A girl named Greta and the seriously sexist history of Time’s Person of the YearBreaking News
tags: climate change, Time Magazine, womens history, sexism, Greta Thunberg
Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg is Time magazine’s Person of the Year, the magazine announced Wednesday morning.
At 16, she becomes the youngest Person of the Year ever, and only the fifth woman — er, girl; er, female — in the 90-plus years Time has been naming a Man/Woman/Person of the Year.
In the remarkably sexist history of the honor, men have been chosen 66 times, groups of people 21 times and nonhuman entities twice (“the Computer” and “the Endangered Earth”).
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe were also on the shortlist of potential winners. Had one of them been chosen, she would have been the first American woman in more than 80 years.
The last American woman selected, in 1936, was Wallis Simpson — a woman famous for getting divorced and then getting married. Granted, she married the king of England, who abdicated his throne for her in what was a juicy but somewhat singular accomplishment.
But at least the magazine used Simpson’s name; the next year, Soong Mei-ling was selected alongside her husband, Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek, as Man and Wife of the Year. The Wellesley grad was not referred to by name, only as Madame Chiang Kai-shek.
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