Is TIME’s Person of the Year List Sexist, or What?

TIME’s Person of the Year title is given to the person, group, or idea that most influenced the culture, for good or for bad. I guess that’s how you end up with Lady Gaga and Sarah Palin on the same list. This year’s list also included Glenn Beck and the Tea Party, as well as the Chilean miners. Not surprisingly, Mark Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook) and Julian Assange (the founder of Wikileaks) were on the list as well. And Zuckerberg is this year’s winner, despite Assange receiving the majority of the popular votes for the title. TIME’s managing editor Richard Stengel explained the selection process earlier this week on the Today Show.

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There were only seven women on this year’s list of twenty-nine finalists. Since TIME began the award in 1927, only five women have graced the cover as Person of the Year. Which leads me to wonder: what to women have to do in order to get the recognition they deserve?

It is just me, or do other people find it repulsive that the most popular men on this list, Zuckerberg and Assange, have both been accused of sexual harassment and rape? I realize that the Person of the Year award can go to someone who has had good or bad achievements, but it would be nice if we could stop applauding people who hurt women on their scramble to get to the top of the heap.

So here’s your open thread question of the day: If we were to honor a Woman of the Year, who would it be? And what would your selection criteria be?


  1. I’m a big Hillary Clinton supporter, so I’m going to put her at the top of my list of women who deserve recognition. I love that she isn’t afraid to call out the media on its sexism (like when someone asked which designers she wears, and when someone asked her what her husband thought). I also think she does an amazing job of speaking up for women and children in the foreign policy arena. And Hillary’s just fierce. So there!

  2. Janet Napolitano has done a tremendous job.
    Then as far as a group that should get it for the “bad” influence it should be both senate and house of representatives for their stubbornness and inability to work in a bi-partisan manner for the people they represent.

  3. Really good point, Mom. Let’s definitely give the members of Congress two giant thumbs down.

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