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The Time Person of the Year cover is a visual reminder of how white feminism attempts to dictate the direction of progress while BIPOC are expected to do the behind-the-scenes (or between the pages) labor.

I held my breath when I saw the TIME Person of the Year shortlist, hoping that the weekly news magazine would not vindicate Trump after crowning him with devil horns on last year’s cover. Thankfully, the magazine gave credit to the well-deserved Me Too movement and the thousands of sexual assault survivors who have come forward in recent months. It was their selection of cover models that left something to be desired. No men or nonbinary people were featured, and although Tarana Burke was granted a feature inside, the founder of the Me Too movement is noticeably absent from the front cover. Standing solemnly in the right corner is Taylor Swift, who won a lawsuit earlier this year against David Mueller, a radio DJ who groped her during a meet-and-greet event. According to Swift, Mueller reached under her skirt during a photo op and grabbed her ass. After the photo was taken, Swift alerted her security staff, who confronted Mueller and informed his employer of the incident. Blaming Swift for his firing, Mueller sued her for damages to the tune of $3 million. Swift, refusing to be silenced, counter-sued for $1. No one is denying the significance of that moment and what it demonstrated to Swift’s young fans about standing up to our abusers, but we cannot ignore how the pop star’s privilege played a role in her victory. We also cannot ignore Swift’s selectivity in supporting feminist movements, and how she only seems to do so when it serves her interests. TIME’s decision to position her as a voice of the movement is not only inaccurate, it displaces victims like Ke$ha, who literally lost everything by refusing to back down from her abuser (and yes, I am aware of Swift helping her cover legal expenses). The TIME magazine cover doesn’t get it entirely wrong. They recognize victims who are unable to come forward by picturing the arm of an anonymous woman. They also feature Adama Iwu, who is changing the face of lobbying with a campaign to expose sexual harassment in Sacramento. Since the Me Too movement was reinvigorated on Twitter via Alyssa Milano, it’s become clear that the status quo is changing. The entertainment industry will likely never be the same, but to honor the spirit of this movement, we have to give space to those who continue fighting an uphill for justice.
Related: IT’S 2017 AND TAYLOR SWIFT IS STILL EXPLOITING FEMINISM FOR HER BRAND

Queer Black and Brown Men are more than backup dancers and makeup artists.

By Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins White women generally are not genuinely interested in my experiences as a queer Black man, they see me as something that now connects them to a resource they may not have. I often wonder if white women enjoy having queer Black/Brown male bodies in their presence not just because of the power it presents them, but because of the privilege that lies in being able to uphold white supremacy. Cisgender heterosexual white women see queer Black and Brown men as commodities instead of people with valid experiences and humanity. In various moments where I’ve engaged with white women about my queer identity, the conversation often veers towards them wanting me to help them with something and very little about what they can do to protect me and the LGBTQIA+ BIPOC community. It’s a tale as old as time: heterosexual, cisgender women want us as their best friends and confidants as soon as they learn that we are  queer. Add to the equation said queer male being a fantastic dancer, hair stylist or makeup artist and you are no longer just a friend, but an accessory to their lives. Take for instance the multitudes of celebrities who continue to use LGBTQ+ BIPOC as props. Cher did it. Madonna, Britney, Christina and Lady Gaga still do it and now Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are on the same wave.
Related: THE QUEER COMMUNITY CONTINUES TO DEVALUE BLACK LIVES

Remaining politically neutral while a majority of the population faces systemic oppression is Taylor Swift’s trademark.

After a peaceful year of silence during her recluse from the public eye, I regret to inform you Taylor “Snake-Ass Becky” Swift is at it again. Swift’s name has resurfaced in the media over the past couple of weeks with the details of court proceedings in DJ David Mueller’s lawsuit and her respective countersuit making their way around the Internet. Mueller filed a $3 million lawsuit claiming defamation over Swift alleging that he sexually assaulted her at a meet-and-greet while she was on tour in 2013. The allegations, reported to his bosses by Swift’s mother, resulted in Mueller being fired from a Denver radio station. Mueller claimed that she ruined his career. Swift responded to the lawsuit by counter-claiming for sexual assault—she alleged that he grabbed her ass under her skirt while she posed for a photo with him and his girlfriend. She requested a whopping $1 in damages. Surprisingly, the judge hearing the case dismissed Mueller’s lawsuit and found that he was guilty of sexual assaulting Swift. She won her $1 and, in a statement, acknowledged “the privilege that she benefits from in life” that allowed her to afford legal counsel, and pledged to donate to organizations that help survivors of sexual violence defend themselves.
Related: INTERSECTIONALITY AIN’T FOR WHITE WOMEN

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