Time magazine has finally named their person of the year for 2017, but it’s not actually one person. The magazine cover features the faces of five women, and they are named the “Silence Breakers,” the women and men part of the “Me Too” movement. More women, and men, are also interviewed for this incredible cover story that has caused significant ramifications against assaulters. However, on the actual cover there is one Latina and her name is Isabel Pascual.
While many of the people featured in this story share their “Me Too” experience, a majority of them have high-profile jobs such as in Hollywood or in the tech industry but Isabel — who used a pseudonym to protect her family — is someone more relatable for me.
She is a farm worker, who works in the strawberry fields (as my family once did), who spoke out at a “Me Too” rally in Los Angeles about the person who harassed her at her work.
According to Time, “Pascual felt trapped and terrified when her harasser began to stalk her at home, but felt she was powerless to stop him. If she told anyone, the abuser warned her, he would come after her or her children.”
“I was afraid,” Pasqual said to Time. When the man was harassing me, he threatened to harm my children and me and that’s why I kept quiet. I felt desperate. I cried and cried. But thank God, my friends in the field support me. So I said enough. I lost the fear. It doesn’t matter if they criticize me. I can support other people that go through the same thing.”
Other Latinas featured in this story include Juana Melara, a hotel housekeeper, that for years was harassed by hotel guests. Sandra Pezqueda also shares her “Me Too” story about her employer at a luxury resort. She says “Someone who is in the limelight is able to speak out more easily than people who are poor.”
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Sandra Pezqueda filed a suit alleging that her supervisor at the Terranea Resort, a luxury retreat in Southern California, pursued her for months. When she rebuffed him, he changed her schedule and cut her hours. "Someone who is in the limelight is able to speak out more easily than people who are poor," she says. "The reality of being a woman is the same—the difference is the risk each woman must take." (Attorneys for the staffing company that employed Pezqueda deny her allegations. Terranea Resort declined to comment.) Pezqueda is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY
And that’s why these women are truly brave and deserving of this cover.