The Importance of a Movement being chosen as Time’s Person of the Year
Some of us have been waiting to see who Time Magazine was going to select to put on the cover for their Person of the Year issue. Why? Time Magazine started to trend a few weeks back when President Trump made a comment about taking a pass on being put on the cover again this year. As a man who has a tendency to boast about things that are not true, his statements definitely drew more attention to the magazine and their selection process.
As was revealed today by Time Magazine, we were right to be curious and I believe many of us are pleasantly surprised and ecstatic over the decision to put the #MeToo movement on the cover. They have included some of the outspoken women that have become synomous with the movement, most importantly including activist Tarana Burke. For those unfamiliar, she was the one who originally started the hashtag before Alyssa Milano made it trend this year. The magazine’s cover portrait includes strawberry picker Isabel Pascual, lobbyist Adama Iwu and former Uber engineer Susan Fowler along with Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift.
What is most outstanding about this particular issue is that Time Magazine didn’t just focus on those working in Hollywood and their stories. They also included women who work hourly jobs, some of whom want to remain anonymous. This decision to include women who don’t have the high-profile status associated with celebrity in our society highlights what the movement is about. Sexual harassment and abuse are widespread problems. And for all individuals regardless of race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status, we can see the true scope of who all is affected and how desperately important this movement is to our society.
For those who are unfamiliar, the #MeToo hashtag grew to prominence after several stories went viral about Harvey Weinstein and his numerous cases of sexual harassment and assaults. As the hashtag grew in prominence, more stories came out about the level of harassment that occurs throughout our society and not just in the entertainment industry. A couple of us here at Legion of Leia have also spoken out about our own personal experiences dealing with sexual harassment, assaults, and the prospect of losing jobs if we spoke out about our experiences within the entertainment industry as actors and entertainment journalists.
I personally have spoken out on my personal Facebook regarding the sexual harassment and assault that occurs at haunt events that I have worked at and that I have attended as a guest. I have also spoken out about how being disabled or labeled special needs sometimes made the issues of harassment worse in terms of being able to report the sexual assaults that I dealt with as a young teen in school. This issue is not isolated to one industry. The #MeToo movement showed that it is everywhere.
Time Magazine’s decision to focus on the women or the silence breakers is important because it shows the cultural reckoning that has been going on the past couple of months. It shows how as a community we need to start putting more of a focus on fixing and bringing to light what is wrong. It shows that sometimes we are alone. And, ultimately, by speaking up and raising up as a community perhaps we truly can change the system and for society to take note of the bad things that happen closed doors that we’ve all been taught not to speak of.