To be honored as one of Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year,” a woman must have made a huge impact, changed the world for good, broken boundaries, stereotypes, etc. Except when she doesn’t. Sometimes all she needs to do is complain to the ACLU that her high school is refusing to let her bring a lesbian date to prom.
Constance McMillen, a high school senior in Fulton, Mississippi, received national attention this past spring when her school rejected her idea to come to prom, in a tuxedo, hand-in-hand with her girlfriend. McMillen reported Itawamba Agricultural High School to the ACLU, and was heralded as a hero by prominent lesbian activists such as Ellen Degeneres and Melissa Etheridge. When asked why McMillen deserved to be honored as one of Glamour’s “Women of the year,” Etheridge (a 2005 Glamour WOY winner) said, “She stood up and said, ‘This is who I am.’ When someone does that, it changes the world. It gives hope.”
McMillen was honored among truly great women that did significantly more than display stubbornness at a young age and wreck everyone else’s prom. For example, this year Glamour honored the 18 female heads of state from all over the world, record-breaking sports stars Mia Hamm and Lindsey Vonn, and Cher, who, unpleasant though she is, has real accomplishments in the form of Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. Perhaps the more accurate comparison for McMillen is the young, ground-breaking activist Katie Spotz.
Spotz, 23, rowed alone across the entire Atlantic Ocean, in order to raise awareness and funds for clean drinking water. According to Glamour, Spotz’s adventure “raised money for Blue Planet Network, which buys water purifiers and digs wells in Haiti, India and Kenya.” Not only was her lonely journey more than 2,500 miles, she was the youngest person to complete this selfless mission.
Among those honored with Spotz, McMillen and Cher, was a mother-daughter team that fought violent Islamist militants in the dangerous country of Somalia. Dr. Hawa Abdi, an OB/GYN, and her daughters Dr. Amina Mohammed and Dr. Deqo Mohamed, survived a hostage situation in 2003 and continue to promote the health and education of Somali women. In the face of real persecution, these women flatly rejected their captors’ threats and commands that “Women can’t do things like this.”
The fact that Glamour honored McMillen is not surprising since the magazine has a history of promoting lefty causes, and honoring liberal women with their annual “Women of the Year” issue. In 2007, the Culture and Media Institute noted that liberal women Elizabeth Edwards (wife of then Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards) and CBS correspondent Lara Logan were among those honored, while conservative women were nowhere to be found.