This Is Why Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” Cover Is So Important

Updated 02/01/18
Time Magazine

For 2017's "Person of the Year" cover, Time Magazine decided not to spotlight a singular politician or thought leader like year's past. Instead, they featured a small group of women and two men whom they've deemed the "silence breakers" surrounding sexual harassment and assault in our country.

Each of these individuals, including actresses Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Alyssa Milano, and Selma Blair, musician Taylor Swift, #MeToo activist Tarana Burke, and 29 others, refused to accept unwanted sexual contact as a "normal" part of being a woman, or for that matter, a human being, in 2017, and they have incited a movement as a result.

"The galvanizing actions of the women on our cover … have unleashed one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s," said Edward Felsenthal, Time's editor in chief, of their decision to feature these 35 individuals. "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."

The cover is perhaps most notable for their treatment of all 35 victims of sexual harassment. Similar to New York Magazine's cover story on Bill Cosby's 35 accusers last year, it stands in stark contrast to how sexual assault victims are normally perceived in our society. Rather than intimidating, stigmatizing, and humiliating victims into silence, Time's new cover story finally gives them the platform, empathy, and acknowledgment that all sexual assault survivors deserve.

Read Time's "Person of the Year 2017" story for their individual stories next, and share your thoughts on the new cover below.

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