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Four Great Things

Time Magazine's Person of the Year

Time Magazine just named the “The Silence Breakers” as the 2017 Person of the Year — referring to the millions of women and men of the #MeToo movement, who came forward to share their personal stories of sexual assault and harassment and give a voice to other survivors. The viral phrase #MeToo, which was started by social activist Tarana Burke more than a decade ago, gained popularity after Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. “The world is listening,” Time wrote. Bravo.

Also, see the elbow in the right-hand corner? It has Twitter buzzing, but the crop was not a mistake. “The image you see partially on the cover is of a woman we talked to, a hospital worker in the middle of the country, who doesn’t feel like she can come forward without threatening her livelihood,” Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal explained. Her elbow recognizes all the survivors who are unable to speak out.

House of Cards

After actor Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual assault and fired from House of Cards, Robin Wright was promoted this week to sole lead for the show’s sixth and final season.

Tim Wilson

Gay Australian politician Tim Wilson proposed to his partner (sitting in the public gallery) during a same-sex marriage debate in the House of Representatives. Here’s the touching video, if you’d like to see.

Lastly, have you seen SNL’s “Welcome To Hell” skit on sexual harassment? Directed to men who feel shocked/stressed by the current allegations, the hilarious song hits the nail on the head — that this kind of misconduct is nothing new. “Here’s a list of stuff that’s ruined for us,” actress Saoirse Ronan sings cheerfully, mentioning everyday things like parking, walking, Uber, ponytails, bathrobes, nighttime, drinking, hotels and vans. Leslie Jones also reminds everyone, “It’s like a million times worse for a woman of color.” Worth watching.

P.S. On sexual harassment, and being a feminist.

  1. Merce says...

    I am worried that this “me too” campain might make American men afraid to work with women. I don’t live in the US but I was there recently and was shocked when watching a tv show, one of the hosts, a woman married to an attorney or banker (can’t remember which) said that she tells her husband not be alone in a room with a woman, to always have a secretary in the room! I am an attorney living and working in Europe. I wonder if I might miss on work oportunities. Could American execs or attorneys just feel that working with women is too much of a liability? Am I the only person who thinks this? I am a feminist, of course, and hate sexual harassment… but I need to work for a living and all this worries me.

  2. T says...

    This post and the comments has been eye opening to me. I’m very lucky and have never been raped or assaulted, but I have always been wary and feel unsafe around most men, even my father (parents divorced when I was young, so not around much). I never understood why until I read this post and the comments. So sick of this being the ‘normal’ for women and minority groups.

  3. Giulia says...

    Kudos to you Jo and brilliant Team for being able to be at one time insightful, funny, courageous, light-hearted, supportive, strong, and above all inspiring at all times! And thank you all ladies for the incredible comments. I feel like I learn while getting my daily dose of warmth from here. Giulia xxx

  4. Elise says...

    This is a great list. But I wish that Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, had been chosen for the cover. We all owe her so much.

    • Lo says...

      I second this comment so so much!! It would be awesome if Cup of Jo could recognize Tarana Burke for the amazing work she’s done.

  5. Laura says...

    I found the following quote on Courtney A. Castro’s site (the first comment to this post), originally from the Macho Paradox by Jackson Katz, and just had to copy and paste:

    “I draw a line down the middle of a chalkboard, sketching a male symbol on one side and a female symbol on the other. Then I ask just the men: What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they’ve been asked a trick question. The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, ‘I stay out of prison.’ This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, ‘Nothing. I don’t think about it.’ Then I ask women the same question. What steps do you take on a daily basis to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands. As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine. Here are some of their answers: Hold my keys as a potential weapon. Look in the back seat of the car before getting in. Carry a cell phone. Don’t go jogging at night. Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights. Be careful not to drink too much. Don’t put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured. Own a big dog. Carry Mace or pepper spray. Have an unlisted phone number. Have a man’s voice on my answering machine. Park in well-lit areas. Don’t use parking garages. Don’t get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men. Vary my route home from work. Watch what I wear. Don’t use highway rest areas. Use a home alarm system. Don’t wear headphones when jogging. Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime. Don’t take a first-floor apartment. Go out in groups. Own a firearm. Meet men on first dates in public places. Make sure to have a car or cab fare. Don’t make eye contact with men on the street. Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s incredible, laura.

    • Lauren E. says...

      This brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing.

    • Heather says...

      I feel like I’ve been on the verge of tears all day today, which I’m blaming on the general fog of nonsense we’re all living in (that Al Franken is stepping down, but we still have this President who’s been accused of sexual harassment AND assault a whopping 17 times — and he and the RNC have endorsed Roy Moore; that our national park lands are being assaulted; that middle east peace talks have been damaged but we seem to be STUCK with this President; that I overheard a podcast my husband listens to joking about the “harassment of the day” – as if it’s all just noise now and not a REAL thing that women must navigate around all the time).

      This quote really puts a nice point on it. Thanks for sharing, Laura.

    • Thanks for sharing that Laura! I didn’t realize how much I was adjusting my life every single day until I read that quote.

    • This reminds me of a big realization I had in college. One night, I was leaving a night class and it was -15 outside, and I felt almost safe. I thought to myself “no one would sit outside waiting to attack when it’s this miserably cold outside.” That was the first time I really considered that I was on high alert for an attack 100% of the time. When I’ve tried to explain to men in the past that we are afraid all the time, they have always brushed it off. I hope they’re starting to listen.

    • Laura says...

      No, thank YOU, Courtney.
      And Meltown I have the same thoughts when it’s cold outside :(

    • Sophie Jones says...

      I’ll never forget this quote Amy Poehler included in “Yes, Please,” from Gavin DeBecker’s book “The Gift of Fear,” summing up his research into what men and women are most afraid of: “Most men fear getting laughed at or humiliated by a romantic prospect while most women fear rape and death.”

    • I stopped wearing heels to work in my downtown high rise because I realized one day that it wasn’t fair that only men got to wear shoes in which they could easily descend the staircase in the event of a fire.

  6. Catherine says...

    I feel like the title of this post is an understatement. These things are better than great. They’re epic!

    It awed me to see that “The Silence Breakers” were legitimized to the point of being named Time’s person of the year. I was starting to suspect this movement was going to provoke a backlash in which things would go backwards for women. Maybe it still will, but at least we’ll have this cover!

    “Welcome to Hell” really got me. Like there are all these mundane things that I deal with as if by reflex every single day of my life that potentially involve my own rape/murder. “That guy is looking at me funny, maybe he wants to rape/kill me.” “I need to go to the bathroom but I’m not done with my drink and I can’t leave it where it can be drugged.” “What will I do if the maintenance man attacks me?” These thoughts are typical for women. Is it weird that I’m just starting to think, “Maybe I shouldn’t have to live like prey”?

    • Eva says...

      So true! This whole movement, especially capped off by Welcome to Hell, made me realize I’m not a paranoid, delusional or overly anxious person, I’m just a typical woman in 2017.

  7. Sasha says...

    Book rec, couldn’t be more timely, Bear Town by Frederick Backman (author of A Man Called Ove). Hockey, and rape. And the truest thing I’ve ever read about how we screw things up as humans, and about what happens to women in a patriarchy. It’s a hard read, I almost stopped when I could see what was coming. But that voice inside me made me continue, she deserved to be heard. Please get the men in your life to read this book.

    • My husband reading it right now. His mother gave it to him. I had no idea what it was about beyond hockey, but I am glad he has such an amazing mother. I will read it afterwards.

  8. Kim says...

    This is why I read Cup of Jo. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for never shying away from the political.

    • Hita says...

      Agreed. Thank you, Jo, for a community of strong outspoken women. It’s good to have a place where you don’t feel alone.

  9. Alex says...

    The Australian Parliament just resoundingly passed marriage equality into law! Hurrah!
    But the governing party (The Liberal Party, who are confusingly conservative on most topics) have imprisoned thousands of refugees on Manus Island under the guise of “border security”. Many of these people have fled their home countries because of gender persecution. Basically: Tim Wilson is complicit in the imprisonment of people forced to leave their country because they are gay. I’m beyond happy that we’ve joined the rest of the world, but upset that Tim and his party only believe in equality for some people.

  10. bisbee says...

    I cheered when I saw the Time cover. I then heard some negative comments from a conservative, misogynistic female talk show host about how these women were to be denigrated, since they didn’t speak up when the abuse was happening. She and others of her ilk refuse to believe that if these women spoke up earlier, they were likely to be ignored, further abused, blacklisted by their employer and sometimes by the larger industry, or fired. It is only after the brave women like those on the cover spoke up, and thousands more via the #metoo movement, that women feel empowered enough to talk and report what has been happening for decades (and much, much longer).

    • caligirl says...

      So true Bisbee. It’s really critical that the “person” of the year is plural. Without a critical mass of people willing to finally LISTEN, the bravest of speakers couldn’t make a difference.

  11. Brooke says...

    In a wonderful conclusion to the marriage equality debate in Australia, today the parliament passed the bill and it becomes law on Saturday!

  12. Beth says...

    Thanks for posting this. Just to let you know regarding the same sex marriage debate in Australia , the government several hours ago passed the relevant legislation. Same sex marriage is now legal in Australia! Woohoo!

    • Blandine says...

      Wohooo!!!!! Well done Aussies!

    • KL says...

      And someone proposed during a debate, I think!

  13. Lucy says...

    And as of about 4 hours ago, Tim will be able to marry Ryan in my home land of Australia as the legislation passed in the House of Reps. FINALLY!

    Now we can all marry, let’s move forwards to full & total respect of fellow beings irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion…

  14. The TIME magazine cover certainly left us all shook this week. It’s such a powerful move for Person of the Year, despite the Taylor bit being quite controversial. I’ve just known about the elbow thing through what you mentioned, and I honestly admire that so much. An amazing, strong statement, I think it’s a bold move they made.
    Have a good rest of the week!

    Joanne

    • Ashley says...

      What Taylor did was brave; through her testimony she refused to take responsibility for the actions of her harasser. It’s really hard to testify and tell your story in such a formal intimidating setting. I found her testimony incredibly impowering. Tweeting is easier than being subject to an entire trial and cross-examination. She also donated money to Kesha and other organizations.

  15. Natasha says...

    Ari, YES! I also had a very emotional reaction to the SNL video which I didn’t expect. How is it normal? It’s so not ok. I hope we women make great leaps and bounds for future generations. My daughter is nearly two and I dream vehemently of so much better for her.

  16. Whitney says...

    This really hit home with me. My husband if I had ever experienced untoward advances (yes) or other creepy behavior (yes) but I also explained that I considered myself lucky that I had never been raped or assaulted or felt truly unsafe. Watching the video reminds me of how my mom calmly instructed me to pee/poop/barf if someone ever tried to rape me – I was probably 13 years old at the time. So yeah. I want to live in a world we don’t have to give our daughters ‘tips’ to avoid being raped and where ANY creepy behavior is. Not. Ok.

  17. Ashley W says...

    Love this. When I noticed the elbow on the cover I definitely appreciated the decision to crop. Maybe being an artist/designer gave me more insight than those thinking it was a mistake, but I instantly saw the symbolism in the piece alluding to more. I interpretated it as all the other women out there… as though if you could scroll to the right in the photo it would be an endless panorama of women… because we all know there’s more to this than will ever meet the eye.

    I loved reading a bit more insight. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Ari says...

    Has anyone else started realizing just how much stuff they had subconsciously internalized as normal? I literally had a friend in college who’s stepdad gave her a pink gun and matching pink mace and I only thought it was weird because GUN CONTROL until I watched the SNL skit. And then suddenly I had a lightbulb moment and thought “Wait a minute, that is weird. And it’s also weird that my dad gave me mace. And it’s also weird that I carry a knife. Wait a minute, it’s weird that I’m afraid of being perceived as a bitch because I don’t make eye contact with men I dont know. HEY it’s also weird that my friends and I had our Rape Call which was the person you called when you were walking home at night.”

    It’s like when I started crying when I saw Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman because I was so awestruck to see a female superhero. I would consider myself an enlightened, educated feminist raised by powerful women. And I’m just realizing this. is. all. weird.

    • Escondista says...

      It’s interesting that some of these same men accuse women of lying but they give their daughters and wives mace or guns because they know what’s out there. Come on, put two and two together!

    • Savannah says...

      I never called it a rape call but I definitely had long, long conversations with my mother at night, when it was dark and I was walking home. I also mentioned to a man that I’m meeting online that I was taught to exchange information before meeting someone from the internet (so you can pass it to someone else in case you disappear) and he said that wasn’t a thing for him and I was like “the differences between a girl and boy childhood!”

  19. I was so moved by the women of the Me Too movement, and it’s incredibly powerful that they’re on the cover of Time. I’m so proud of these brave women!

    Also, I can’t stop singing “Welcome to Hell.” I also think it applies to so much going on right now in this country!

  20. Kellyn says...

    My husband, who I consider to be incredibly enlightened, self aware, intelligent, kind, thoughtful, respectful of women (and all others)….has been really surprised by all this. When I explained everything I feared (basically a retelling of the SNL skit) – he was shocked. I COULDN’T believe this was news to him…I still can’t. And he can’t either – we’re both dumbfounded.

    But I am so gleeful to think of all these high powered *ss holes who are scared because they know what’s coming….now this is a good feeling!

    Also – if Trump ran against anyone other than Hillary I think that the allegations against his predatory behavior would have been the end of him….she couldn’t address it like it needed to be because of her husband. Ugh – I hate (so many) men!

    • Jean says...

      I know! Isn’t it a shock how so many men are completely surprised? And worse, how many men have the attitude that women are overreacting…that their unwelcome, predatory behavior is a compliment?!! Most men have never felt fear for their safety. Ever. All women are conscious of it all the time.

  21. Lauren says...

    Love this trend of gulp, consequences?!?!?

  22. Caligirl says...

    One of the craziest things about this movement is that I think it was precipitated by the election of a sexual predator to the highest office of the land. What wonderful irony! It may go down in history that real cultural change for women in the US and beyond was helped significantly by the fact that a sector of the country was willing to throw it’s weight behind an unqualified misogynist.

    • Sandra says...

      Yes! Well said. I was heartsick when Trump was elected because I thought it was the end of all the progress we’ve made in this country in my lifetime (I’m 50). I’m so glad to see this culture of harassment beginning to crumble, even if liberals seem to be the only ones willing to acknowledge and accept responsibility for their actions.

    • jules says...

      I agree. we would not be here with out the grabbing pussy tape. Weird, but true. It stirred up the nest and eventually, things started happening. not everything but even the largest hive cannot take down the entire village at once.

  23. Fiona says...

    My favorite post by far. THANK YOU!

  24. Charlotte K says...

    I know a lot of really wonderful men, but I’m not part of a couple. I asked on Facebook as all the latest revelations were happening what my male friends really thought about it all. I have a lot of FB male friends–they are good guys–at least as far as I know. ONLY ONE answered. He said he was trying to use this as an opportunity to teach his young teenage son about these problems, which is an approach I appreciate. But all the others, silent. I don’t want to be a shrew (sarcasm) but I’m tempted to post it every week until I get critical mass! I really want to know how this is hitting them all, what are they thinking about it.

    • My father-in-law said something similar, that he is trying to instill better values in his son (or something like that). While I appreciated the sentiment, I still feel like he was almost trying to push the blame onto the “other” still. As in, he couldn’t possibly be responsible for the continuation of rape culture. To be clear, he has NEVER done anything inappropriate to me personally, but I’m sure he’s laughed at an inappropriate joke or been complicit when someone else has done something in front of him. I think it just goes to show that men can’t accept that the problem is systemic, and not rooted in individual actions.

  25. Clare says...

    Yes, yes, YES to all of this!

  26. Jessica Tillyer says...

    Love seeing all of the actions and messages — large and small — that collectively are helping to pave a new path forward, while rejecting the hateful rhetoric happening right now. So glad you are sharing these stories!

  27. Christina says...

    Goosebumps from the explanation of the elbow. Thank you for sharing!

  28. Justine A Clark says...

    My 13 year old son recently said to me “Mum, you can totally ruin a man’s life, like his whole life, by falsely accusing him of sexual harassment.” Oh sweet Jesus give me patience. I bit my tongue hard, then calmly explained all the many reasons that is so rare: the hell victims are subjected to in order to “prove” the abuse, job losses, family members and friends not believing you, being branded a “problem employee”, the shame and guilt felt for not “fighting hard to escape”, etc. I really felt like I’d failed as a woman parenting a boy in that moment.

    I think a lot of men (and boys – see above) really don’t understand what woman endure on a daily basis. The other day I was on public transit in rush hour when a guy sat down beside me and started groping his crotch while side-eyeing me. Yesterday I was in Starbucks lining up for my morning coffee when some slimy dude started aggressively hitting on me. I wasn’t even making eye contact when he started his tirade. Most of the time I just get off the bus, ignore the cat call, brush off the social inept attempts to engage, but it is a exhausting and sometimes frightening. Men just don’t get it.

    • Justine A Clark says...

      Excuse the typos please – furious typing, lol.

    • Ashley W says...

      Ah man… I’ve got a 9 month old, and I feel so much pressure to work against all what he will be surrounded by. Maybe things will be different by the time he’s 13, but I’m sure it’ll still be a very steep uphill. Really makes me think about how I want him to see me respond to all of those tiny little interactions I brush off in day-to-day life as a woman. Most of the struggle there is being aware I’m doing it, and the other is balancing safety and then explaining why I just put up with it? Ugh.

      I’ve had several conversations with my husband about all of this, which made him ask why I don’t just shut guys down in those situations, and I’m just like “I do. … Except when I can’t because you have to go by that feeling in your gut about whether it’s safer to ignore it, or because I just can’t waste half my effing day telling every other guy I cross paths with what they’re doing wrong, or because they’re friends or family and that’s how it’s always been so I look like a prude for mentioning anything.” Though that last one has definitely changed as I’ve gotten older!

    • Katherine says...

      Oh this is so tough! You haven’t failed! Parenting teenagers is so tricky and I think with boys there is so much amongst their friends, unfortunately, about being macho and trying to prove their masculinity that they very easily want to blame girls rather than examine their own behaviour. I think it takes quite a strong character to resist and to stick up for women at this age-when you desperately want to fit in with your peers but also be unique. Keep fighting the good fight though-the more he understands it doesn’t make him less of a man to consider a woman’s point of view, the better he will do in later life.

    • Ashley P. says...

      Oh man, this hit home for me. My husband says the same thing…that basically he’s worried about women using this power that they have, that anyone will believe them (which is funny because as we’ve seen, people normally don’t believe them). And some of the stories he’s told me are really disturbing, the kind of Lifetime movie stuff I assume doesn’t really happen on the regular. He’s known two men to be falsely accused of rape, in incidences where the women admitted later it was made up.

      I guess to me they seem like such rarities in a sea of constant. Women are constantly harassed and assault happens all the time. I’m not sure what to do with the every once in a while. I think that this defensiveness I hear popping up from men is partially shock that it really does happen this often. Because I hear it coming from guys I would normally consider allies.

      In the midst of all of this, my husband texted me in the middle of the day to tell me about some sexist behavior coming from a co-worker. The guy messages him about the “hot pizza girl”, has made disparaging comments about one of the only women on his team. And even working in tech, he just felt shocked and stunned that it was happening. He ended up talking to HR and his manager about it.

      I feel like everyone (including myself) has had blinders on to HOW BAD it’s been. Hell, we joke about this stuff on TV and movies. Once you start seeing it for what it really is, there’s nothing funny about it and it’s everywhere. I’m hoping that the defensiveness wears away, actually I know it will. No one likes feeling lumped in, and honestly most people do think of themselves first.

      Also: Whenever I get defensive, that’s always when, deep down, I know I’m wrong. As an adult, I’ve finally gotten better about noticing this trend. But every single time I get defensive about a subject, I have to dig really deep to see the truth.

    • Sasha says...

      Justine, I just finished Bear Town by Frederick Backman, oh man what a timely read. I highly recommend it to you and your son, and everyone. It’s a very realistic story about hockey, rape, rape culture, teens……..that doesn’t sound like a *fun* read, but it’s beautifully written (like all of his novels), and a truly gripping and beautiful and HUMAN story about truth and strength and justice, which is the heart of #metoo. For any man who doesn’t understand what it is to be a woman, this will go a long way toward.

    • Justine A Clark says...

      Thanks for all who responded below. I’m going to pick up Bear Town to read.
      I’m going to continue talking to my husband and son…they don’t always want to hear what I’m saying because it makes them uncomfortable, but it’s an important discussion to continue.

    • Joanna, this comment touches upon something I’d love for you to explore: How we, as women who’ve had to shrug off (or otherwise normalize) so much inappropriate male behavior, can “be the change” in how we mother our sons. #MeToo is such an exciting time, but the path forward to teach my sweet boy about how to be a man in the world feels fraught. Do you wait ’til they’re older and tell them everything that’s happened to you, all the little slights and big traumas? Does one risk demonizing the gender and making a son feel like he’s already disappointed you just by being a boy? For now, I’m going with the angle that he and the future are both clean slates, and he can be the change too. But it’s hard!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this might help with children, in terms of teaching consent:
      https://cupofjo.com/2017/04/how-to-teach-kids-consent/

      but as for teaching teenagers/husbands/boyfriends/brothers/dads/etc that this is REALLY happening everyday in a major way, and has been forever, it’s a hard question! maybe encouraging them to read articles would help? it’s so eye opening, the more you read, even as a woman. it’s tough! so glad this cultural awakening is happening, though. we have a long long way to go, but i’m so grateful that it’s happening.

  29. Sasha says...

    Best roundup ever. Thank you coj.

  30. Kelly says...

    I love that Welcome to Hell video. It puts a funny spin on a topic that makes me very sad, the older i get, which was how my mother’s near hysteria over the obscure but Very Bad things that might befall young girls shadowed my adolescence and early adulthood. I often wonder how I would approach life differently without that coloring everything.

  31. TjP says...

    For me, Time covers are usually 🙄 but this one made me yell ‘right on!’ Is it just me or are we starting to see twinkles of light in the darkness of this past year? *deep breaths*

  32. Jennifer says...

    Why is it when I watched the “Welcome to Hell” video it just made me want to cry because everything they said is SO true?! I don’t know – it just really hit me hard toward the end because I have been sexually assaulted and sexually harassed. I am really happy to see SNL make this video because it is a very sad reality for women to endure. Also, I am a woman of color (biracial white/black) and Leslie Jones is very right that sexual harassment is really bad for women of color. Of course, I’m basing this on my own personal experience and my sister and friends who have also dealt with sexual harassment. So glad to see you featured the SNL skit in your “4 Fun Things” round-up!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      jennifer, i hear you! the part where she said something like, “if i’m alone on a dark street, i make this weird movement so he will think it’s not worth it” made me so sad too because i’ve done that so many times. twirled in circles and yelled out in an odd way or something just in case the stranger behind me on an empty dark NYC street is considering attacking. it’s so heartbreaking to think about in the light of day!

    • Ashley W says...

      Yes to the random movement thing! I’m sure men think that’s a weird thing they added to the skit, but what really makes it weird is that so many women have used it or considered it as a defense mechanism. Without it being taught to us…

    • Suzieq says...

      Joanna’s comment gave me chills. Yup.

  33. Meg says...

    I had fallen off the House of Cards bandwagon. This makes me want to jump right back on for the last season.

  34. t says...

    Have you seen the backlash about Taylor Swift being selected for the cover?

    The argument is that she didn’t risk much by filing the lawsuit and many of the other silence breakers did (think Ke$ha and her career or Rose McGowan).

    • Colleen says...

      I think that’s why she did it though. In my mind, those of us who have “less to risk” should still speak up and speak out to show solidarity with all women. And there’s always the emotional and mental risk, even if there’s less perceived social or financial risk. Plus, whether you like her or not, you have to acknowledge that Taylor Swift is a hugely popular role model for tons of pre-teen and teen girls (and guys!). What impact may her action have on them that we haven’t seen yet to encourage them in their situations?

    • Laura says...

      Personally I love the cover and also love Taylor on it.

    • Ashley says...

      I’m an attorney in my mid thirty’s and I have a ton of respect for Taylor Swift. She’s imperfect but incredible.

    • Ashley says...

      “Thirties”

    • Garconlesnoot says...

      Yeah, it’s ironic how many people comment that big name women who were harassed were complict because they didn’t speak up, yet TS gets criticized because she spoke up, got sued to shut her up, and so she countersued and won. And the complaint is that she had little to lose, or that she wasn’t harassed enough? It’s like women have to meet the idea of some sort of ‘perfect victim’ before they are allowed to speak out.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m not really a fan of Taylor’s public persona, but I think her lawsuit was actually really important, and a wonderful use of her privilege and platform.

  35. Patsy says...

    I feel like this is a token. I was wondering how many individual women have ever gotten the cover, and then I saw this from Philip Bump of the Washington Post: “Time’s “Person of the Year” winners are themselves a reminder that power has long been concentrated in the hands of men,” writes Bump. “In 66 of 89 years, the winner of the title has been a man, by himself. Four times, the winner has been a woman by herself—never an American woman.”

    Only 4 individual winner. This is not enough.

    • jess says...

      I agree. I mostly think Time is riding on a profit-driven wave that is #metoo movement. Donald Trump was runner up to POY 2017, which kind of breaks my brain/heart.

  36. Logan says...

    Anyone else see irony in the fact that last year’s Person of the Year was the great misogynist, Donald Trump?

    • Ashley W says...

      I hate the fact that he was in the shortlist for this year.

    • Lisa says...

      I also love the irony of his tweet about him turning them down to be man of the year this year. And then …

    • annemarie says...

      seeing trump’s face anywhere makes me angry, but i did want to point out that the TIME Person of the Year isn’t necessarily a good reflection on that person (or at least, it’s not intended to always be that). From Wikipedia: “[Person of the Year is] an annual issue of the United States news magazine Time that profiles a person, a group, an idea, or an object that ‘for better or for worse … has done the most to influence the events of the year.'”

      however, despite all intentions, it still does kind of come off as honorific—as one’s photo on the cover of a big deal news magazine is liable to do…

  37. Katie McCauley says...

    The proposal video made my week. I treasure that kind of happy, feel-good moment more than ever at the end of this (very) long year.

  38. Elizabeth Monaco says...

    Where’s Rose McGowan? Rose Army? Major mistake in not including her.

  39. Lily says...

    Thank you for this.

  40. Em says...

    Hey – I have a question for the collective genius of Cup of Jo writers/readers. My boyfriend is a great guy, and among the first reasons I knew he was great when we first started dating is he made a comment along the lines of “I can’t imagine what life must be like for a woman” re: safety by yourself/with strangers. It was a little thing, but I liked that he acknowledged rather than dismissed a threat and state of mind that he has never experienced. Recently, I made a comment that he was a feminist (because I believe how he treats and feels about women he knows and doesn’t know follows the ideals of feminism as I understand them) – and he was like “Ugh, I’m not a feminist!” Eww, right? So my question is – are there any tools or resources or references that you like or that speak to a moderate or non-political mindset, or that you’ve used to educate someone who wasn’t particularly close-minded, but still in the old school of feminism being a dirty word?

    • Katrina says...

      I think a very simple way is to actually examine the definition of feminism. Which is, belief that women are equal beings to men.

    • Laura says...

      God Em this is such a good question. My boyfriend is a very respectful to me and I would categorize him as a feminist. However I often feel like he just doesn’t GET it.

    • Meli says...

      wish I could offer a great resource but instead, just adding how valuable this would be to my relationship. Would love ideas from everyone, especially things we can do together (podcasts?). Thanks!

    • Kaitlin says...

      Isn’t that so funny? Many people in my community are repulsed by the word “feminist.” I’d love some resources for how to bridge that gap with people.

    • Simone says...

      If you are pleased with his actions and viewpoints I don’t see the need to put a label on him.

    • Michelle says...

      Some people don’t like to have their thoughts, actions, beliefs and feelings simplified by someone else into a label, or join movements for that matter.

      For example, how would you feel if someone told you that you belonged to a certain religion because some of your morals were shared by that religion? E.G. “That was so Christian of you to donate that food to the shelter!”

      They would rather just live according to their own moral compass- quietly making change in their corner of the world. I think we need a bit of both types, right?

      Does he tell you not to call yourself a feminist? If he respects your right to identify as a member of whichever group or movement you want, you might also respect his right to refrain from identifying as a member of a group or movement.

      If it really bothers you, I would treat him as an equal and come to him ready to first share your thoughts (“That bothered me when you said that.”). BUT then to ask him questions with a truly open mind ready to listen to him. Talk to him from a place of interest and respect, rather than a place of assumed superiority where you want to “educate him”. Good luck, he sounds like a great guy.

    • Laura says...

      Simone I think she just wants to educate him so he now longer thinks feminism is a dirty word.

    • I thought this was pretty good.
      http://feministing.com/2013/08/02/how-to-talk-to-your-boyfriend-about-feminism/

      Though personally I’d probably just say “do you believe that women and men are equal and should be treated equally? Yes? Then sorry, babe, you’re a feminist.” But I’ll be the first to admit that this *may* not be the best advice and perhaps there’s a reason I’m single 😉

    • Alexandra says...

      Could you revisit and ask him to define what he thinks of as a feminist and what he doesn’t like about that definition? It might help to understand exactly what his hang-ups are, but it’s likely that he’s conflating “feminist” with “misandrist”.

      There are some fantastic video interviews (including with men, which may help speak to him) with various celebrities explaining how they define feminism and why it’s so important to them to label themselves that way. Aziz Ansari has one, and so does Terry Crews. (I love Aziz’s: “If you go to a Beyonce/Jay-Z concert and you think Beyonce should get paid as much as Jay-Z, you’re a feminist.”

    • Sasha says...

      I would ask him why the word bothers him, start there. Perhaps there is a misconception you can clear up.
      Personally if my husband refused to claim that word, and he knows well the definition, I don’t see how that could not effect his views about equality or his behavior towards women. If I were giving a dating questionnaire to a potential partner, literally the first question would be 1. Are you a feminist? A no answer would be the end of the quiz.

    • M says...

      This is a great question. May I offer another view? In my experience, while some great men call themselves feminists, many not-so-great men also call themselves feminists; but when push comes to shove these so-called feminists are no where to be found. I’d encourage us to be less distracted by the need to label everyone a feminist, as well as worry less about feminism being a dirty word. From your comment, it sounds like your boyfriend gets it just fine. Whether he wants to call himself a feminist or not, he’s doing the most important thing already: listening and acknowledging. Enjoy!

    • Jaimie says...

      Emma Watson’s UN speech! This made a huge impact on my then-boyfriend now-husband, who had a similar aversion to the word “feminism” (if not the ideals behind it) when we first started dating.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-iFl4qhBsE

    • AJ says...

      I agree with Simone – actions and real-life attitude/behaviours are so much more important than labels. Labels can be a cheap cover up. Or just so confused depending on your sources/influences. But if a person is behaving with valuable intentions and being good and kind to people, then that’s the crucial thing. Maybe try telling him the reasons you view him as a feminist are the good positive things you already see in him and respect in him. Then perhaps it’ll shift his perspective on the definition of feminism.

    • Di says...

      Yes! Get him a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists (or her TEDtalk with the same title — it’s a condensed version of the text). Whenever people wonder why we need the title and movement of feminism, I want to give them this book. In fact, I wish I could buy ALL the copies and disperse them amongst the masses. It’s a great introduction to the subject for those who are a bit wary of the label, and it provides a great rhetorical toolkit for those of us who are already proud feminists.

      I also think of the Harry Potter quote about Voldemort: ‘fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.’ If people fear the word feminism, they are more likely to fear what the movement is trying to achieve: gender equality (or equality more broadly, thanks to efforts of intersectional feminist efforts).

    • Rae says...

      I have asked two male family members to read We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and it has gone over really well! The book is very short (so not too big a request), and brilliantly clear and direct. We have had some very good discussions from the book. The work feminist has so much baggage and history hanging off of it. The book helped me explain what I mean by the word to some men that I love. Good luck!

    • laura says...

      It’s difficult to tell someone their opinion is wrong because an opinion isn’t meant to be right or wrong – it’s subjective. Rather, it’s important to get people willing to listen to those whose experience directly reflects the issue at hand.

      I think a good example of this in pop culture is Master of None’s episode called Ladies and Gentlemen. Maybe a way to open up this topic of discussion is to watch it together and talk about it afterwards.

    • Lauren says...

      I really appreciated Aziz Ansari’s quote from an appearance on the Late Show: “If you believe that men and women have equal rights, if someone asks if you’re feminist, you have to say yes because that is how words work,” he said. “You can’t be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m a doctor that primarily does diseases of the skin.’ Oh, so you’re a dermatologist? ‘Oh no, that’s way too aggressive of a word! No no not at all not at all.'”

    • SK says...

      My (male) partner, who I would describe as an objective feminist, works in a predominantly female field and has exclusively female mentors balked at the word “feminist” too. When I realized he struggled with the word “feminism” and obviously not its meaning, I made it my mission to explain it to him in any way so that he would understand that he should be loudly and proudly identifying as a feminist.

      Like Lauren suggested, Aziz Ansari’s quotes on feminism distill it down to the basics, and with humor! I ALWAYS quote him when people say “I am not a feminist”.

      I started with “what does the word ‘feminism’ mean to you” and then followed with Aziz Ansari’s quote.

    • Allie says...

      It sounds like he probably thinks feminism and womens equality are two different things… and a lot of media (and a lot of social media) portrays those as being two separate things. I’m not saying this is right, but it’s really common for people to believe that Womens Equality is wanting same pay and not to be treated like a sex object, and Feminism is “sexual liberation.” As in, being really promiscuous and proud of it, accusing everyone of slut shaming, and then turning around and shaming women who aren’t “liberated” like you. There really are a lot of people who support Womens Equality but don’t want to be associated with the proud promiscuity that the F word has come to imply across several media platforms.

      I used to date a guy who was always starting aggressive confrontations with me over one word in a conversation that he interpreted differently than how I meant it, and let’s just say it was not endearing. Those arguments could have been avoided if he just effing asked me what I meant before accusing me of insult or ignorance. I would start the conversation by saying something like “It hurt me when you said you’re not a feminist. Can we talk about it?” Then explain what feminism means to you, and ask him to explain why he’s not a feminist. If he’s still not sure after talking it out, then offer to watch the ted talk together or read one of the articles together and discuss it. Handing him a bunch of resources and telling them to read them on his own to “educate himself” sends an I’m right/you’re wrong message that doesn’t exactly indicate mutual respect or a desire to understand where he’s coming from.

    • Em says...

      Thanks for such thoughtful feedback and commentary, everyone! To Simone and Michelle – thank you for providing a different perspective, too! I wouldn’t want a label slapped on me, so maybe my question is better reworded as “What can I research to inform my own feminism beyond anecodotal experience, so I can in turn be a resource and example to those around me.” Thank you all for the wonderful food for thought, and reading/listening material!

  41. Alexandra says...

    This is my favorite “Four Things” roundup of all time—and I love all the Four Things roundups!

    • Megan says...

      Totally agree. Best one!

  42. Sarah says...

    Love this. Makes me feel hopeful.

  43. Carrie says...

    Thank you for explaining the elbow in the photo. Although it messes with my obsessive need for good composition, I really appreciate the meaning. It’s so important those that cannot represent themselves. I love the momentum this movement has gained.
    #metoo

    • Em says...

      That’s probably precisely why it was put there that way. It’s uncomfortable. Literally elbowing its way into the patriarchy.

  44. Amanda says...

    I’ve had “Welcome to Hell” stuck in my head all week! I’m OK with this.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! so good.

  45. I didn’t notice the elbow when I saw the image earlier today. Powerful and significant. There are so many women who feel like they have to stay silent and that is devastating.

    I recently wrote about how women often have to think the worst so we can be prepared for the worst, which is also kind of devastating. Kudos to Time magazine for recognizing, highlighting, and continuing this life changing conversation. #MeToo