Time's Person of the Year? Those who said #MeToo

Time has announced its annual Person of the Year for 2017 is not an individual, but instead everyone who participated in the #MeToo movement to expose cases of sexual assault and harassment and shine a light on the systems that have kept victims silent for decades.

The magazine lauded these "silence breakers" for challenging power structures that often leave victims with nowhere to turn after they've been harassed or assaulted, whether it be in the film industry or working the front desk at a hotel.

The article opens with the tale of Ashley Judd, the first woman to go on record accusing film mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct in an October interview with The New York Times. After the article was published, many actresses came forward with similar accusations against Mr. Weinstein, one of Hollywood's most powerful operators. The revelations about Mr. Weinstein's conduct brought forth a deluge of accusations against other powerful figures in film, politics, media and every industry in between.

The #MeToo campaign encouraged people who had kept silent about their own experiences with sexual harassment or assault to come forward and demonstrate that these incidents are not isolated or abnormal, but instead endemic. The widespread problem has not only forced victims to be silent, but allowed powerful figures to continue their predatory behavior.

Stephanie Zacharek, Eliana Dockterman and Haley Sweetland Edwards, the article's authors, believe the #MeToo movement was an essential first step in drawing attention to the issue, but argue more concrete steps must now be taken to stop predators.

"Norms evolve, and it's long past time for any culture to view harassment as acceptable," they write. "But there's a great deal at stake in how we assess these new boundaries—for women and men together. We can and should police criminal acts and discourage inappropriate, destructive behavior."

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