This is the reason she was given a space on the cover of Time magazine's "person of the year" issue – which celebrated the "Silence Breakers" – alongside Ashley Judd, corporate lobbyist Adama Iwu, agricultural worker Isabel Pascual, and former Uber engineer Susan Fowler.
It is also the reason she stands beside the jutting elbow of a person just out of frame of the cover, an elbow which “represents survivors whose stories are as yet untold or unheard.”
But people weren't happy with the choice of Taylor Swift on the cover.
Why, many asked, would you put a privileged woman who hasn’t spoken out about sexual assault – or indeed anything – since she won her trial on the cover of Time, a woman whose last publicized move was to sue a blogger who accused her of sympathizing with white supremacists, a move the American Civil Liberties Union roundly condemned.
There were, after all, so many other people who could have been on the cover of Time. The actual creator of the #MeToo hashtag, for one.
Tarana Burke, an activist and the head of a nonprofit called Just Be Inc., created the Me Too movement to help women and girls who had been victims of sexual abuse in 2007. When the Weinstein allegations came to light, actress Alyssa Milano was credited with first using the hashtag Me Too.
Milano tweeted, "If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet," and women complied by the thousands.
Burke says she was startled when she first saw Milano’s tweet. It seemed, in so many ways like the constant erasure of women of color in feminist movements .
“Initially I panicked,” she said. “I felt a sense of dread, because something that was part of my life’s work was going to be co-opted and taken from me and used for a purpose that I hadn’t originally intended.”
Milano soon reached out, however, and the two went on to collaborate.
Milano isn't on the cover of Time magazine either, and neither, for that matter, is Rose McGowan, the original actress credited with starting the movement against Weinstein.
This is what bothers all the people reacting to Swift’s placement on the cover of Time magazine. Do their reservations have merit? Undoubtedly. Does Taylor Swift deserve to be on the cover of Time magazine? Who knows.
Time wanted to sell articles, and that’s undoubtedly what it’ll do now that Swiftgate has generated all this helpful controversy.