Trump suffers a well-deserved defeat at the hands of the women who stood up to men like him this year.
The suspense is finally over. After engaging in a public feud with TIME Magazine, which outed him as a liar once more, Donald Trump has lost the publication’s 2017 Person of the Year honor in perhaps the most fitting way imaginable.
On Wednesday morning, TIME announced that “the silence-breakers” — women who took down a raft of serial sexual abusers this year — are Time’s Person of the Year.
In many ways, this is an imperfect victory. Trump was awarded the honor in 2016, after having boasted of committing sexual assault with impunity, a boast that corroborated more than a dozen accusations that had been leveled against Trump at the time.
And early in this year’s profile, the magazine quotes actress Ashley Judd explaining that she had been telling people about disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for 20 years, starting minutes after he tried to coerce her into sex.
2017 wasn’t the year the silence was broken, but rather, the willful deafness of a culture that had been enabling and normalizing sexual misconduct throughout human history.
The piece also contains just a single mention of Hillary Clinton, who tried to give voice to “silence breakers” who loudly warned us about Trump, and that mention was from Megyn Kelly, who cluelessly asserted that a Clinton victory would have prevented the current reckoning:
“I have real doubts about whether we’d be going through this if Hillary Clinton had won, because I think that President Trump’s election in many ways was a setback for women,” says Kelly, who noted that not all women at the march were Clinton supporters. “But the overall message to us was that we don’t really matter.”
What this honor really means is that women are finally being listened to, at least by most of the country. Trump still enjoys fervent support from his base, and the entire Republican Party is now working to elect an accused child molester to the U.S. Senate, but even there, this is a telling victory.
Even as she uncomfortably stood behind Trump’s endorsement of Roy Moore, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeatedly called the accusations “troubling,” an indication that even these moral cowards are listening to the women. They just don’t care.
However imperfect, though, the Person of the Year honor sends a powerful message to a country that wakes up every day with a sexual predator as its chief executive. Now that we’re listening, what are we going to do about it in 2018?