TIME chose “The Silence Breakers,” who are actress Ashley Judd, singer Taylor Swift, strawberry picker Isabel Pascual, Uber engineer Susan Fowler, and activist Adama Iwu. All women from different walks in life, with the similar problems; sexual harassment.
Actress Ashley Judd, was one of the first women to come forward accusing Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. Since her story broke, over 50 others have shared their own accounts of alleged abuse by Weinstein!
Taylor Swift was groped by ex-radio host David Mueller during a pre-concert meet-and-greet in June 2013. The hit singer got a very public victory this past August, when the jurors found that David Mueller assaulted and battered her. Swift hoped that her story would help inspire other women who have experienced similar treatment. Per Swift’s request, jurors awarded her $1 in damages — a sum her attorney, called “a single symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation.”
Adama Iwu, is a lobbyist for Visa who started a campaign to expose sexual harassment. In Iwu’s open letter, which was first published in the Los Angeles times, she wrote, “As women leaders in politics, in a state that postures itself as a leader in justice and equality, you might assume our experience has been different. It has not.” This letter was inspired by an incident when a man touched her inappropriately at a political event, and no one else called out the behavior.
Susan Fowler was an engineer for Uber. Her manager had sent her very inappropriate messages via their company chat. He was in an open relationship, and was having a hard time finding new partners. He said, ” He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with.” It was clear that he was trying solicit sex . After screenshotting the conversation and reporting him to HR, surprisingly they did nothing! What is even more surprising is that Susan met more women who shared the same story at Uber! A lot of them dealing with the same manager she had reported! Read more of her story here.
Isabel Pascual, is a strawberry picker from Mexico, who spoke of being stalked after speaking out against the harassment she was experiencing on the job. She chose to use a pseudonym to protect her family.
Unfortunately, there are thousands, and probably millions of these types of stories out there that have went unheard. This was a welcomed change from Time’s usual “Person of the Year” spread.
What are your thoughts?