In 2015, Glamour nominated eight women for the Woman of the Year award. Amongst these eight women were successful entrepreneurs, health advocates, and the U.S. women’s soccer team. At the end of the night, transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner received the Woman of the Year award due to the courage she displayed for making such a bold change. This sparked an enormous amount of controversy amongst many viewers of the award ceremony. Some believed that since Caitlyn wasn’t always a woman, she could not receive a WOMAN of the year award. Others believed that she undoubtedly deserved such a prestigious award for her extremely bold decision to be herself.
Here is my take on the issue. Bruce Jenner was always famous. He was an Olympic athlete who was also part of the Kardashian family. When he transformed himself into Caitlyn Jenner, he received a lot of media attention for doing so. Caitlyn Jenner’s transformation hit the headlines of several magazines and many individuals expressed their support for her decision. Many also iterated how it was very courageous of her to make such a stark change and display it in public.
Joanna Palani - dropped out of college to fight ISIS
On the other hand, there are women like Joanna Palani who dropped out of college to fight ISIS and yet she received minimal media attention for her bravery. Yes, you heard me. She dropped out of college and snipped away a hundred ISIS militants. According to an article by Neal Baker, she currently has a million-dollar bounty on her head from ISIS for the deeds she has done for humanity. Along with this, the country that she was trying to protect from terrorists has labelled her a terrorist because she broke the travel ban law that prevented citizens from travelling to war prone areas. For the acts of bravery and sacrifice that she has performed, she has received hate from every end. Awarding such a woman would help mitigate some of the hate that she is receiving and would show her that everyone appreciates the sacrifices she has made.
Sally Ride - first woman astronaut
Another example of a deserving candidate would be Sally Ride. According to NASA's website, in 1983, she became the first woman to ever fly into space. And yet she was never considered as a nominee for a single award at Glamour. Although, people may question, “Did Glamour even give out awards in the 80s?”. But Sally Ride was alive until 2012, deeming her a completely reasonable candidate for the award.
Moira Smith - policewoman involved in 9/11 attack
Glamour usually dedicates their awards to famous people in Hollywood. But in 2001, they awarded Moira Smith with the Woman of the Year award. Moira Smith was a police officer who was involved in the 9/11 attacks. According to Larry Celona, she entered the south tower and tried to rescue as many people as she could. Unfortunately, Moira never made it out of the tower. That year, Glamour decided that she deserved the Woman of the Year award. Before the award ceremony, almost no one knew who Moira Smith was. Dedicating an award to her has educated people about her brave act. It gave her the attention she deserved.
These are the kind of women that we need to put up on a pedestal for people to be appreciative of. This is not to say that Caitlyn Jenner did not display any form of bravery, but instead that her bravery had already received an ample amount of appreciation before the award. It is time to shine the spotlight on brave women who do not receive the attention they deserve. And Glamour’s Woman of the Year award would be a good start to that.
Baker, Neal. "Danish Anti-ISIS Sniper Reveals Jihadis Want to Make Her Sex Slave." The Sun. The Sun, 07 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
Celona, Larry. "Husband of 9/11 Hero Sends Award Back over Caitlyn Jenner." New York Post. N.p., 16 Nov. 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
Dunbar, Brian. "Who Was Sally Ride?" NASA. NASA, 12 May 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.