THE BLOG

Should Caitlyn Jenner Be 'Woman of the Year'?

18/11/2015 12:18 GMT | Updated 18/11/2016 10:12 GMT

You may have seen all over social media lately that Caitlyn Jenner being awarded Glamour's Woman of the Year has caused a bit of upset. Recently, the husband of Moira Smith, a 9/11 hero, returned her woman of the year award which was received in 2001 after Glamour gave this same honour to Caitlyn Jenner. Rose McGowan has also recently expressed her aversion to Caitlyn being presented with this award, claiming that she doesn't deserve until she understands that the hardships of being a woman are more than the issue of deciding what to wear.

Now after reading Mr Smith's reason for returning the award, although disagreeing with a few things he said, I did ask the question should Caitlyn Jenner be woman of the year? For me this isn't a matter of gender or discrimination at all, it's a matter of recognition. Firstly, I would like to point out that I do not agree with Mr Smith acknowledging Caitlyn as Bruce or as a man, I believe this to be ignorant and rather offensive to the transgender community. However, Mr Smith also stated "At a time when we have women in the armed forces fighting and dying for our country, heroic doctors fighting deadly diseases, women police and firefighters putting their lives on the line for total strangers, brave women overcoming life threatening diseases. . . the list of possibilities goes on. . ."and I kind of get what Mr Smith is saying here.

There is no doubt that Caitlyn Jenner has become a very inspirational and vital figure for the transgender community, through her work and own bravery I am sure she has reached millions of people and has in fact saved the lives of those who feel separated from society. So yes, because of this I do believe she is an excellent candidate for this award and in many ways it is understandable as to why she received it. However, Caitlyn Jenner already has a ridiculous amount of publicity, we know who she is, and we know what work she is doing. She is a recognised woman in society. So shouldn't Glamour's award that appreciates "women with a variety of backgrounds and experiences" start to acknowledge and cherish strong and powerful women who aren't continuously in the public eye?

I was actually trying to think off the top of my own head, without researching of examples of women who weren't famous and have contributed significantly to society. If I am honest I couldn't think of any, I don't know if this my own ignorance in particular or the fact that many incredible unknown women, be that doctors, soldiers, engineers, scientists, all are generally lacking recognition in the media.

Overall, I guess my true issue here is with Glamour, this award alone generates a lot of exposure in the media, so Glamour have the opportunity to use this award to value the women in our society that are saving lives, overcoming tragic illnesses and poverties, inventing amazing things and dying for their country like Moira Smith. Instead of continuously acknowledging celebrities, this is a real chance to every now and then appreciate and bring to light the unsung heroes.