Each year TIME Magazine comes up with a Person of the Year, someone who has been majorly influential in some way, shape, or form. For 2017, the cover of the magazine featured five women and an anonymous arm. And the reason behind that will break your heart.
TIME officially honored “The Silence Breakers” as Person of the Year for 2017. The idea was to feature all of the women who have publicly stood up against men who have sexually harassed or abused them, showing the major people who helped start a movement against sexual misconduct.
The cover shows five women: Taylor Swift, Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwu, and Isabel Pascual. All of these women are “Silence Breakers” who brought their stories out of the dark to take a stand against what is called “the problem that has no name” and stirred the pot to hold those accountable for their actions.
Taylor Swift was sued by a DJ who claimed she ruined his career by accusing him of sexual assault and sued him back, winning her case. According to TIME, she also said “ass” the most times in recorded history in a Colorado Federal Court.
Ashley Judd was one of the first people to accuse movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, creating a movement in Hollywood.
Susan Fowler went after Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, who resigned after being accused of sexual harassment.
Adama Iwu is a lobbyist who was groped during an event in front of colleagues, none of which tried to stop the abuse.
Isabel Pascual is a Mexican immigrant whose name was changed in order to protect her identity, spoke out in L.A. about being stalked and harassed so she could give a voice to her fellow agricultural workers.
But a sixth person’s arm is also on the cover, which begs the questions: Who does the limb belong to?
According to TIME, the arm cropped at the shoulder belongs to a woman in Texas who wishes to remain anonymous. A hospital worker and mother of two, she's still not ready to speak out about an executive who repeatedly came on to her.
“She is faceless on the cover and remains nameless inside TIME’s red borders, but her appearance is an act of solidarity, representing all those who are not yet able to come forward and reveal their identities,” said a TIME article about the anonymous victim.
These women helped start the #MeToo movement by simply telling their stories and Alyssa Milano made it go viral by sharing the saying that first appeared decades ago. After the Silence Breakers exposed their abusers, millions of people across the globe came forward with their tales of sexual abuse hoping someone would listen.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
“The women and men who have broken their silence span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe,” the magazine article states.
Although this abuse has been going on for much longer, it has been majorly addressed in recent months. Since Weinstein was fired, many other celebrities and big names have been accused of sexual misconduct and things are being done about it.
“I always thought maybe things could change for my daughter,” Megyn Kelly told TIME. “I never thought things could change for me.”