Bono Named Woman (Yes, Woman) of the Year

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No, I am not making this up. U2 frontman Bono has made Glamour magazine’s annual Women of the Year list. Trust me, I was equally confused.

It is certainly worth pointing out that one good thing to come out of this bizarre decision is that the public has been made aware of the fact that Bono is an advocate for women’s rights. Of course this is great news and very refreshing to hear! Last year the singer launched the Poverty is Sexist movement as part of his One Campaign, which aims to address issues of gender equality, nutrition and (particularly sexual) health.

According to Glamour Magazine’s editor-in-chief Cindi Leive, “there are so many men who really are doing wonderful things for women these days. Some men get it and Bono is one of those guys”. The man himself has reportedly said that he was grateful for this honour, adding that men were “largely responsible for the problem, so we have to be involved in the solutions”.

However, regardless of all Bono’s philanthropic work in the interest of females, there is still one teeny tiny issue. He is a man! So why, might we ask, is he being named as a Woman of the Year?

Some might argue that this constitutes an example of progressive feminism and further highlights that men and women are equal. It appears that this is where Cindi Leive stands on the issue, as she said that ruling out being able to include a man “might be an outdated way of looking at things”. But then again, surely this further undermines the position of women and casts them as inferior? In a sense, this award brings with it the idea that women need men to fight for their rights because they are unable to successfully do so themselves. Plus, I highly doubt that a woman would ever be seen to win a ‘Man of the Year’ award – I mean, can you imagine?

Unsurprisingly, Glamour magazine has received a lot of criticism in light of this and people have been quick to take to Twitter to express their disagreement with the decision.

While I believe we should celebrate anyone championing the cause of gender equality, especially men, perhaps this is taking things too far? Personally, I feel that this is a poorly judged move. Of course Bono should be praised for his positive involvement in modern day women’s issues, but him being named in a list that is supposed to honour the achievements of successful females surely diminishes the presence of those females on the list alongside him. Total gender equality is a fight that we all share, no matter what gender we identify with, but this is an example of a male invading a space cast specifically for females in a way that would not occur the other way around.

Joining Bono on the list are Gwen Stefani, Simone Biles, the three women – Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi – who founded #BlackLivesMatter, the Stanford sexual assault case survivor known as ‘Emily Doe’, Ashley Graham, Christina Lagarde, Nadia Murad, Miuccia Prada and Zendaya.

Do comment below with any opinions you may have on this controversial issue – we would love to hear your thoughts!

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Investigations Editor 2016/17. BA Spanish student, aspiring journalist and avid blogger (harriet-martin.com).

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