It’s not Trump, that’s for sure! Apparently, there had been rumors circulating it would be him…again. Sadly, he was runner up of which Demi Lovato has been trending due to her disapproval. Remember that infamous past Time magazine cover that had us shaking our heads in disapproval? Time has put out several memorable covers in the naming of Person of the Year including our former president Barack Obama. Time hasn’t had a woman on its ‘Person of the Year’ cover category prior for nearly two decades, then it named groups that have ignited change like The Whistle Blowers, the corporate rebels, women who called out corporate corruption like that of Enron.
Time finally revealed its Person of the Year, a diverse group of women, celebrities included who make up ‘The Silence Breakers’. Courageous women (and men) who spoke out of their own sexual assaults and sexual harassers as part of the #MeToo movement that occurred this year. The movement pretty much blew everyone out of the water with impact and the monumental issue of sexual harassment, abuse and assault in this country and how pervasive it is in certain industries like entertainment (Hollywood) and technology (Silicon Valley). The Silence Breakers would not hide or be silenced… The movement #MeToo was started a decade ago by activist, a black woman Tarana Burke, despite assumptions that it was the celebrity Alyssa Milano, who only, reignited it.
On the cover is Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, Uber engineer Susan Fowler and lobbyist Adama Iwu and Mexican agricultural worker, Isabel Pascual. Another look, reveals an elbow – there is no fold out. Who’s elbow is it? Why, it represents the ‘anonymous woman’. The dignified looks on their faces – it is a powerful, striking of strength cover.
It’s the stories of Latinas and other women in low wage and underappreciated jobs like office workers, housekeepers and field workers, that resonate – our mothers, perhaps maybe ourselves in these roles! Due to the strong Latino culture of silence, machismo, patriarchy, immigration/deportation and poverty levels in the community that don’t enable you to just quit a job, based out of fear, there isn’t much of an option. Isabel Pascual originally from Mexico, a strawberry picker would be followed home and threatened by her harasser. Hotel housekeeper, Juana Melara and her fellow co-workers were subjected to male guests exposing themselves or masturbating in front of them. Sandra Pezqueda worked as a dishwasher, when she denied her harasser, he changed her work schedule effecting her hours. The Latinas and women of color in the hospitality and agriculture business finally had enough, and in solidarity with the Hollywood/entertainment industry workers including actors and artists, wrote a letter and marched along side many of them in protest.
It’s fair to say that once the biggest harasser of them, the ‘Donald’ became President of the United States, that event triggered a firestorm of ‘silence breakers’ especially within the political arena coming forward. Women (and men) will no longer be silent about sexual harassment, sexual abuse and assault. The strength in numbers and collective call out will continue!