In a lengthy interview, the singer touched on Joe Alwyn, Trump, Hillary, that Kardashian-West feud, and why she always has a camera trained on her "ass" at meet-and-greets.
2016 was a pretty eventful year for Taylor Swift.
There was the sexual assault case against radio DJ David Miller, who she accused of putting a hand up her dress at a meet-and-greet (he unsuccessfully sued for defamation; she successfully counter-sued for sexual assault, for symbolic $1).
On Saturday, the singer addressed all of these and more in a wide ranging interview with The Guardian. Here are the biggest take-aways:
On the courts tip-toeing around her groping case:
"You're supposed to behave yourself in court and say 'rear end'. The other lawyer was saying, 'When did he touch your backside?' And I was like, 'ASS! Call it what it is!'"
"Even this case was literally twisted so hard that people were calling it the 'butt-grab case. They were saying I sued him because there's this narrative that I want to sue everyone. That was one of the reasons why the summer was the apocalypse."
Why she now always has a camera trained on that "ass":
"I'm really lucky that it hadn't happened to me before. But that was one of the reasons it was so traumatizing. I just didn't know that could happen. It was really brazen, in front of seven people."
"If something happens again, we can prove it with video footage from every angle."
Why she believes Harvey Weinstein never harassed her:
"He'd call my management and be like, 'Does she have a song for this film?' And I'd be like, 'Here it is.' (Taylor wrote a song for the rom-com "One Chance") "And then I'd be at the Golden Globes. I absolutely never hung out. And I would get a vibe -- I would never vouch for him. I believe women who come forward, I believe victims who come forward, I believe men who come forward."
"If you listen to the stories, he picked people who were vulnerable, in his opinion. It seemed like it was a power thing. So, to me, that doesn’t say anything – that I wasn’t in that situation."
Why she won't discuss boyfriend Joe Alwyn:
"I've learned that if I do, people think it's up for discussion, and our relationship isn't up for discussion. If you and I were having a glass of wine right now, we'd be talking about it -- but it's just that it goes out into the world. That's where the boundary is, and that's where my life has become manageable. I really want to keep it feeling manageable."
Why the fate of the Dixie Chicks -- who faced severe backlash from their own fanbase for opposing George Bush's Iraq War -- made her fear politics:
"I come from country music. The number one thing they absolutely drill into you as a country artist, and you can ask any other country artist this, is 'Don't be like the Dixie Chicks!".
"I watched country music snuff that candle out. The most amazing group we had, just because they talked about politics. And they were getting death threats. They were made such an example that basically every country artist that came after that, every label tells you, 'Just do not get involved, no matter what.'"
Why she didn't support Hillary Clinton (but would now):
"The worst part of the timing of what happened in 2016 was I felt completely voiceless. I just felt like, oh God, who would want me? Honestly.'
"I just felt completely, ugh, just useless. And maybe even like a hindrance."
"I was just trying to protect my mental health -- not read the news very much, go cast my vote, tell people to vote. I just knew what I could handle and I knew what I couldn't. I was literally about to break. For a while."
Whether she went to therapy:
"That stuff I just really wanna keep personal, if that's OK."
Why she disappeared after her 2016 "Summer of apocalypse":
"Every domino fell. It became really terrifying for anyone to even know where I was. And I felt completely incapable of doing or saying anything publicly, at all. Even about my music. I always said I wouldn’t talk about what was happening personally, because that was a personal time."
"I just need some things that are mine. Just some things."
Why the year 2016 was like being hit by a tidal wave:
"You can either stand there and let the wave crash into you, and you can try as hard as you can to fight something that's more powerful and bigger than you.
"Or you can dive under the water, hold your breath, wait for it to pass and while you're down there, try to learn something.
"Why was I in that part of the ocean? There were clearly signs that said: Rip tide! Undertow! Don't swim! There are no lifeguards! Why was I there? Why was I trusting people I trusted? Why was I letting people into my life the way I was letting them in? What was I doing that caused this?"
What she really thinks of Trump's election:
"It was the fact that all the dirtiest tricks in the book were used and it worked."
"The thing I can't get over right now is gaslighting the American public into being like, 'If you hate the president, you hate America.' We're a democracy -- at least, we're supposed to be -- where you're allowed to disagree, dissent, debate."
"I really think that he thinks this is an autocracy."
"The things that happen to you in your life are what develop your political opinions. I was living in this Obama eight-year paradise of, you go, you cast your vote, the person you vote for wins, everyone's happy! This whole thing, the last three, four years, it completely blindsided a lot of us, me included."
How she feels being pitted against other pop stars:
"I definitely think that sometimes you don't realize how you're being perceived."
"Pop music can feel like it's The Hunger Games, and like we're gladiators. And you can really lose focus of the fact that that's how it feels because that's how a lot of stan Twitter and tabloids and blogs make it seem – the overanalysing of everything makes it feel really intense."
"I didn't realize it was like a classic overthrow of someone in power – where you didn't realize the whispers behind your back, you didn't realize the chain reaction of events that was going to make everything fall apart at the exact, perfect time for it to fall apart."
Why she gave up trying to explain her side of the Kanye/Kardashian feud (even though she "definitely" could have):
"Here's why: Because when people are in a hate frenzy and they find something to mutually hate together, it bonds them. And anything you say is in an echo chamber of mockery."
"[I wrote] a think-piece a day that I knew I would never publish: the stuff I would say, and the different facets of the situation that nobody knew"
What she now understands about her own white privilege:
"... my privilege allowed me to not have to learn about white privilege. I didn’t know about it as a kid, and that is privilege itself, you know? And that's something that I’m still trying to educate myself on every day. How can I see where people are coming from, and understand the pain that comes with the history of our world?"
On accepting some responsibility for her own overexposure (and thus helping invent "feuds" when she didn't wish someone happy birthday on Instagram):
“Because we didn't post about it, it didn’t happen – and I realized I had done that. I created an expectation that everything in my life that happened, people would see."
"I'm kinda used to being gaslit by now. And I think it happens to women so often that, as we get older and see how the world works, we're able to see through what is gaslighting."
"Oh my God, they were mad at me for smiling a lot and quote-unquote acting fake. And then they were mad at me that I was upset and bitter and kicking back."
On her adopted state of Tennessee's strict new abortion laws:
"I mean, obviously, I'm pro-choice, and I just can't believe this is happening. I can’t believe we're here. It's really shocking and awful. And I just wanna do everything I can for 2020. I wanna figure out exactly how I can help, what are the most effective ways to help. 'Cause this is just...This is not it."
On the perception she is not as open about her love life details in her latest album:
"I know the difference between making art and living your life like a reality star. And then even if it’s hard for other people to grasp, my definition is really clear."
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