In a surprising move, TIME Magazine has named a movement its Person of the Year. While not explicitly on the cover, the #MeToo movement is highlighted in the magazine's most popular issue and features women who have spoken out about being sexually abused, labeling them “The Silence Breakers."
A powerful domino effect took place after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was outed for his sexual harassment and misconduct in October. More and more women have been speaking out against men who have crossed boundaries.
I cried tears of anger last year when Donald Trump said Time Person of the Year should go back to Man of the Year.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) December 6, 2017
Today I’m crying tears of joy. Women are writing themselves back into the narrative through #MeToo and #HerToo.#TimePOY#BreakTheSilence#TheSilenceBreakers pic.twitter.com/sK5FSJssWF
“This is the fastest-moving social change we’ve seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women - and some men, too - who came forward to tell their own stories,"” editor in chief Edward Felsenthal told NBC's Today show.
These Silence Breakers symbolically consist of a mix of household names and women you probably have never heard of. They are represented by five women dressed in black. Actress Ashley Judd was one of the first high profile women who spoke out against Weinstein. As a young actress in the late ‘90s, Weinstein invited her to bed, but Judd was able to escape. She tells TIME, “I started talking about Harvey the minute that it happened. Literally, I exited that hotel room at the Peninsula Hotel in 1997 and came straight downstairs to the lobby, where my dad was waiting for me.” She told her father everything immediately.
Another celebrity is singer Taylor Swift, who this year pursued a case against a DJ David Mueller who allegedly groped her behind while taking a photo with her. During the trial, she said, “I’m not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is any way my fault. I’m being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are product of his decisions. Not mine.”
Also on the cover is corporate lobbyist Adama Iwu, whose claims of sexual harassment sparked an investigation in the California state senate. There’s Susan Fowler, a former Uber employee who came forward about sexual misconduct at the Uber workplace, which eventually led to the CEO's departure. AAlongside them is Isabel Pascual (not her real name), a strawberry picker from Mexico.
As more women continue to break their silence, we look forward to having more abusers held accountable for their actions.
The cover reveal comes after much speculation in the past few weeks about who its subject would be. There was buzz that it was to be Trump again, while other reports said it might be Prince Harry.