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Time's Person of the Year is more than that. It's a movement

Time’s Person of the Year is more than a person: It’s a movement.

Under the umbrella “the Silence Breakers,” the magazine has honored the legions of women coming forward about sexual harassment in the workplace as its most influential entity of 2017. 

“The hashtag #MeToo (swiftly adapted into #BalanceTonPorc, #YoTambien, #Ana_kaman and many others), which to date has provided an umbrella of solidarity for millions of people to come forward with their stories, is part of the picture, but not all of it,” the magazine said

Sparked by actress Ashley Judd and others speaking out in a New York Times exposé of producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual misconduct, men and women in Hollywood started speaking up, dragging the likes of Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Louis C.K. and more into the light over alleged harassment of various levels of severity. 

 (Time)
(Time)

“Were we supposed to call some fantasy attorney general of moviedom?” Judd told Time. She said she started talking about her Weinstein encounter right after it happened but found there was nothing to be done about what a screenwriter friend told her was an open secret in Hollywood. 

“Emboldened by Judd, Rose McGowan and a host of other prominent accusers, women everywhere have begun to speak out about the inappropriate, abusive and in some cases illegal behavior they’ve faced,” Time wrote. 

McGowan told the magazine, “I woke up and there were 32,000 replies in 24 hours. And I thought, ‘My God, what just happened?’ I think it’s opening the floodgates.” 

The #MeToo hashtag, popularized recently by actress Alyssa Milano, was coined as a phrase more than a decade ago by organizer and youth worker Tarana Burke. It was and is a way for people who experienced sexual harassment or assault to come out with their stories.

“For me, it’s about helping people find an entry point to healing,” Burke told the Los Angeles Times in mid-October. “They cannot just let it be a hashtag.”

Judd, McGowan and Burke are among the faces on Time’s cover, as is pop star Taylor Swift. Though not immediately linked with the avalanche triggered off by the Weinstein scandal, Swift took a stand against sexual misconduct when she faced off with a former radio personality she accused of groping her bare butt during a photo op. Though he brought the first case against her, claiming she was ruining his career, the jury agreed with the claims in Swift’s countersuit and awarded her a symbolic $1 judgment. 

Time also had an online poll for readers, which saw Mohammed bin Salman — the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia who is taking on corruption and finally gave Saudi women the right to drive — finishing a strong first. The #MeToo movement came in second. 

Tying for third, according to poll takers, were former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and another group of people, the undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, a.k.a. the “Dreamers.”

Also on the Time shortlist of finalists (though the reader’s poll included many more names):  “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump.

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