TIME magazine has revealed the cover of its December Person of the Year issue, and it’s powerful, with a strong and sobering message. The title was bestowed on ‘The Silence Breakers’ worldwide. TIME describes them as ‘the thousands of people across the world who have come forward with their experiences of sexual harassment and assault.’
On the cover are Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, Uber engineer Susan Fowler, lobbyist Adama Iwu and a Mexican immigrant whose identity has been changed to protect her. There is one more woman, who perhaps sends the strongest message of all…
The cover captures five women facing the camera, while in the lower right hand corner, there is a single arm, with the rest of the body cropped out. ‘It belongs to an anonymous young hospital worker from Texas,’ TIME revealed, ‘a sexual harassment victim who fears that disclosing her identity would negatively impact her family.’ The magazine goes on to say, ‘Her appearance is an act of solidarity, representing all those who are not yet able to come forward and reveal their identities.’
— TIME (@TIME) 7 December 2017
Sexual assault has too long been a facet of women’s lives, but it has reached a boiling point in 2017. The lid came off and the world finally really started talking about things that we’ve always known are major problems. Both locally and internationally, a new narrative was started: the current status quo is unacceptable and we need to fight aggressively for change. Campaigns and conversations like #MenAreTrash, #NotInMyName and, the most recent, #MeToo have led the conversation, and powerful men (notably in Hollywood but also in other industries) have been held accountable for their actions in real ways.
These kinds of conversations don’t start easily. It’s guaranteed to get difficult and uncomfortable as perpetrators are confronted and sexual assault is un-normalised. It takes a lot of courage and faith to get people talking, and a lot of momentum to drive actual action and change. That’s why we love the TIME cover, and support the powerful message that it sends.