Let me just start this off by saying that, yes, I am a woman There we go; glad we got that out of the way.
I have the tiniest bit of knowledge about all the Man of the Year and Woman of the Year Awards that are banded around and, if I'm being completely honest, I tend not to pay any attention to them. Until now.
So, when #glamour announced that #U2 front man and all round rock legend, #bono, had won their 2016 Award, the internet collectively lost its head because it's usually an award for women and this is the first time it's been changed to include a man. Are we really that offended that he won? I can't think of any statement he's made about education for women and girls and how men need to lead the cause with us that makes me think he's not a good candidate. After all, he's exactly right - we need men to stand up and realise that we're every bit as good as them, no?
From a personal standpoint, I'm on the fence a little. There are tons of women who are worthy of the title; we already know this. And there's a lot of work to do to change a world where we're consistently discriminated against in terms of salaries and flexible working. Looking out to the East, there are women that are denied basic rights to education, can't drive, walk behind men and are, in general, treated like their only worth in the world is to sit down and keep their mouths shut. We can't stop this without the support of men. It's unfortunate, but it's true.
This isn't the first year Glamour has sparked controversy with its award
Last year's #Glamour winner was #Caitlin Jenner and that caused a controversy all of its own. Why? Because people were offended that she USED to be a man. You can't really win. I'm willing to bet that Caitlin Jenner has been learning the hard way about just what it means to be female. And good luck to her.
I know the award is for recognising the outstanding contribution that people make, but are we really saying that Bono is a worse recipient than last year's #GQ Man of the Year, #Calvin Harris? Or previous winner, #Kanye West? Are we actually saying that out of all the men in the world, Kanye West was the best example in ANY year? Are you kidding me? And Harris? These guys are very talented and if they're genuinely the best we have, then we're in a world of trouble.
A matter of opinion
When we look at #TIME's Person of the Year Award, I can see why we're keen to have our own. If you flick back over the past few decades, women are not exactly well represented (2016 being one of the exceptions, when it was won by German Chancellor, Angela Merkel). Does this make TIME sexist, or are the genuinely just men that year that have been better or worse? It's hard to say. I have no issue with Merkel, just as I had no issue with Obama, or Mark #Zuckerberg on the cover. As far as I can see, theses people are working for their countries and moving us forward in terms of policy and, in Zuckerburg's case, an outlet where I can share this article (Thanks, Mark!). I do have issue with Pope Francis ever having graced the cover now that he's just confirmed that no woman will EVER be a priest in the Catholic Church. Those are not the sexist views *anyone* needs in a Person of the Year.
To this end, I'm not bothered about Bono's award - I like the fact that he believes in equal rights and imagine that his children will grow up this way, too. That's what we actually NEED. Of course there are women that were worthy of it and there will be every year but, equally, I'm not upset that we're including men who don't think women are second class citizens.
Would we be complaining as loudly if a woman won a Man of the Year award? I doubt it very much and, I imagine, we'd see that as a real victory. Given we live in a world where there's a real possibility that Donald Trump might end up in The White House next week, us women need all the support we can get. #manoftheyear