Each of These Working Mothers Was Just Named a ‘Time’ Person of the Year
Instead of naming just one person, the magazine decided to honor all of the people who have raised awareness for and fought against sexual harassment this past year.
“These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day, and in the past two months alone, their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results: nearly every day, CEOs have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced. In some cases, criminal charges have been brought,” Stephanie Zacharek, Eliana Dockterman and Haley Sweetland Edwards wrote for Time.
The piece on the disctinction also noted how despite the different backgrounds of all of the “silence breakers” in this moment, they are all united for this cause.
“The women and men who have broken their silence span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe,” the authors wrote. “They might labor in California fields, or behind the front desk at New York City’s regal Plaza Hotel, or in the European Parliament. They’re part of a movement that has no formal name. But now they have a voice.”
The magazine featured several notable individuals who have made headlines for speaking about their harassment and empowering others to do the same—including some working mothers. Here are the working moms that were recognized for playing important roles in the #metoo movement:
The actress discussed her own history of being harassed and is credited for starting the trend of encouraging women to share their harassment stories online with the #metoo hashtag.
“It’s affected me on a cellular level to hear all these stories,” she said in the article. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I have not stopped crying. I look at my daughter and think, ‘Please, let this be worth it. Please, let it be that my daughter never has to go through anything like this.’”
The news anchor and television personality revealed that she had made complaints against former Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly when O’Reilly insisted that nobody at the network had any problems with his behavior.
“I always thought that maybe I can change things for my daughter,” she told Time.“I never thought things could change for me. Never. I believed the system was stacked against women, and the smart ones would understand how to navigate it … I’m starting to see it so differently.”
The Oregon state senator accused a colleague in the Senate, Jeff Kruse, of sexual harassment in October. While Kruse still holds his position, he was removed from all of the committees with which he was involved.
Blair accused director James Toback of sexually assaulting her, despite that fact that she says he threatened to kill her if she ever spoke out. “I decided to go on the record when I saw his denial,” she said. “He called the women liars. But their stories were so similar to mine, and they were such credible women. There was no agenda other than they wanted to share this story, be free of this story.”
Walsh accused O’Reilly of harassing her when she was a Fox News contributor. She said that her children influenced her to come forward and publically share her story. “I felt it was my duty as a mother of daughters, as an act of love for women everywhere and the women who are silenced, to be brave.”
The French journalist created the hashtag #BalanceTonPorc—which translates into “Expose your pig”—based off of the American #metoo. Her movement led to protests across France and even inspired 85 more international versions.
Pascual is a fruit picker originally from Mexico who spoke to Time using a pseudonym. The #metoo movement inspired her to take a stand despite the fact that her accused harasser stalked and threatened her safety.
“I was afraid,” she said at a march in Los Angeles. “The man harassing me threatened to harm my children and me—that’s why I kept quiet. I felt desperate. I cried and cried. But, thank God, my friends in the field supported me. So I said, ‘Enough.’ I lost the fear. It doesn’t matter if they criticize me. I can support other people who are going through the same thing.
Seven employees at the Plaza Hotel in New York City are suing the hotel after their sexual harassment complaints against a colleague went unaddressed. Dana Lewis, one of the seven and a single mother, said that she felt trapped because she needed the job to support her child. “I am a single mother. I have an 11-year-old daughter, and she’s depending on me. My entire life revolves around her. I wasn’t really left with the option of leaving. I’m not left with the option of giving up.”
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