TIME has unveiled their Person of the Year 2017, and the crown goes to The Silence Breakers. They are a group of people who bravely told their stories about sexual harassment, abuse and assault as part of the #MeToo movement that finally woke people up in regards to the dark underbelly of this nation.
The cover includes high-profile figures who have spoken up about their sexual assault cases throughout the year: Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler and a woman who chose for her face to be hidden, among others. Rose McGowan, the actress whose fearlessly ignited Harvey Weinstein's downfall and shared her harrowing allegations, activist Tarana Burke (the creator of the #MeToo movement) and Alyssa Milano are also highlighted.
“The galvanizing actions of the women on our cover...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,” Edward Felsenthal, TIME’s editor in chief, said in a statement. Weinstein is just one of the many names of people who have either been outed, fired from their jobs or shunned due to their sexual assault cases. The list is ever-growing, with Russell Simmons, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, Louis C.K., Dustin Hoffman, Danny Masterson and others recently involved in scandals.
"I think that this moment is important for awareness, for how parents are talking to their children, and how victims are processing their trauma, whether it be new or old. The brave women and men who have come forward this year have all moved the needle in terms of letting people know that this abuse of power shouldn’t be tolerated. Going to court to confront this type of behavior is a lonely and draining experience, even when you win, even when you have the financial ability to defend yourself. Even though awareness is higher than ever about workplace sexual harassment, there are still so many people who feel victimized, afraid and silenced by their abusers and circumstances. When the jury found in my favor, the man who sexually assaulted me was court-ordered to give me a symbolic $1. To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself."
Below, watch Taylor Swift's bestie Selena Gomez talk about their friendship: