On Dec. 6, Time Magazine announced that the Silence Breakers, the group of women who have spoken out against sexual misconduct and harassment, as the 2017 Person of the Year The magazine also recognized the #MeToo movement, which sparked a worldwide reckoning against accused sexual predators.
Naming the Silence Breakers as the Person of the Year is an amazing recognition for women all over the world who are victims of sexual misconduct. It’s a great honor that will certainly bring even more light to this brave movement, but naming these women as Person of the Year also signifies something even greater: change.
We see change in our society, change in the media and change in who we recognize as people who deserve to receive such an honor.
In 2016, Time Magazine named President Donald Trump as its Person of the Year. As of today, 13 women have publicly accused him of sexual misconduct. He has been accused of forcibly kissing and groping women.
Also, let’s not forget the, “Grab them by the p****” video.
If the allegations against Trump are true, by no means should he have been recognized as Time’s 2016 Person of the Year, nor should he have been nominated for this year’s recognition.
In the magazine’s defense, it did not sugar coat Trump’s controversiality at all.
“For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year,” the magazine wrote in 2016.
The editors recognized that Trump’s ideals were seen by many as racist and sexist, yet they still awarded him with a recognition that many see as a great honor.
Though it’s commendable for the Silence Breakers to have been named Person of the Year, Time should be ashamed for having them compete for the honor with the man who 13 of these Silence Breakers accused of sexual misconduct.
Though this recognition is a great one for the Silence Breakers and the #MeToo movement, it feels slightly backhanded to have these women share a title with an accused sexual harasser.
Hopefully, naming these women as Person of the Year truly does portray a change in society — a society that strays away from awarding men like Trump.
The Voice is intended to best represent the collective opinion of The Setonian’s Editorial Board. It is written by The Setonian’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor.