The Infuriating Hypocrisy of Time’s Person of the Year

On Tuesday, December 6, Time magazine unveiled its coveted Person of the Year issue. After much buzz was produced around it when Trump selfishly claimed he “turned down” Time’s offer, the “Silence Breakers” were given the platform they have all been striving to receive. The Me Too movement spread like wildfire on social media, as more and more men and women gained the courage to speak up about the harrowing sexual assault they had faced in the past.

It wasn’t the Silence Breaker piece that made me mad - that was the only good part about this whole ordeal. I love that we, as a society, are finally attempting to listen to those who want to share their stories on such a tragic, yet normalized issue, like sexual harassment. However, it was the runner-up to those powerful people that completely ruined everything the silence breakers had built up to.

There was no reason for Trump to be given the runner-up title for Person of the Year. Every woman who came forward for Time, sharing their accounts of the abuse they faced by our commander-in-chief, became completely invalidated as soon as Time once again put Trump on such a prestigious pedestal. Having the Silence Breakers be followed by the reason they had to break their silence is a sick joke to the many, many victims of sexual assault.

It’s almost like Time said “You know, it’s really cool and all that so many of you gave up everything to come forward but you know who else is cool? The man who assaulted you!”

Why can’t we just let empowered women share their stories with us without also validating the man behind their pain? Trump is even mentioned in the Silence Breaker’s article himself, so just to make things clear: Time blatantly acknowledges that Trump is one of the main reasons behind the Me Too movement, yet he’s still given praise by the magazine?

Time defines its Person of the Year as someone who “for better or worse, has done the most to influence the events of the year.” I understand that. And yes, I can acknowledge that Trump was a huge (or yuuuuge) talking point of the year. But, he was Person of the Year in 2016 so he was already recognized once and what has he exactly done as an “influencer” since then? Threaten nuclear war? Possibly collude with a foreign country and now is desperately trying to hide it? Type like an illiterate third-grader on Twitter?

Time’s Person of the Year of 2017 has only served to give sexual abusers a free pass for their actions. Because even though their accusers may be commended first, there’s a good chance they’ll be a close second! It’s completely hypocritical, demeans all sexual assault victims and should be receiving more criticism than it has been.