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08 Dec 2017

TIME's 'Silence Breakers' also include a mysterious elbow. Here's why

The faceless elbow on TIME magazine's cover

TIME magazine's Person of the Year for 2017 is not one man/woman, but many people behind the #MeToo movement that called out the rampant sexual-abuse in America and fueled a raging global discussion.

Calling them 'Silence Breakers', it features five women across industries who braved to share their stories and stir the conversation, and an elbow.

But, why was the elbow included?

In context

The faceless elbow on TIME magazine's cover


Who are the people on TIME's cover?

From left to right, the cover has strawberry picker Isabel Pascual (not her real name), actor Ashley Judd, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler and singer Taylor Swift. Sitting in the front is activist Adama Iwu.

And now the detail that makes TIME's cover for 2017 stand out - it also features an elbow, acknowledging the innumerable faceless, silent victims of sexual abuse.


Here's why Judd and Susan Fowler are on the cover

Ashely Judd was among the first people to have accused the now disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Her sharing the story opened a can of worms. Over 60 other women followed, accusing Weinstein of abuse ranging from molestation, harassment to rape.

Susan Fowler's viral blog post on the sexual harassment she faced at Uber forced its CEO Travis Kalanick to resign.

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When Taylor Swift went to court

Much before the Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement, Taylor Swift had counter-sued and won a case against a radio DJ, David Mueller, who had alleged that her false claims of sexual assault had destroyed his career.

Mueller had groped Swift from behind, while taking a photo in 2013. During the trial, Taylor notably refused to be blamed for what wasn't her fault.

Other sectors

Sexual harassment isn't exclusive to just Hollywood

Lobbyist Adama Iwu initiated a campaign to call out the pervasive culture of sexual assault in American politics, forcing a state senate investigation.

In the wake of the Weinstein scandal, Isabel Pascual, a Mexican strawberry picker, gave a stirring speech at a Los Angeles march, wanting to bring to light the abuse agricultural workers and give her sector a face and a voice.

Trump on a list that celebrates fighters of sexual abuse?


Trump on a list that celebrates fighters of sexual abuse?

Ironically, Donald Trump, who's been accused of sexual misconduct multiple times, gets the second spot on TIME's list.

The magazine cites POTUS and his actions, notably the Access Hollywood tape, in which he flaunts his ability to grab any woman by the pussy, as a catalyst and a precursor to the #MeToo movement.

Trump was named TIME's Person of the Year in 2016.


What is TIME magazine's Person of the Year?

Person of the Year is TIME's annual issue that recognizes a person, group, thing or an idea that according to it has been the most influential through the year.

TIME's editor in chief, Edward Felsenthal, on Wednesday called the #MeToo movement the "fastest-moving social change we've seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by women and some men too."

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