'Silence Breakers': The Voices That Launched a Movement

December 6, 2017

Time Magazine named its person of the year, and the winners were a bold group of women who sparked the social media hashtag #metoo, an outcry against violence and sexual harassment towards women. The movement was inspired in par by women’s reaction to Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy against President Donald Trump, and boosted by a chain of sexual harassment claims in Hollywood, according to a Time Magazine Editor.

“It started to kind of snowball … even before Trump, the women’s movement kind of catalyzed some of these things,” Claire Howorth, Assistant Managing Editor at Time, told Cheddar Wednesday. “When the Weinstein story broke, obviously things began to pick up speed.”

Time Magazine’s person of the year are called “The Silence Breakers,” or women who spoke up against predatory men this year. Notable figures such as Taylor Swift and Ashley Judd, alongside regular citizens such as Isabel Pascual, a strawberry picker, graced the magazine cover. Time also chose to feature a faceless silhouette to represent the women who made allegations and hid their identities.

Others who made Time’s short list include President Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Robert Mueller, Kim Jong Un, Colin Kaepernick, and Patty Jenkins. Trump, who was last year’s winner, tweeted late last month that he had the honor this year because, “I would have to agree to an interview and a major photoshoot.”

The corresponding editorial piece starts off debunking the myth that women in Hollywood are untouchable, and continues to explore harassment stories from women of all walks, including food blog editors.

Howorth told Cheddar that this is the 14th time out of 91 Person of the Year issues that the magazine features a group. (The designation was known as Man of the Year or Woman of the Year until 1999.) She says that “The Silence Breakers” have been creating a mounting revolution for years, and mentioned throwback Silence Breaker, U.S. attorney Anita Hill, who’s also in the story.

Just Wednesday, more than half of the Senate’s Democrats called for Senator Al Franken to resign after a sixth woman came forward with allegations of inappropriate conduct against him. Howorth says that the Time story captures all of the intersecting stories across different platforms. She thinks the sexual harassment stories we know about so far are only the tip of the iceberg.

“This has been a long time coming,” she says. For full interview Click Here