“Time’s” Person of the Year is the #MeToo Silence Breakers
On Wednesday, December 6th, Time officially announced the 2017 Person of the Year. This year, the publication chose to honor “The Silence Breakers” — those who used their voices to start a widespread social movement agains sexual harassment, assault, and the male power structures that keep sexual misconduct a prominent feature in many industries.
These women and men include, but are absolutely not limited to, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Terry Crews, Alyssa Milano, and Taylor Swift.
Authors of Time’s Person of the Year writeup, Stephanie Zacharek, Eliana Dockterman, and Haley Sweetland Edwards, wrote,
"This reckoning appears to have sprung up overnight. But it has actually been simmering for years, decades, centuries. Women have had it with bosses and co-workers who not only cross boundaries but don't even seem to know that boundaries exist. They've had it with the fear of retaliation, of being blackballed, of being fired from a job they can't afford to lose. They've had it with the code of going along to get along. They've had it with men who use their power to take what they want from women."
It’s a movement that has no official name, but on that is changing the landscape of Hollywood, the U.S. government, and corporations across the country and world.
Time pulled these Silence Breakers — actresses, directors, hotel staff members, professors, a corporate lobbyist, a former Uber engineer, and a strawberry field worker — together for their Person of the Year photoshoot and interview. These women and men may seem to have little in common, but they are all there for the same reason.
They described to Time their sense of shame, their anger, and their fear of what their harassers could have done to them, their careers, and their families.
Finding others who faced the same harasser, using the hashtag #MeToo to share stories, and starting the conversation about what happens in industries everywhere brought these people together. Their bravery forced the problem out of the shadows and into the light.
As Time notes, we are still in the beginning stages of this revolution and a lot more is needed from all of us to make a lasting societal change.
Silence Breakers, we thank you.