“I am here to give you permission to be angry.”  —Rose McGowan, Time magazine, 2017 Person of the Year

I’m not known to shy away from an argument, but when challenged to refute the title, what can I say? Oh, I know the cover of Time shows more than just Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift, but who are those other women? I have no idea. Do you…without Googling them? Ironically, you won’t learn much about them even if you read the cover story. Why is that?

Why isn’t Tarana Burke on the cover? Or Corey Feldman? What companies are a beacon in implementing programs that set clear standards and adjudication processes? Where are the success stories of people who were in a position to do the right thing and did?

Tarana Burke, Founder, #METOO
Tarana Burke, Founder of #METOO

If ever there were a white privilege movement, it’s #metoo. What makes this one even more plump and juicy is that the face of the movement is the likes of Milano (credited with popularizing #metoo), McGowan, Judd, and Swift. The high-profile, beautiful, and talented white women who are somehow now icons of courage and are the arbitrators of who makes their courageous cut. The dominos of high-profile white men are falling. The triumph of these white women is resounding. A mere accusation is taken as truth and don’t you dare ask any questions. Don’t you dare mention due process. Don’t you dare challenge the narrative.

I recall seeing Judd on television at the Women’s March in January 2017. She was so “courageous” to slam Trump, but she made no mention of Weinstein (at least according to the transcript). Yet she says to Time, “Were we supposed to call some fantasy attorney general of moviedom? There wasn’t a place for us to report these experiences.” Why didn’t she proclaim her Harvey Weinstein revelations on stage that day? If ever there were a time and place to tell her personal story and empower women to tell theirs, wasn’t it then?

Time Person of the Year 2017

If you subscribe to the Weinstein effect I suppose I could inject logic to highlight how nothing has really changed in the lives of people who do not run around in these white women’s carefully crafted circles. According to the media coverage, their world is being rocked by accusers and swift, severe, and certain punishment of the accused. In my world, The Silence Keepers should be the 2017 Person of the Year. They are the population of people who knew what was going on and remained silent. They are much more influential, consequential and exponentially greater in number than the perpetrators or the Silence Breakers. They are the reason perpetrators are allowed to take root and flourish. For them it’s not a matter of black and white, but green. In the end, the color green makes the world go ‘round.

Additional Knowledge: reelurbannews.com/metoo-under-examination/

For as much as the #metoo has done a wonderful job of underscoring the existence of the problem and providing a means for people to tell their stories, with all of the attention and agreement, there is no significant solution-results-oriented-follow-up. Oddly enough, there seems to be no expectation of it, either. Why?

I suppose if I waited for a high-profile white woman to give me permission to be angry (as McGowen actually did) then maybe my story would be the same as hers and the Silence Breakers. But I didn’t, so it isn’t. So, it doesn’t count. Nothing counts in this vicious world of misconduct unless a high-profile white woman says it does. This is the frustrating hypocrisy of the movement for me.

The McGowans of this movement sit in the interview chair to let me know they give me permission, and I am to thank the gods on high that I finally have someone to help me find my voice. To follow her lead. To which I respond, “I don’t NEED your permission. For anything. Especially, my obligation to think for myself.”

2017 surely is The Year of the White Woman. Let’s meet a year from now and see what progress has been made in the real world of no-name nobodies…whatever the color.

Cynthia Shaffer, National Editor, ReelUrbanNews.com
Cynthia Shaffer, National Editor, ReelUrbanNews.com