For its traditional “Person of the Year”, TIME Magazine has chosen to honour the people who came forward with stories of sexual abuse and started the #MeToo movement this fall. TIME’s “Person of the Year” selection is often controversial. A “Person of the Year” has been chosen every year since 1927, but a woman didn’t make the list until Wallis Simpson’s relationship with King Edward VIII of England led him to abdicate the throne in 1936.
Groups of people have also been a rare occurrence on the “Person of the Year” list. The winner has only been a group of people a total of 15 times, including “The Silence Breakers”. This goes to show just how much of an impact they’ve had on human society at large.
Pictured on TIME’s cover are actress Ashley Judd, singer Taylor Swift, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, Visa lobbyist Adama Iwu, Mexican agricultural worker Isabel Pascual, and one anonymous woman meant to represent all the voices we haven’t yet heard, or that are still in the dark somehow.
Taylor Swift was one of the first to make headlines last summer. During her now-famous “groping trial”, she stood up to radio DJ David Mueller. He was later declared by the jury to have “grabbed [Taylor Swift’s] ass underneath [her] skirt.”
Rose McGowan is one of the dozens of artists who have accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He allegedly made terrible misuse of his position of authority to coax several women into submission. Weinstein still denies any non-consensual sex took place, but was forced to step down from the Weinstein Company nonetheless.
Women everywhere are living in a new reality now, thanks to a handful of brave souls who have stepped forward to denounce their abusers.
Listen to Rose McGowan’s thoughts on this: