“Time” magazine announced its Person of the Year yesterday. And no, it didn’t go to President Trump or Colin Kaepernick…or any single person for that matter.
This year’s honorees are The Silence Breakers, a.k.a. women AND MEN who’ve spoken out against sexual misconduct. The cover features five women, including Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift.
Technically there are six women, but only the elbow of the sixth is visible, because she didn’t want to be identified.
“Time” spoke to them, along with people from all walks of life who’ve come forward, including other celebrities like Rose McGowan, Megyn Kelly, actor Terry Crews, and Alyssa Milano, who helped bring the #MeToo movement, (started by activist Tarana Burke) into a brighter spotlight.
Radio DJ David Mueller groped Taylor Swift during a photo op in 2013. She reported him to his radio station, KYGO, and he was terminated. He said her accusations were false and sued Swift. She countersued for $1 and won. “When I testified, I had already had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger and harass my team, including my mother … I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forgo any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me … Why should I be polite? I’m told it was the most amount of times the word ass has ever been said in Colorado federal court.” (Mueller’s lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.) @taylorswift is among the Silence Breakers, TIME’s Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY
Millions of people responded with the hashtag #MeToo when Alyssa Milano urged them to post their experiences on Twitter. “It’s affected me on a cellular level to hear all these stories. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I have not stopped crying. I look at my daughter and think, Please, let this be worth it. Please, let it be that my daughter never has to go through anything like this.” @milano_alyssa is among the Silence Breakers, TIME’s Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY
Not everyone was happy with the magazine’s choices for one reason or another. Demi Lovato called “Time” hypocrites for naming President Trump this year’s runner-up, since there are so many allegations against him.
Some were upset that McGowan wasn’t on the cover. Some were even angry that they even included Taylor Swift, which they did because of her court case with that DJ who allegedly grabbed her backside.
Tarana Burke, founder of a nonprofit that helps survivors of sexual violence, created the Me Too movement in 2006 to encourage young women to show solidarity with one another. It went viral this year after actor @milano_alyssa used the hashtag #MeToo. “Sexual harassment does bring shame. And I think it’s really powerful that this transfer is happening, that these women are able not just to share their shame but to put the shame where it belongs: on the perpetrator.” Burke (@fortyisthenew40) is among the Silence Breakers, TIME’s Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY
Susan Fowler’s February blog post about the harassment she experienced as an engineer at @uber went viral. Uber then launched an investigation that led to the ousting of its CEO Travis Kalanick and more than 20 other employees. “When other women spoke out, they were retaliated against. So there were certain things that I thought I could avoid: ‘I’m not going to sue, because they’ll make me sign a nondisclosure agreement. I’m not going to do press right afterward, because they’ll say I’m doing it for attention. I can’t have any emotion in my blog. I have to be very, very detached.’ And I had to make sure that every single thing that I included in there had extensive physical documentation, so it couldn’t be ‘he said, she said.’ And that’s what I did.” @susanthesquark is among the Silence Breakers, TIME’s Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY
Adama Iwu organized an open letter signed by 147 women calling out harassment in California’s capital, which launched a state-senate investigation. “Young women told me about the same men who harassed me years ago. And all I did was participate in the whisper network: ‘Here’s what you can wear,’ ‘Here’s where you can go,’ ‘Here’s who to avoid.’ But you have to address it head on and as a group. It’s hard to call 147 women liars. We can’t all be crazy. We can’t all be sluts.” Iwu is among the Silence Breakers, TIME’s Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY
Here’s an article from Vox on the pros and cons of calling Taylor a Silence Breaker.