After much anticipation, Time has announced its 2017 Person of the Year: The Silence Breakers, the individuals who are speaking out publicly about sexual harassment and sexual assault.
The awarding of the title comes after several consecutive months of high-profile revelations about men in power abusing their positions to take sexual advantage of the people around them, namely women. The Silence Breakers featured in the story include celebrities like Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift — both of whom appear on the cover — as well as Sen. Sara Gelser (who accused Sen. Jeff Kruse of harassment) and Tarana Burke (the founder of the Me Too movement), in addition to many other people who wished to remain anonymous or whose names were changed to protect their families, a fact that highlights the scope and severity of this problem.
Breaking the silence really came to a head in early October, when the revelations about Harvey Weinstein's sexual assaults came to light. This led to further, ongoing high-profile accusations against Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Matt Lauer, Jeffrey Tambor, Louis C.K., and politicians from Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore to Democratic Representative John Conyers. It seems that every day, a new figure is outed for this unacceptable behavior, adding to a now very long list of high-profile harassers.
The selection of The Silence Breakers comes after much speculation and a divisive shortlist of potential honorees, including North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and The Dreamers, recipients of the now-rescinded DACA. The selection also comes after President Donald Trump tweeted that he "was PROBABLY going to be named 'Man (Person) of the Year'" by the magazine.
Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named "Man (Person) of the Year," like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Time responded (on Twitter, no less) that "the President is incorrect."
The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.
— TIME (@TIME) November 25, 2017
In fact, the awarding of The Silence Breakers is a major deal for Trump considering he has very active sexual harassment claims against him, one of which may head to the New York State Supreme Court very soon.
As The Washington Post noted in a headline, The Silence Breakers getting Person of the Year is "basically the opposite of Trump," a symbol of potential reckoning and the mindset of America right now. Plus, Trump came in second place.