‘The Silence Breakers’ Call Out Trump and Other Alleged Abusers in TIME’s Person of the Year Issue

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TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year was Donald Trump, and this year he has once again made it into the magazine’s annual feature. Though this time it is for a very different reason.

TIME’s 2017 Person of the Year piece is titled “The Silence Breakers” and focuses on the women — and some men — who have spoken up against their abusers in an increasingly monumental movement to stop men in power from sexually abusing the people below them.

Some of these allegations and abuses go as far as the White House.

According to The Hill, Trump took to Twitter in November to brag about a second potential Person of the Year award, saying, “Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year,’ like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”

Though he didn’t agree to the photo shoot, Trump’s name still came up multiple times in the Person of the Year piece through numerous sexual assault allegations.

“Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, was one of roughly 20 women to accuse the President of sexual harassment,” The TIME reporters wrote. “She filed a defamation suit against Trump days before his Inauguration after he disputed her claims by calling her a liar. A New York judge is expected to decide soon if the President is immune to civil suits while in office. No matter the outcome, the allegations added fuel to a growing fire.”

The 2017 Person of the Year focused much more on a movement, going from the inception of the “Me Too” hashtag — first used almost a decade ago by Tarana Burke, a social activist, to rally survivors of sexual harassment and assault — to discussing Weinstein, O’Reilly and even Donald Trump.

“The language used by the man who would become America's 45th President, captured on a 2005 recording, was, by any standard, vulgar,” the TIME reporters wrote. “He didn't just say that he'd made a pass; he ‘moved on her like a bitch.’ He didn't just talk about fondling women; he bragged that he could ‘grab 'em by the pussy.’”

Though Trump’s behavior was not so unacceptable at the time to bar him from taking office, according to TIME the culture surrounding the abuse of power and the backing of victims of sexual assault suggest a strong, dramatic change in our society and our expectations for how men in power should act — and the consequences they should suffer if they fail to do so.

“The galvanizing actions of the women on our cover … along with those of hundreds of others, and of many men as well, have unleashed one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s,” Edward Felsenthal, TIME Magazine’s editor in chief said in a statement.

As more and more allegations surface and as each new celebrity or politician falls under public scrutiny for their abuses and behaviors, justice is served. TIME reports that “These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day, and in the past two months alone, their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results: nearly every day, CEOs have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced.”

 

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