Even Bono Says His “Woman Of The Year” Award Is Ridiculous
Every year 'Glamour' magazine gives "Woman of the Year" awards to empowering females, but this year was different.
At Glamour's 2016 Women of the Year Awards, musician Bono became the first male to accept one of the magazine's 12 prestigious awards given out annually to women working for gender equality and the first recipient of a new "Man of the Year" award. When news broke that he would be honored at the ceremony, which traditionally celebrates exceptional women, people were angry… and rightly so.
By giving a man an award at a ceremony that's *specifically* meant to highlight women's achievements, often in spite of the patriarchy, Glamour took a step backward in the fight for feminism and equality. Many were quick to express their disappointment with the message this sends to young women and girls. That there are distinctions created so women can hold a place at the podium, which is traditionally held by males, but they aren't actually yours. Shame on you, Glamour.
Has Bono done more than most to fight for women's rights? Sure. He's gone out of his way to recognize the role men play in perpetuating sexism and said there is "nowhere on Earth where women have the same opportunities as men." He's supported causes like Poverty is Sexist with other famous feminists like Meryl Streep and Lady Gaga, and now he's working to do something about it.
But still… so have many, many, many women.
Bono's award was presented by none other than Amy Poehler. The choice must have been an ironic one, as the comedienne and creator of Parks and Recreation's lead character Leslie Knope played a fictional Woman of the Year awardee who was sidelined by her male boss Ron Swanson in an all-too-familiar episode. But her speech was in earnest, and she compared Bono to the supermoon… a light in the darkness and a healthy role model for young boys to not stand for sexism.
In his acceptance speech, Bono acknowledged the controversy around his award, even reading angry tweets from people who were upset with the irony of a man winning an award at a ceremony meant for women who are standing up for women's rights. "Out of all the women alive, #Bono is my favorite. It's just so inspiring how she overcame the adversity of being a millionaire white dude."
Although funny, those tweets speak serious volumes about what it's like growing up female in a world predominantly run by men. But Bono took the opportunity on stage to get very serious about pushing women's rights forward.
"And in these times, maybe the most important thing is to look across at the person who agrees with you on nothing. Maybe they're in your family … And I say this to myself more than anyone: Maybe they're about to move into the White House.
"So, I say to the president-elect: Look across to women. Make equality a priority. It is the only way forward. The train is leaving the station. Be on it, or be under it."
He received a standing ovation for his speech, and although we'd much rather see a woman receive this award, we applaud his efforts. Because one thing's for sure… moving forward takes a united effort, and we're glad he's on our side.