On Monday, Time revealed their shortlist for Person of the Year, and let’s just say we aren’t impressed with some of its choices. The 10 finalists include Jeff Bezos, The Dreamers, Kim Jong Un (Ugh), Patty Jenkins (YAS), Colin Kaepernick, Robert Mueller, Xi Jinping, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the #MeToo Movement and U.S. President Donald Trump. But here’s our main beef: why TF is Trump—who has been accused of sexually harassing 20 women so far—nominated alongside #MeToo, a movement that aims to give survivors of sexual assault a voice? (If we’re being real honest, Tarana Burke, the woman who started of the movement, should be nominated, but that’s a whole other argument.) Anyone else angrily scratching their heads RN?
Exsqueeze me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t it seem a bit opportunistic (and not in a good way) of Time to nominate Trump, a man who has a track record of sexism and misogyny, during a year where conversations around sexual misconduct have flooded mainstream media? Not to mention hella offensive to the people who have come forward this year against powerful men to share their stories of rape, humiliation, abuse and harassment? It’s a real slap in the face to see a legit society-changing movement like #MeToo lumped next to a man who said (and now pretends he didn’t) “grab ’em by the p-ssy.” Pardon my French, but FU, Time.
The #MeToo movement should be Time Person of the Year & all of Donald Trump’s victim’s stories should be featured in it.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) December 4, 2017
Now I understand that Time doesn’t nominate people just because they’ve done good deeds in the last 12 months. If that were the case, Trump wouldn’t have been crowned last year. As per Time’s mandate, the title goes to a “person or group of people who most influenced the news during the past year, for better or for worse.” I’m not naive; I know the Trump nomination is a strategic move. Time’s nominations are generating a lot of heated conversations online, and look, I’m writing about it right now. But attaching the always controversial Trump to something just to make it controversial feels, well, desperate—especially given Trump’s recent tweets about it over U.S. Thanksgiving.
There’s a real difference between giving Trump a glossy magazine spread that we know he covets and giving thousands and thousands of survivors of sexual assault a chance to get formal recognition for their courageous voices and work. Who is more deserving? An outpouring of brave individuals who have banded together to stand up against sexual violence (for better) or a man who has been vocal about participating in it (for worse)? It seems like a no-brainer to me.
The magazine will likely justify their Trump nomination behind the reasoning of their decision-making tradition, but whether Time acknowledges it or not, putting someone’s face on a cover of a magazine elevates that person’s platform. It gives them a voice. It legitimizes them. During a year where we’ve watched tons of powerful people fall from their esteemed pedestals thanks to all the courageous women, men, journalists and advocates out there, it’s seriously harmful to name a dude with a dangerous dick Person of the Year. What sort of message does that send?
— Meg (@Meg__KC) December 4, 2017
It’s about time that Time picked a person—or a group of people—for reasons that are more deserving than just influencing the news “for better or for worse.” Other nominees, like the Dreamers, who are courageously fighting against Trump’s move to kill the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, are making positive change. So is Kaepernick, the NFL star who took a knee during America’s national anthem to protest police brutality. These are people who are fighting for something bigger—and better—than themselves.
During a year where sexual harassment has dominated the news cycle, #MeToo has helped shaped conversations and educate people on what kind of behaviour is OK and what’s not. If society can start to change the way they see things, then Time should change their selection process, too. Otherwise, the magazine will become outdated and irrelevant—and in the words of Trump, that’s SAD.