TIME Magazine’s Person Of The Year: The Men And Women Who Spoke Up Against Sexual Abuse
- IWB Post
- December 7, 2017
Honouring the courage of the people who chose to break their silence and stood up against sexual abuse, TIME magazine has chosen ‘The Silence Breakers’ as the 2017 Person of the Year. These are the women and men behind #MeToo, the movement against sexual abuse.
While this revolution was started by an actor, this list of ‘The Silence Breakers’ has people from varied professions. Sexual harassment and abuse are not restricted to the film industry or the fashion world, and can occur in any walk of life, so the list also includes a housekeeper, a former dishwasher, and a state senator.
Also included in the ‘Person of the Year’ feature is pop star Taylor Swift, who spoke to TIME about suing her alleged assaulter for a symbolic $1, a case that she won.
“I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance,” Swift said. The magazine’s cover features celebrities Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift, alongside others who have been harassed, including Uber engineer Susan Fowler, lobbyist Adama Iwu, and Isabel Pascual, a strawberry picker from Mexico, whose name has been changed to protect her identity.
The Silence Breakers are TIME’s Person of the Year 2017 #TIMEPOY https://t.co/mLgNTveY9z https://t.co/GBo9z57RVG
What everyone probably missed out on was the sixth person on the cover as only her elbow is visible.
“The image you see partially on the cover is a woman we talked to, a hospital worker from the middle of the country, who doesn’t feel that she can come forward without threatening her livelihood,” said TIME editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal who denoted the presence of the anonymous woman’s elbow is a symbol of all those who shared their stories but wished to remain hidden.
“I thought, ‘What just happened? Why didn’t I react?’” said the woman in question, noting that she can still feel the heat of her harassers’ hands on her body. “I kept thinking, ‘Did I do something, did I say something, did I look a certain way to make him think that was OK?’”
“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,” said Edward.
The movement, which started with producer Harvey Weinstein’s downfall with multiple sexual assault allegations against him, has gone on to acquire the status of an international campaign against sexual predators. Putting these women on the cover of TIME is an admirable way of celebrating their strength.