Yesterday, Time announced its Person of the Year, the Silence Breakers. Donald Trump is runner-up.
Time yesterday revealed on NBC’s Today show its 2017 Person of the Year: the “Silence Breakers”. The Silence Breakers are the men and women who have come forward to tackle sexual harassment in the United States of America.
The women featured on the cover include singer Taylor Swift, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, Visa lobbyist Adama Iwu, Mexican agricultural worker Isabel Pascual, actress Ashley Judd and one woman whose face cannot be seen.
In a statement, Time editor Edward Felsenthal also honoured the bravery of “the hundreds of others, and many men as well, who have unleashed one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s.”
Indeed, earlier this year, Taylor Swift won a lawsuit against former radio DJ David Mueller for allegedly groping her while taking a picture. Judd was one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, Fowler spoke out about Uber’s culture of sexual abuse, and Iwu led a campaign to expose sexual misconduct in California politics.
The woman featured to the right of the cover whose face cannot be seen represents the unnamed women and men who have courageously come forward anonymously with reports.
Yet, the runner-up for this year’s Person of the Year was President Donald Trump. He tweeted in November that the magazine told him he would “probably” be picked again this year but he turned it down.
Time has argued against his claim, but surely, this is just a justification? Time’s story, written by three women — Stephanie Zacharek, Eliana Dockterman, and Haley Sweetland have cited that Trump was a catalyst for changing the way we talk about sexual bad behavior in America. But, to have the man who in 2005 bragged that he could “grab ’em by the pussy” is an insult not only to the Silence Breakers but the thousands who have accused others elsewhere of sexual harassment.
Time magazine is standing proudly for an effort it hasn’t made, Time has failed in celebrating the brave efforts of the men and women who have come forward.
Rather than shedding light on America’s 45th President, it would have been more beneficial to not cover him at all. Would we give Harvey Weinstein a similar award for changing the conversation with regards to couch-casting? Absolutely not.
As Vera Bergengruen tweeted: “President Trump is mentioned 7 times in the article, both as someone accused of sexual harassment and whose election motivated women to speak out. He is also the 2017 Person of the Year runner up.”
Time magazine and the women behind it, are hypocrites for honouring Donald Tump and I am not alone in my views. Why exactly is Donald Trump in a tribute for survivors of sexual assault? Not only is this disappointing and disrespectful but clearly, incredibly wrong. This was one step forward and two steps back.
Author: Scarlett Victoria Clark
Scarlett Victoria Clark is Editor-in-Chief of Scriptoeris and a multi-lingual journalist. She has also written for Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar, when not writing she enjoys travelling and shopping for (more) heels.