RaceSex & Gender

TIME person of the year is #MeToo, but the runner up is a rapist?… Okay…

December 7, 2017

TIME’s Person of the Year was announced yesterday and it was met with concussion and delight. The “Silence Breakers”—a collection of A-List White Women, activist, migrant workers, former dishwashers, housekeepers, entrepreneurs, politicians, and senators, is a small, but representational collective of women and men who have survived abuse and intimidation, subverted it, and turned it into the bravery that enabled them to go public.

TIME’s well-intentioned, but the questionable execution of the feature evident as soon as I spotted Taylor Swift on the cover, taking up space that was, surely, meant for #MeToo creator Tarana Burke (who is featured in the profile).

It didn’t get better when, as it has done traditionally, TIME published its short list of Persons of the Year, too, revealing President Trump to have been the runner-up. You know, the President Trump who has been accused by no less than a dozen women of sexual abuse. President Trump who is documented describing his assaults. President Trump who is campaigning for an accused child molester running for a Senate seat in Alabama.

It was a symbolic choice between the survivors and their abuser. Both, apparently, deserving of recognition and a platform. And while TIME made the right decision, in the end, it’s impossible to swallow the sincerity with which TIME hides behind in its strong coverage of the diverse group of “Silence Breakers” represented in the piece, knowing that TIME was just as happy to profile the most powerful
accused rapist in the world.