This week, Taylor Swift became the perfect example of how to fight back against sexual assault.



This Week in Women: Taylor Swift Takes a Stand

Legal hot topics around gender issues and personal safety are grabbing our attention this week from Taylor Swift in Colorado to the mountains of Nepal. And since this week is all about justice and leadership, we are also saluting the illustrious Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 24th anniversary as the 107th Supreme Court Justice (#RuthDay). It’s time for This Week in Women!

Taylor Swift Shakes Off Defense in Testimony 

Mega-pop star Taylor Swift arrived in Denver to take the stand in a civil case against former KYGO radio host David “Jackson” Mueller. On Thursday, Swift grabbed headlines with her unflappable and unwavering testimony detailing the “horrifying” groping incident, which allegedly happened at a 2013 meet-and-greet with Mueller and his then-girlfriend.

“It was a very shocking thing that I have never dealt with before,” Swift shared with the jury. “He grabbed my ass underneath my skirt. It was underneath my skirt.”

According to a Buzzfeed report, Swift’s account was backed up by photographer Stephanie Simbeck and KYGO Program Director Eddie Haskell.

“I’m not going to allow you or your client to make me feel in any way that this is my fault,” Swift asserted to Mueller’s attorney when questioned about Mueller’s following dismissal from the KYGO station. Swift’s testimony and rebuttals are being lauded as “gutsy” and “satisfying” by media, fans, and advocacy groups alike, and rightly so.

Trans Troops Get Their Day in Court Against Trump 

Our tweet-happy President is getting quite the legal comeuppance after firing off about banning transgender troops from the U.S. Military. Five unnamed transgender service members formally filed a lawsuit against Trump on Wednesday. The National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) were the two organizations that helped put together the case.

“Because they identified themselves as transgender in reliance on (the Obama-era) earlier promise, Plaintiffs have lost the stability and certainty they had in their careers and benefits, including post-military and retirement benefits that depend on the length of their service,” the complaint stated. “Plaintiffs have served honorably and successfully in the military since coming out as transgender, and their transgender status has not had any detrimental effect on their ability to serve or to fulfill their duties.”

The U.S. Military and Dunford contend that the White House has not yet given any directive or guidelines to follow-up Trump’s tweets. This lawsuit will act as a stalling measure to help prevent quicker action on re-instating the ban against transgender service members.

“The president’s change of military policy has been devastating to these plaintiffs,” said the plaintiffs’ representative and GLAD attorney Jennifer Levi. “We won’t stop short of getting clear direction that transgender people may continue to serve openly in the military.”

New Nepalese Laws Restrict The Use of Menstrual Sheds

The Nepalese government took further action to punish families that actively practiced banishing women to an outside-the-home shed (most often an animal shed) during menstruation. Known as “Chhaupadi,” it is a centuries old tradition and ancient Hindu practice; however, many activist groups contend menstrual sheds can be detrimental and dangerous to women’s health, as well as leaving them vulnerable to attacks from wild animals and other humans.

The practice was outlawed over a decade ago, but was deemed largely ineffectual due to a lack of assigned punishment for offenders—until now. “The parliament has a passed a new law that makes Chhaupadi a criminal act,” said lawmaker Krishna Bhakta Pokhrel to Reuters. “Anyone forcing women into seclusion during their period can now be sentenced to three months in jail.”

Featured image graphic via Radar Online

Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.

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