By Hayden Wright
Yesterday, Glamour magazine selected Bono as an honoree in the annual Women of the Year issue — a choice that met with consternation and confusion. He’s been recognized for his Poverty is Sexist campaign, highlighting the ways global poverty disproportionately affect women and girls. The magazine itself had no qualms about their historic decision, and heralded Bono “Man of the Year.”
“When a major male rock star who could do anything at all with his life decides to focus on the rights of women and girls worldwide – well, all that’s worth celebrating,” explained the magazine. “We’re proud to name that rock star, Bono, our first Man of the Year.”
The controversy was swift: Many social media users felt Bono’s selection distracted from worthy Women of the Year, the issue’s original purpose. Editor Cindi Leive doubled down on the decision in an interview with the BBC.
“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,” she said.
Leive continued: “The idea that a man who could select any cause in the world to call his own, or no cause at all, is choosing to work, and not just for one night or at a special event, but consistently day after day and month after month on behalf of women, is incredibly cool and absolutely deserves applause.”
Celebrated journalist Christiane Amanpour, who has covered Bono in the past, said that the U2 frontman was “the perfect choice.”
“I’m on Glamour‘s side: I think Bono is the perfect choice for this first-time honor because, now 56, he’s been trying to do good for as long as he’s been making music,” she said. “By establishing Poverty Is Sexist, Bono is making it clear that powerful men can, and should, take on these deep-rooted issues.”