Time magazine's "person of the year" designation couldn't have come at a more apt time. This year, Time chose to honor "the silence breakers," a list that includes Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, and Taylor Swift, among other women.
The women featured in Time's profile aren't all actors, but they do have one thing in common: They've spoken out. They've talked about being sexually harassed, threatened, and raped. Sexual harassment is a leading topic in the current cultural conversation in part because of Harvey Weinstein, but it extends far beyond the entertainment industry. Included in the list of "silence breakers" are a housekeeper, a former dishwasher, and a state senator.
These women's lives may be vastly different, but they all have one big thing in common, both with one another and with the countless others who've said "Me Too." The Time feature also includes testimonies from anonymous women — this is a topic that's, unfortunately, relatable across the board.
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The feature also marks one of the rare occasions Swift has given an interview to a magazine. In the "Person of the Year" feature, Swift describes to Time what it was like to sue her alleged assaulter for a symbolic $1. (She won the suit.)
"I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance," Swift told Time's Eliana Dockterman.
Last year's "Person of the Year" designation went to President Donald Trump. Time has also revealed that Trump was on the magazine's shortlist for the title this year, as were Patty Jenkins, Colin Kaepernick, Kim Jong Un, Robert Mueller, and Xi Jinping.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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