The headline reads: “The Silence Breakers.” Time magazine goes on to say: “The people who have broken their silence on sexual assault and harassment span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe. Their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results. For their influence on 2017, they are TIME’s Person of the Year.”
Time’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, further explains, “It became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage. The actor who went public with the story of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s ‘coercive bargaining’ in a Beverly Hills hotel suite two decades earlier. The strawberry picker who heard that story and decided to tell her own. The young engineer whose blog post about the frat-boy culture at Silicon Valley’s highest-flying startup prompted the firing of its founder and 20 other employees. The California lobbyist whose letter campaign spurred more than 140 women in politics to demand that state government ‘no longer tolerate the perpetrators or enablers’ of sexual misconduct. A music superstar’s raw, defiant court testimony about the disc jockey who groped her.
“The galvanizing actions of the women on our cover—Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwu, Taylor Swift and Isabel Pascual—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. Social media acted as a powerful accelerant; the hashtag #MeToo has now been used millions of times in at least 85 countries. ‘I woke up and there were 32,000 replies in 24 hours,’ says actor Alyssa Milano, who, after the first Weinstein story broke, helped popularize the phrase coined years before by Tarana Burke. ‘And I thought, My God, what just happened? I think it’s opening the floodgates.’ To imagine Rosa Parks with a Twitter account is to wonder how much faster civil rights might have progressed.”
We urge you to read Time’s entire Person of the Year coverage by clicking here.