Time Magazine has opened its polls for readers to weigh in on who should be Time’s Person of the Year for 2017 (Trump was so named last year; never forget that Hitler received this distinction as well, lest anyone think it means that Person of the year is the Best of the year – that’s not the case).
Time’s poll (which is still open) can be checked at http://time.com/5027387/time-person-year-2017-poll-results/. At the time of this writing, Mohammed bin Salman has garnered 21% of the votes cast. This gentleman is the Saudi Crown Prince who recently said that Iran’s leader is the “new Hitler” of the Middle East. Earlier in November of this year, he executed a purge of his political opponents from positions of power.
So I can kind of see why he’s been in the news lately. But.
For me, only one individual (using “individual” to mean the “collective” here) has been consistently effecting change in small and large ways in the U.S. through 2017, and that’s the American Woman.
I could go chapter and verse into all the details but won’t. Let me just say that in social and family gatherings this year, from what I’ve seen most (but definitely not all) of the time, it is the women who are up on the facts and nuances of current events and women who want to discuss what can be done. One of the things I’ve noticed that’s changed is that it seems like men want to change the subject more often than has occurred in the past. More than ever before, American women are engaged. American women are active. And American women are making a difference.
I know men have been calling members of Congress a lot this year. Several of my women friends, though, call every DAY. Some of them call multiple times a day. These calls didn’t score tangible victories very often, but they did score the biggest stumbling block to the Republican agenda in 2017: The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land.
American women formed Pantsuit Nation in the last 5 months of 2016, and out of that group sprung women who wanted to become activists when it became clear that the most qualified person for a job, who was a woman, was passed over for the job in favor of a bullying blowhard whose record of interactions with women was and is horrific (KellyAnne Conway’s lies notwithstanding).
Millions of American women vowed to fight on – Forward Together. One of the first phenomena was the Women’s March. A more recent phenomena was the “Me Too” movement. Both are unprecedented acts of strength by American women who have realized that fundamental and paradigm shifts that will improve our society can be made by recognizing the collective strength American women have.
American women said no more. No more of so many things.
Yet, while the #MeToo movement is on Time’s list for Person of the Year – and without diminishing the accomplishments of the #MeToo movement – those efforts made by American women working in solidarity earlier in 2017 made the #MeToo movement possible during 2017’s last quarter, or at least made it more effective and successful than it might have been had the Women’s March not occurred, had American women not been organizing since Election Day 2016, had American women not been working together to put a record number of American women in elective office.
I wrote a Letter to the Editor of Time Magazine, the text of which is below. If you want to do the same, use the form at this link: http://ideas.time.com/submit-a-letter/. Use this as the article about which you’re writing: http://time.com/5027387/time-person-year-2017-poll-results/.
Or tweet them at @time and use the hashtag #PersonOfTheYear2017 and #PersonOfTheYear.
Or post on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/time/?fref=ts&rf=115173451831657.
Just do something. It’s our time. Let’s not go backward.
To the Editor:
Many of the people listed as candidates for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2017 have certainly impacted our world and culture this year. However, I would submit for your consideration that the largest single source of influence during 2017 has been (collectively) The American Woman. The story of 2017 cannot be told without telling the story of the American woman throughout this year.
At the year’s start and within 24 hours of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States, some 4.2 million American citizens, primarily women, participated in the Women’s March – this was in small town squares, medium-sized cities and all metropolises in all 50 states, including the convergence of some half a million people in Washington, DC. Arguably, this was the largest single day of protest in American history (The Women’s Marches May Have Been the Largest Demonstration in US History, Vox, January 31, 2017).
After emerging stronger together from the Women’s March, American women have been stalwarts in calling Congressional Representatives and Senators on a frequent to constant basis throughout 2017 to let national legislators know their concerns with everything from Trump’s cabinet selections (forcing the Vice President to cast the deciding vote for Betsy Devos as Education Secretary) to protecting Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election to voice their opposition to the removal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules to successfully preventing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
American women are running for office in numbers never before seen, working with women-led organizations such as Emily’s List and Run For Something (and with many other organizations). The Democrat’s victory in Virginia in November 2017 hinged upon the victory of 11 Democratic women for legislative seats.
American women learned during the 2016 election that sometimes the most qualified candidate for a job does not get hired for that job, particularly if the other applicant is a bullying male. Although idols like Bill Cosby started to topple before 2017, as one voice American women have spent the closing months of 2017 saying “Me, too” and sharing their age-old stories of what it frequently costs to be a woman in a man’s workplace. Along with saying “Me, too”, American women are saying “No more” like never before … and never before have the reverberations and consequences had such tangible and quantified results across several industries. Never before has such a paradigm shift in gender roles and the perception of gender roles occurred in American culture. And never before have there been actual, real consequences for many powerful men’s poor treatment of women as there have been in 2017.
As I stated, I agree that many people on Time magazine’s list of candidates for the 2017 are worthy of being a candidate. I am disappointed, however, that the American Woman has been overlooked. I cannot think of a single other “person” who has had such a consistent and major impact in across many facets of our shifting world throughout 2017 as the collective American Woman.