Time names "The Silence Breakers" Persons of the Year for changing the climate of sexual harassment

A movement partially inspired by the women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct was honored by Time

By Matthew Rozsa

Published December 6, 2017 8:47AM (EST)

 (Getty/Eric Baradat)
(Getty/Eric Baradat)

President Donald Trump may not have been Time Magazine's Person of the Year, but the people honored instead of him were in many ways the direct byproduct of his own actions.

In honoring "The Silence Breakers" as their Person of the Year 2017, Time explicitly mentioned that these women came forward in spite of Trump's election. "The Silence Breakers" refers to the number of individuals, mostly women, who have come forward to reveal their tales of sexual misconduct perpetrated against them by powerful men. The honorees range from celebrities like Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Taylor Swift to ordinary women throughout the country.

"The year, at its outset, did not seem to be a particularly auspicious one for women. A man who had bragged on tape about sexual assault took the oath of the highest office in the land, having defeated the first woman of either party to be nominated for that office, as she sat beside a former president with his own troubling history of sexual misconduct," Time wrote.

Trump himself has been accused of various forms of sexual misconduct by at least sixteen different women. The accusations range from rape and groping to involuntary kissing, many of which reflected the boasts he made to former "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush about being able to grope women without consequence.

The president did wind up being chosen as Time's runner-up for the title.

"One thing is sure: love him or hate him, Trump has invaded our attention in ways previous Presidents never did. He commands more than just the levers of executive power; he has the nation, and the world, in the grip of his singular performance, and events have bent to his will. This has been Year One of Trump’s presidency, and the Trump show continues unabated. The reviews may be mixed, but no one can turn away," Time wrote in explaining its reason for giving him the runner-up status.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump #metoo Time Magazine Weinstein Effect