Time’s 2017 Person of the Year has been revealed. The magazine chose “The Silence Breakers” as the focus of this year’s cover and story. These are the men and women who’ve come forward and spoken out against sexual abuse and harassment this year. The movement has grown over the past few months, with the take-down of Harvey Weinstein and other men in entertainment and media. The brave people who’ve shared their stories and experiences opened the floodgates to what has become a purge of abusers, forcing them out of the shadows and away from their protections. Many of the people included in the story risked everything to go public.
Time’s 2017 Person of the Year includes women like Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, and activist Tarana Burke (who started the #MeToo campaign over 10 years ago). Several women involved in a lawsuit with the Plaza Hotel spoke to the magazine. Also included are actor Terry Crews and Summer Zervos, one of the many women to accuse President Donald Trump of abuse.
The #MeToo movement started a kind of reckoning in Hollywood and elsewhere. While fallout was swift, the horrors behind the hashtag have been brewing for years. Decades. Stories left untold, people forced into silence. Excuses were made, whisper networks were activated. In the early days after the first Weinstein story broke, there was still a sense that the only real backlash would be for the victims.
But then another person came forward. And another, and another. Soon the deafening cacophony of voices screaming ME TOO drowned out the defenders.
Since then, the movement has spread to other sectors, including business and politics. CEO’s have stepped down. Politicians have resigned. It’s ignited renewed interest in Access Hollywood‘s “pussy tapes”, leaving many to wonder what the repercussions will be for the President, who bragged about assaulting women on tape. Alabama is poised to elect an accused pedophile in just one week. The GOP has supported Roy Moore and continues to support him, despite the evidence that he targeted and abused young girls. Women’s voices are getting louder. But there are still so many more who remain silent, and far too many others who continue to get away with their crimes.
Reaction on social media was largely positive. Many people agreed with the Time’s 2017 Person of the Year selection, and saw it as another way to amplify these brave people and their stories.
— Elizabeth Tulloch (@BitsieTulloch) December 6, 2017
— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) December 6, 2017
— Debbie Sideris?❄ (@debbiesideris) December 6, 2017
Thank you, Time Magazine, for recognizing these people and their voices. For acknowledging their pain. Thank you for giving them and all of us a platform to continue fighting. Maybe next week when Alabamans head to the polls, this story will reverberate in their minds and hearts. And hopefully, they won’t elect a goddamn child molester to the US Senate.
(Image: Time Magazine)