The politically correct Glamour Magazine has reportedly waived the one defining requirement of candidates for its “Woman of the Year” honor—a double X chromosome—in conferring the title for 2015 on crossdresser Bruce Jenner, a move many women are finding insulting.
The magazine is expected to formally announce its choice of Jenner as woman of the year, along with actress Reese Witherspoon, on November 3.
Criticisms are already piling up from women who find the choice of Jenner to be demeaning, and are falling into two main camps. First, out of all the real women in the world, could Glamour not find one worthy of the title of Woman of the Year without needing to fish in the male pool of boys dressing as girls?
Second, what in the world has Jenner done in the past year—other than get a makeover—that qualifies him as a model for achieving woman around the world?
In a stinging commentary, Nicole Russell writes that by choosing Jenner as woman of the year, “Glamour endorses the idea that men are better at being women than we are.”
Russell compares Glamour’s insulting maneuver to a cover of New York Magazine featuring transgender Martine Rothblatt as the “highest-paid female CEO” in the nation. “Apparently real women can’t cut it, so we’ve got to import men into our ranks to win awards,” Russell notes.
“Jenner might feel like he is a woman,” she writes, “he might want to be a woman, he might be living as a woman, but thoughts do not generate biology or reality.”
Australian-born feminist Germaine Greer accused Glamour of “misogyny” in its decision to award Jenner its woman of the year award, noting that transgender women are “not women” and do not “look like, sound like or behave like women.”
“I think misogyny plays a really big part in all of this,” Greer said, “that a man who goes to these lengths to become a woman will be a better woman than someone who is just born a woman.”
Meanwhile, writing for Celeb Dirty Laundry, Andie Howard channeled the anger of readers who “want to know what Caitlyn did besides transition from male to female in order to deserve the honor.”
“In 2015, Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner and it took a lot of courage to transition in such a public way. That said, does Caitlyn deserve to sweep every award show for having gender reassignment? What else has she done?”
Or, as writer Laura Meyers put it, “What has Caitlyn done for womanhood other than simply become a woman?”
“It’s what she does as a woman, to overcome struggles of womanhood, to advance womanhood, to inspire womanhood, that deserves an award,” Meyers writes, noting that Jenner “hasn’t even made a sandwich yet.”
Meyers compares Glamour’s unfortunate choice with the woman who carried home the award last year:
You know who won Woman of the Year last year? Lupita Nyong’o. Not only does Lupita have boobs like Caitlyn, but this woman was born in Mexico, raised in Kenya, attended college in the United States, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in film and theater studies, and recently just won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, receiving a standing ovation at the ceremony for her performance. That’s what she did for womanhood. As a woman, that’s a hell of lot more inspiring than Caitlyn’s transformation.
On second thought, however, maybe Glamour didn’t go far enough in its creativity.
As Russell writes, if we’re “going with a man for woman of the year, why not consider Vladimir Putin’s suggestion: Barack Obama.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome