Glamour magazine decided that 2016 would be a great year to include a man in their Women of the Year list — and we’re not the only ones who are baffled by their decision.
The man in question is U2 frontman Bono, and apparently he was added to the list because of his campaign, Poverty Is Sexist, which is aimed at helping the world’s poorest women. We get it — Bono does a lot of incredible work for charity, and undoubtedly makes a difference in the lives of countless people. Should he be celebrated for this? Sure. Should he be celebrated on a list that was created to focus on women’s achievements? Hell no.
— Glamour (@glamourmag) November 1, 2016
Nominating a man for this award detracts from all women’s achievements, and the world already has enough celebrated, rich white men. Unsurprisingly, Twitter has been abuzz with reactions to Bono’s nomination.
Does Glamour Magazine know giving Bono the "Woman of the year" award for trying to undo patriarchy undercuts the entire point of the award?
— Travon Free (@Travon) November 1, 2016
Bono has been named Glamour's woman of the year. To be fair with only 3.7b women it must be tough to find a worthy one
— Stephanie Peat (@StephEPeat) November 1, 2016
Glamour naming Bono "Woman of the Year" is just another example of a man getting a job despite there being women more qualified to do it.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) November 2, 2016
What sort of message are we sending to the female youth? Should they aspire to be like Bono, a man?
It's so important that our daughters understand they can grow up to be Bono
— Oireachtas Retort (@Oireachtas_RX) November 1, 2016
According to Glamour’s editor-in-chief Cindi Leive, they’d considered whether or not to include a man on the list for years, ruling it out every time — until now. So what’s changed? According to the BBC, Leive revealed that “it started to seem that that might be an outdated way of looking at things.”
“There are so many men who really are doing wonderful things for women these days,” she added. “Some men get it and Bono is one of those guys.” She also notes that Bono has chosen to tirelessly work “on behalf of women,” something which she feels is “incredibly cool and absolutely deserves applause.”
She’s not alone in her thinking. CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour — who also won 2005’s Woman of the Year — agrees. Amanpour wrote a detailed essay for Glamour explaining why she thinks nominating Bono was a smart move. Her reasons include the fact that Bono has “been trying to do good for as long as he’s been making music” and that despite his overwhelming musical success, he also has an “extraordinary talent for tackling problems that seem intractable — and making mighty and measurable gains.” Amanpour also praised Bono for being so willing to rally around women’s causes, an approach that is not adopted by many men. She makes valid points, but no one is actually saying Bono’s achievements should go unnoticed. Merely that this might not be the right platform to recognize them.
Among the actual women honoured on the list are Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi, the three founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, Olympic Games medalist Simone Biles, Gwen Stefani, model and body activist Ashley Graham, Nadia Murad (the woman who stood up to ISIS) and the unnamed Stanford University sexual assault case survivor, who is referred to as Emily Doe.