'Time' Cover Story: The Silence Breakers


Nearly two weeks after President Donald J. Trump tweeted a tease that he was “probably going to be named” Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2017, the venerable magazine broke its silence, naming the “Silence Breakers” its persons of the year.

The cover features some of the leading breakers of the silence surrounding sexual harassment, women including Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwu, Taylor Swift and Isabel Pascual, as well as the shoulder of a woman representing legions of anonymous victims. 

Time makes a statement that they have collectively triggered a movement that could well change societal standards forever.

“The galvanizing actions of the women on our cover… along with those of hundreds of others, and of many men as well, have unleashed one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s,” writes the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal. He adds:

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“Social media acted as a powerful accelerant; the hashtag #MeToo has now been used millions of times in at least 85 countries ... The roots of Time’s annual franchise — singling out the person or persons who most influenced the events of the year — lie in the so-called great man theory of history, a phrasing that sounds particularly anachronistic at this moment.

"But the idea that influential, inspirational individuals shape the world could not be more apt this year…. For giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable, The Silence Breakers are the 2017 Person of the Year.”

4 comments about "'Time' Cover Story: The Silence Breakers".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, December 6, 2017 at 10:42 a.m.

    Remember the 1990s when "believe the women" was not applied to Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey? Bill Clinton lowered the bar for future White House inhabitants and many at the time circled the wagons, even inventing the social movement called MoveOn.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, December 6, 2017 at 11:59 a.m.

    And Anita Hill and Papa Bush's cortisans and all the women whose names you and us didn't and wouldn't and don't know. We never even got to "believe the women" as a thought.

  3. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, December 6, 2017 at 10:46 a.m.

    @Douglas Ferguson: If that's what you choose to remember. But how about focusing on the movement happening now? Does it represent a positive change for society? Or are you just trying to deligitimize it as something trendy and unsustainable? Or maybe just invoke some whataboutism? Either way, seems kind of negative to me.

  4. Kevin Mannion from Advertiser Perceptions, Inc., December 7, 2017 at 9:19 a.m.

    Well done, Joe. A watershed moment. And congratulations to Time Mag.

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