Recently Glamour magazine, you know the one that gathers dust in nail salons across America, held their annual Woman of the Year awards ceremony. Drum roll please. … And the 2015 winner is Caitlyn Jenner. (Stunned silence ensues as women all over the nation throw up their hands in surrender.)
To be clear, in celebration of its 25th anniversary Glamour also honored seven other women (or groups of women). While selecting more than just Caitlyn Jenner for 2015 Women of the Year distracts from the sexism, it does not dismiss it.
Depending on your worldview, Caitlyn Jenner either isn't a woman (because of XY chromosomes and a penis) or has just become one in the past year. We can all agree, however, that other than making news for being transgender, this year's recipient hasn't done anything for women.
How is it possible that the millions of women who tirelessly work to do things like cure cancer, build industry, teach children to read, sacrifice their lives for others' safety, or even work several jobs to feed their families every day got passed over to give Jenner the spot?
Okay, hardly anyone cares what Glamour magazine prints, really, but even second-wave feminists were ticked at this one. Germaine Greer, on BBC2's Newsnight, chalked up Caitlyn's "stealing the limelight" to misogyny. Others have been less direct but indeed annoyed. It's tempting to dismiss the story as a cry for help from an unserious rag.
However, this matters for two reasons.
First, the left once again cares more about leftist philosophy then actual women. Often their "heroes" are people who either hurt women with their policies or have nothing to do with most of us.
The sycophants who buzz around President Obama will never address the fact that the poverty rate among women, according to the National Women's Law Center, is 16.1% — the highest in twenty years — or that both he and Hillary Clinton are talking out of both sides of their mouths on pay equity. Economist Steven Moore reports that between 2002 and 2008 Hillary paid female staffers 72 cents of every dollar paid to men. White House staff salaries have been widely panned for the same reasons with females experiencing a pay gap of 15.8% (the male employee median pay is $78,000, while the median female pay is $65,650). Glamour, et al., will never tell you any of that lest they miss out on good party invites.
Secondly, Glamour's choice to use Caitlin Jenner to sell magazines and boost their profile among the New York salons is a slap in the face to young women who are desperately looking for strong female leaders to emulate.
A quick survey of CWA's mostly millennial D.C. office gave an impressive list of amazing and inspiring women. Women like brave U.S. citizen and Christian aid worker killed and abused by ISIS, Kayla Mueller; First Lady of Afghanistan, Rula Ghani; Mia Love, the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Utah; Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai; Cheryl Bachelder, author and CEO of Popeye's Chicken, a $2.4 Billion company with over 60,000 employees; or the only woman running for the Republican Presidential nomination and former Fortune 500 CEO Carly Fiorina. The choices abound unless one is desperate to make some hard-to-fathom point.
Here's the bottom line: Young women desire mentors and role models, and Glamour and others do them a disservice when they play to shock value instead of real value.
This became clearer to me when I noticed CWA's ladies joyfully and raptly reading Seven Women by Eric Metaxas, which chronicles fierce women worth our attention. Why "women's" magazines choose asinine instead of aspirational topics is a longer conversation. For now, let's agree that Glamour should've taken the time to look around on about any street in America for another inspirational woman. As for me, at the next nail appointment, I plan to break down and actually read something real.