grabbing trial,” rather than a “sexual assault,” or “groping trial.”
Several well-known websites did not comment on the trial, but would write scathing reviews of her album for not being “culturally relevant,” or a piece of “Trump-era art.” During Snapchat/Snakegate, no one got on Kanye for the wax figure. Everyone just assumed Taylor gave her approval, despite not having video evidence of it.
After Time put her on the cover, so many people have accused Time of only putting her on to sell covers, saying she can’t be a silence breaker because she doesn’t talk about her politics, and that other people should be on the cover because they’ve suffered more.
First of all, regardless of what you think of Taylor, invalidating someone’s sexual assault or harassment is wrong. It doesn’t matter what her politics are, what she’s done in the past, or what other people have gone through. It’s about the fact that Taylor took someone who groped her to trial, won, and encouraged others to speak out.
Needless to say, my fellow Swifties were not too happy. Since Kim had blocked the snake emoji from her Instagram after Tay Tay released her epic comeback single, they went with a different animal: rats. Why rats? Well if you’ve learned anything from "Survivor: Borneo" jury member Sue Hawk, it’s that snakes eat rats.
While I do think this is petty and childish and that we should leave the rats off of any photos of Kim’s kids, Kim was in the wrong here. She posted a naked image of Taylor, without Taylor’s permission, for no reason. In a time where so many people are speaking out on this topic, this should not fly here.
If you are someone who is truly passionate about feminism and sexual harassment/assault, you should speak out against Kim and Kanye’s actions. It doesn’t matter that it's a wax figure and not Taylor’s actual body; it still is a representation of Taylor that was used without her permission. Since she is a sexual assault survivor, you shouldn’t be invalidating this.
But if you insist on being a rat, avoid the snake in the grass ready to strike you with justice.