It’s been a year dominated by strong women, whose voices have rung throughout our halls of power, been heard louder than ever in our entertainment, and, of course, echoed madly off the canted walls within the Kafkaesque gauntlet that is our presidential election. Yes, 2016 was a watershed moment for women, who have entered what feels like a climactic stage of an epochal struggle against institutionalized inequality, only to discover a new and toxic wellspring of next-generation sexism led by a bunch of meme-slinging shriveled dicks. So many women, making so many powerful strides. Also, Bono was there. So naturally, Bono has been named as one of Glamour’s Women Of The Year.
The U2 frontman, famed for slipping into other people’s spaces without invitation, has been named the first-ever man on the magazine’s annual list of notable women. It’s a decision that—although reminiscent of both a Parks And Recreation episode about a man being named “Woman of the Year” and a South Park episode about Bono winning everything—Glamour insists it did not take lightly. As with Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize, any extra attention currently being paid to these meaningful honors that Glamour has thoughtfully bestowed upon us like so many sexy hair tips is purely coincidental.
“We’ve talked for years about whether to honor a man at Women of the Year and we’ve always kind of put the kibosh on it,” Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive recounts of the fun conversations they have sometimes when it gets a little late and everyone’s kind of spent on talking about women. “You know, men get a lot of awards and aren’t exactly hurting in the celebration and honors department. But it started to seem that that might be an outdated way of looking at things, and there are so many men who really are doing wonderful things for women these days.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.”
Indeed, when you think of “women” and “2016,” you can’t help but think “Bono,” followed shortly by “… should get another award” and the feeling that you, even now, are building a better tomorrow. Besides, as Glamour points out, you can’t argue that Bono’s humanitarian work hasn’t greatly benefited women. Especially with his ONE organization and its recently created “Poverty Is Sexist” movement, through which he’s helped to get AIDS drugs and financial relief to impoverished women who simply don’t have the vast, endless array of opportunities so readily afforded to men, such as jobs, education, and women’s awards.
For his part, Bono has been relatively humble, humbly telling Glamour, “I’m sure I don’t deserve it,” but also making clear that he will nevertheless humbly take it “as a chance to say the battle for gender equality can’t be won unless men lead it along with women. We’re largely responsible for the problem, so we have to be involved in the solutions.” And if that means getting in there, even maybe pushing another woman aside, so a man can finally help women fix their problems, so be it. We’re never going to have a world full of strong, independent women unless a man is there to copilot.
Other honorees at Glamour’s Women Of The Year include Gwen Stefani; Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross; Black Lives Matter founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi; Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles; actress Zendaya; model Ashley Graham; IMF chief Christine Lagarde; ISIS kidnapping survivor Nadia Murad; and Emily Doe, victim of Stanford rapist Brock Turner—all of whom, in their own individual way, have done as much for women as Bono.