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TIME Magazine Names Person of the Year: 'The Silence Breakers'
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6 Dec 2017 03:57 PM EST

-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: The 2017 TIME "Person of the Year" cover, featuring some of the "Silence Breakers" (Image Source: TIME Magazine)

TIME Magazine has named what has turned out to be the story of the year, the rash of sexual misconduct accusations, the "Person of the Year," referring to the brave victims who came forth as "The Silence Breakers."

Despite Donald Trump lying that he turned it down, he only got second place. TIME assured everyone he did not turn it down and was not even offered the cover. And after that campaign, he couldn't rank higher than runner-up.

This makes it very interesting that sexual misconduct accusers are collectively the person of the year, as the President has at least 16 standing accusations against him. It's somewhat ironic, in a way, like stating that no matter what he does, he will never be more influential than those accusations against him.

Of the women appearing on the cover of TIME is Ashley Judd. She told them she started talking about her encounter with Harvey Weinstein immediately after it happened.

"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," she said.

When her account became public in October after an exposé by The New York Times, everyone listened, unlike 20 years ago when Weinstein's behavior was only whispered about and never acknowledged.

"When movie stars don't know where to go, what hope is there for the rest of us?" TIME asks. "What hope is there for the janitor who's being harassed by a co-worker but remains silent out of fear she'll lose the job she needs to support her children?

"For the administrative assistant who repeatedly fends off a superior who won't take no for an answer? For the hotel housekeeper who never knows, as she goes about replacing towels and cleaning toilets, if a guest is going to corner her in a room she can't escape?"

It's noted that the movement "doesn't have a leader, or a single, unifying tenet," other than the hashtag #MeToo, which was actually first introduced by actress Alyssa Milano.

"These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day, and in the past two months alone, their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results: nearly every day, CEOs have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced. In some cases, criminal charges have been brought," the news magazine explains.

Judd, along with another Weinstein accuser, Rose McGowan, brought this issue front and center so that we could no longer ignore it, and now even a favorite newsman like Matt Lauer has been brought to his knees instead of the other way around.

TIME's cover shows that it's a problem that reaches across races and ages, affecting all women.

Along with Judd, there is also Taylor Swift. She had complained about a radio DJ groping her during a photo, and he was fired. He then sued her, and she countersued ... for $1. It was obviously not about the money.

There were many others there to be interviewed for the story as well, both famous and not. They included Isabel Pascual, a Mexican strawberry picker using a pseudonym to protect her family, Susan Fowler, a pregnant former Uber engineer, Adama Iwu, a corporate lobbyist in Sacramento, and an anonymous hospital worker from Texas.

All different women, and even some men, such as Terry Crews, are pictured within the text of the article, with one sorrowful, angering thing bringing them together, whether anonymous or using their given name.

That this is finally being recognized is a big moment. It should leave any man who has committed such acts in the past shaking. He may have lived for decades thinking he was safe with his secret, but no longer, thanks to The Silence Breakers. He will now live the rest of his life waiting to be exposed, exactly how he made his victim feel.

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