Time Magazine released its annual Person of the Year issue and instead of one person, they decided to include the Me Too movement, deeming them, "The Silence Breakers." It's a term designating the millions of women, and some men, who have shared their stories of enduring sexual harassment and/or assault, many under the viral #MeToo hashtag that exploded on social media in the closing months of 2017. More than 1.7 million people have spoken out about their sexual harassment and assault experiences since the hashtag took off in October after the Harvey Weinstein scandal brought the entertainment industry's dark underbelly to the surface.
Honoring the Me Too movement as Time's Person of the Year has been called a "global reckoning" with sexual misconduct everywhere, not just the entertainment industry. The magazine released a statement on their reasoning behind their choice. The statement reads.
"The women and men who have broken their silence span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe. They might labor in California fields, or behind the front desk at New York City's regal Plaza Hotel, or in the European Parliament. They're part of a movement that has no formal name. But now they have a voice."
Included on the cover of the magazine are actress Ashley Judd, who was one of the first prominent Harvey Weinstein accusers, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler who first brought the company-wide sexism to the public. Also on the cover is Adama Iwu, who started the We Said Enough Campaign, Tarana Burke, and pop star Taylor Swift, who successfully and publically sued a radio host for sexual assault.
The Time Magazine Person of the Year cover also features a woman whose face is obscured, with only her arm and elbow are visible in the bottom-right corner. Many have taken to social media to wonder why such a blatant error was left in, but as it turns out, it was all by design. The artist left the woman faceless to represent the millions of the women who have come forward since the Me Too movement began to pick up momentum. The cropped woman is also there for the women and men who are too scared to come forward or don't have the public forum to do so.
The magazine, as well as the website, features dozens of men and women who have come forward. Rose McGowan is seen along with Terry Crews, Selma Blair, Alyssa Milano, Megyn Kelly, and many more. Many credit Alyssa Milano with starting the Me Too movement, but that is not correct, but she did make it popular. Tarana Burke is the one responsible for the original hashtag and she was quickly given recognition when Milano found out. Ten years ago, Burke started Just Be Incorporated, a nonprofit organization advocating for sexual harassment and assault victims that brought women and men together to share their stories and to let each other know that they were not alone.
The Time Magazine Person of the Year cover image is a powerful one and it sends a message of hope while also sending a warning to anybody that has or does actively participate in sexual misconduct in any field. Since 1927, Time has bestowed its Person of the Year title upon an individual or group of people who the magazine's editors believe have most influenced news and events of the past year, "for good or ill." You can read the full article honoring the Me Too movement courtesy of Time.