This week, Glamour magazine announced that Bono, famed front man of U2 and philanthropist a million times over, has been chosen as one of their Women of the Year. The Internet immediately balked, and the magazine covered their tracks by saying no, no, guys, he’s actually our inaugural Man of the Year alongside this year’s Women of the Year.
Listen: I like U2. In fact, I was even just cruising their site the other day, hoping that a 2017 tour had been announced, and I fully intended to finally fulfill my wish of seeing the band live. That wish, though? It’s feeling a little dead to me now.
Bono is, full stop, a great believer in humanity, supporter of important causes, and ally to women. But… Bono isn’t a woman. And you’re telling me that Glamour couldn’t come up with one more woman instead of deciding that what 2016 really needs is to celebrate another man? Because the rest of the list is really good: IMF head Christine Lagarde, gymnast Simone Biles, and Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi (the women who founded #BlackLivesMatter). On this note, we came up with seven women who would have been excellent choices instead:
1. michelle obama: After her incredible DNC speech and even more powerful speech against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the FLOTUS has been on fire lately. Her speaking skills combined with her White House initiatives (Let Girls Learn, Let’s Move!, and the White House Vegetable Garden) have made her quite possibly the most loved First Lady ever, and that’s saying something. Michelle Obama is a powerhouse, and should probably be on the top of every “Woman of the Year” list for the rest of her life.
2. Tsai Ing-wen: As the recently elected President of Taiwan, she’s also the first woman to be elected by the island, ever. She’s also the first unmarried President, and the first of Hakka and aboriginal descent. She’s also an advocate for women, children, the aborigines in Taiwan, people who are impoverished, and LGBT communities. Basically, she’s here to raise up people in Taiwan who need lifting, and advocating for everyone.
3. Amy Goodman: As longtime News Director of Democracy Now! American journalist Amy Goodman has always been a badass. This year she leveled up when she returned to North Dakota to deal with a warrant for her arrest—a warrant that was issued after she covered the ongoing Dakota Pipeline protests at Standing Rock. Amy was cleared of charges, and continues to battle on for the good of the entire world.
4. jessica valenti: As a longtime feminist writer and author (and friend of the site), Jessica Valenti has dealt with more than her fair share of threats from disgruntled (to say the least) men around the Internet, but earlier this year took a digital break after receiving sexual threats against her daughter. She has since returned to Twitter, and continues to work tirelessly for women and equality and to defeat sexism.
5. Taraneh Alidootsi: Taraneh is a wildly popular actress in Iran (she’s sometimes called the Natalie Portman of Iran, though perhaps Natalie is the Taraneh Alidootsi of America). Early this year she shocked some by revealing a tattoo on her inner left arm—and not just any tattoo, but one of a symbol that is widely associated with radical feminism. When asked about that tattoo, she simply replied, “Yes, I am a feminist.” SLAY.
6. Mo’Ne Davis: In 2014, Mo’ne was one of two girls to play in the Little League World Series and the first girl to pitch and win a shutout in Little League World Series history. In 2016, she switched her focus to basketball, because why not? Mo’ne is sixteen and breaking barriers for women and girls in sports daily, and we don’t see her stopping any time soon.
7. Johnetta “Netta” Elzie: Johnetta became intensely involved in the Black Lives Matter movement on August 9, when Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. She began by co-editing the newsletter Words Into Action, and rapidly became one of the movement’s most dedicated activists. She has a loyal following on Twitter, and continues to raise awareness and fight for the organization and for Black women in general.