From the fidget spinner apocalypse to the slime epidemic, 2017 has been packed with activity. With the new year fast approaching, it is time for the release of yearly Spotify playlists, Youtube rewind and Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.
Since 1927, Time Magazine has published a feature on the most discussed, influential person of the year. Previous editions have featured President Donald Trump, Pope Francis and Mark Zuckerberg. This year’s edition, however, features a group on the cover referred to as The Silence Breakers.
The Silence Breakers are those apart of the movement to break the silence surrounding sexual assault across the world. On the cover of the edition is actress Ashley Judd, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, software engineer Susan Fowler, lobbyist Adama Iwu, strawberry picker Isabel Pascual and an elbow representing the experiences of two women who came forth anonymously.
Time changed things up by having a group of people featured opposed to one individual which better represents the situation. The Silence Breakers are much larger than described in the feature, composed of every person, male or female, who has had the strength to speak out and create an environment in which abusers are blamed instead of the victims.
The article goes into deep detail, interviewing numerous women from around the world to get a widespread picture of their experiences. Many of the women shared that they did not speak up for fear of their abuser, losing their job or social isolation. Those who eventually did file complaints were put through demeaning processes that questioned their role in the situation. They were told that what had occurred was something they instigated before they were able to gain the belief of those around them.
The article is well-written and breaks up each woman’s stories to explain why it is so important to ensure everyone a voice in a society where breaking the silence can cost someone everything. While the article is well done there are a few things that should have been made more apparent. The creator of #metoo, Tarana Burke was briefly featured but should have had a larger role in the feature considering all that her actions have inspired.
The message in the feature, however, is clear and powerful to all who feel that they may not have a voice. Time reached out to not only those who have spoken out but to those who have wished to remain under wraps. The elbow on the cover representing the anonymous speaks volumes to everyone who sees it because it not only addresses the anonymous in their interview but those across the world who are silenced.
This is a step forward in a movement that is working to reverse a culture twisted over time and has provided insight for all of those who read it.
Photo courtesy of Time Magazine