Throughout the year, women and men have stood up in droves to the powerful people in every industry who’ve long gotten away with sexual harassment and assault; and now they’re being honored.
Time Magazine has named “The Silence Breakers” as their Person of the Year for 2017, referring to these women and men and the global movement they started with the #MeToo hashtag. In an interview about the issue, Time’s Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal said that the movement and hashtag represented the “fastest-moving social change we’ve seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by women and some men too.”
In a joint interview about the honor, Tarana Burke, who created “Me Too” as a movement years ago, and actress Alyssa Milano, who helped bring it back this year, focused on what was still left to do.
“I’ve been saying from the beginning that it’s not just a moment, it’s a movement,” Burke explained. “I think now the work really begins. The hashtag is a declaration. But now we’re poised to really stand up and do the work.” Milano continue the sentiment, laying out her aspirations for the movement moving forward.
“I want companies to take on a code of conduct, I want companies to hire more women, I want to teach our children better,” she said. “These are all things that we have to set in motion, and as women we have to support each other and stand together and say that’s it, we’re done, no more.”
On the cover for the Person of the Year issue, a group photo includes actress Ashley Judd, singer Taylor Swift, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, Visa lobbyist Adama Iwu, Mexican agricultural worker Isabel Pascual, and a woman whose face cannot be seen – an intentional move to represent those who are still being silenced.
Judd was one of the first women who came forward with allegations against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in October. Swift made headlines in a court case against former radio DJ David Mueller, who allegedly groped her while taking a picture years ago. Swift won her lawsuit against him for $1.
Fowler spoke out about Uber’s culture of sexual harassment, and Iwu led a campaign to expose sexual misconduct in California politics. “Isabel Pascual” is a pseudonym for a woman from Mexico who works picking strawberries who was harassed. She was part of the 700,000 female farmworkers who marched in solidarity with Hollywood actors against sexual assault in November.