This time, it’s about the collective voices that have irrevocably changed our culture.
TIME has given the coveted honor of Person of the Year 2017 to the silence breakers of the #MeToo movement. The publication refers to them as "the individuals who set off a national reckoning over the prevalence of sexual harassment."
The magazine’s cover features famous faces like Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift, but it also includes lesser publicly known women who have taken on the plight of sexual harassment. Uber engineer Susan Fowler, Visa lobbyist Adama Iwu, and strawberry picker Isabel Pascual are included on the cover as well. There is also a person to the right of the cover whose face cannot be seen. This image represents the unnamed women and men who have come forward anonymously with their stories of sexual abuse.
"The galvanizing actions of the women on our cover... along with those of hundreds of others, and of many men as well, have unleashed one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s," explained TIME’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal.
The #MeToo movement gained momentum after The New York Times published a harrowing exposé featuring several women who publicly accused the most powerful producer in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein, of sexual assault and harassment. What ensued next was a tidal wave of individuals who finally felt empowered enough to share their traumatic experiences and name their accusers. The #MeToo movement has led to the downfall of countless top producers, politicians, actors, journalists, and executives.
"I started talking about Harvey [Weinstein] the minute that it happened," Judd revealed in the interview with TIME. "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, because he happened to be in Los Angeles from Kentucky, visiting me on the set. And he could tell by my face — to use his words — that something devastating had happened to me. I told him. I told everyone."
TIME’s silence breakers also includes other big names like Rose McGowan, Terry Crews, Selma Blair, and Alyssa Milano who have all played a crucial role in encouraging victims of sexual harassment and assault to find their voices.
"The reckoning appears to have sprung up overnight. But it has actually been simmering for years, decades, centuries," stated the TIME article. "Women have had it with bosses and coworkers who not only cross boundaries but don't even seem to know that boundaries exist."
What are your thoughts on this cover and TIME’s choice of Person of the Year 2017? Hit the comments to discuss all your unfiltered thoughts and commentary.