By: Ashley F.
Glamour magazine recently hosted an event to commemorate inspirational and motivating female personalities. The event takes place every year as a tribute to not only famous actors and celebrities but also inspiring fashion designers, athletes, businesswomen, female politicians, and even scientists. Although the title insinuates a wide opportunity for all women, the winners over the past years seem rather constrictive.
The award might be used to honor the work of heroic, diverse women like Malala Yousafzai: a Pakistani activist for female education, shot in the head by the Taliban, or women like Muna AbuSulayman: a female TV anchor and founder of a show that discusses controversial topics in Saudi Arabia (a country that just granted women the right to vote in 2015, and that still prohibits women from leaving the house without a ‘mahram’, a male guardian). Additionally, it is an award for women like Amelia Boynton, a civil rights pioneer who was brutally beaten for helping lead a 1965 civil rights march for African Americans and sadly passed away in 2015, at the age of 104. All these women work to ensure the wellbeing of the future generations; they work hoping to bring change to a world still plagued with injustice for women and all of humankind, but are they commemorated as much as they should be? Sadly not.
Instead, the ‘Women of the Year’ Award was presented to Caitlyn Jenner, the father of the Jenner kids, and former spouse of Kris Kardashian. Bruce Jenner announced to the world in 2015 that he did not feel comfortable in a man’s body, and thereafter decided to undergo a gender transformation. He is now known Caitlyn Jenner. Coming out as a transgender individual does take a lot of courage.
As Caitlyn Jenner explained “being trapped in another gender’s body can cause great depression and has caused great depression”. In fact, 41% of transgender individuals have attempted suicide, and 19% have experienced violence and abuse because of their gender. However, is Caitlyn Jenner the most suitable person for this award? She has encountered a tremendous amount of support from fans and has become the most followed twitter profile just 5 hours after it was created.
It would be insane to say that transgender individuals do not deserve anything for their courage, but so many other individuals make great strides and greater sacrifices but lack the celebrity power Ms. Jenner has had for years. The question at hand is, what constitutes responsible guidelines for determining who the women of the year is, and why do we as a society choose to support those who are already well established instead of those behind the scenes trying to make a difference?