Culture

Time for #MeToo

The wave of sexual misconduct allegations means "The Silence Breakers are the 2017 Person of the Year."

Nate Jackson · Dec. 6, 2017

Time magazine has selected its “Person of the Year,” and it’s Me Too. Actually, that’s #MeToo, as in the social media hashtag campaign begun by women (and a few men) victimized by sexual assault or harassment. “Social media acted as a powerful accelerant; the hashtag #MeToo has now been used millions of times in at least 85 countries,” said editor in chief Edward Felsenthal. “The idea that influential, inspirational individuals shape the world could not be more apt this year. … For giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable, The Silence Breakers are the 2017 Person of the Year.” The cover features prominent accusers like Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift. They have to sell magazines, after all.

Time’s award is often rightly the subject of ridicule. The magazine sometimes uses it as a platform for pushing whatever the currently desired leftist agenda. But given that the sexual harassment/assault stories have really taken off over the last couple of months, ensnaring dozens of high-profile, powerful men, this actually seems like a reasonable choice for Time.

That comes with a big caveat, though.

The article announcing the award contains this: “In politics, at least, what constitutes disqualifying behavior seemed to depend not on your actions but on the allegiance of your tribe. In the 1990s, feminists stood up for accused abuser Bill Clinton instead of his accusers — a move many are belatedly regretting as the national conversation prompts a re-evaluation of the claims against the former President.” Leftists have indeed recently thrown Clinton under the bus — now that it’s politically convenient. But Time is guilty of exactly the tribal allegiance it decries, because that is the only mention of Bill Clinton. There are zero mentions of Juanita Broaddrick or Kathleen Willey, the women who accused him of rape. Weren’t they the original “silence breakers”? Yet there are eight references to Donald Trump, and one mention of one of his accusers.

Trump was last year’s “Person of the Year,” and was the runner-up this year because, said Felsenthal, he has “changed the very nature of the presidency and the way the White House functions.”

As for #MeToo, it’s a long way from over…

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