Since 1927, Time magazine has selected one influential person (or group) to be Person of the Year. But this year, the #MeToo movement is in the running for Time‘s Person of the Year, and we think this actually makes sense.
Time announced the shortlist of candidates on the Today show on December 4th. And #MeToo was on the list, alongside influential figures such as Patty Jenkins, Kim Jong-Un, and Colin Kaepernick. The winner will be announced on December 6th at 7 a.m. on Today.
The magazine wrote that #MeToo had sparked “a moment of reckoning about the treatment of women in the workplace.”
Although it spread on social media in October, #MeToo stems from a campaign started in 2007 by Tarana Burke, who founded a nonprofit to help survivors of sexual harassment and assault. Actress Alyssa Milano helped the movement gain popularity when she used the hashtag on Twitter this year. Milano’s post was shared or interacted with 12 million times on Facebook alone in the first 24 hours after it was posted.
Milano’s original post was devised as a response to Rose McGowan’s rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Following the movement, many survivors of sexual assault or harassment were inspired to speak out against their abusers. Senator Al Franken, comedian Louis C.K., and actor Kevin Spacey were among those accused of sexual misconduct in the wake of #MeToo.
The movement didn’t end with the hashtag, though. On November 12th, participants in the #MeToo movement gathered in a Survivors’ March in L.A.
#MeToo’s nomination for Time‘s Person of the Year is a huge deal. It shows the power that the movement has had and the way it has shaped the conversation surrounding sexual harassment and assault. But while the movement’s success has been a step toward the defeat of rape culture, there are still other things you can do to fight it — after all, the battle is far from over. Even if #MeToo doesn’t win, we hope that its impact continues to bring attention to the issue of sexual misconduct, and that survivors will continue to be taken seriously.