Glamour’s women of the year

By
on

Yesterday, a guy friend of

mine mentioned that on Monday night, while serving as a seat-filler

near the VIP section at the Glamour Women of

the Year awards ceremony
,

he mooned over Eric Dane and stalked Ben Affleck a bit. I won’t share

what he had to say about the aforementioned gentlemen, but it did encourage

me a take a look at the women who were honored.

Now, for the record, I’ll tell

you that I’ve always kind of liked Glamour magazine, although

I have not read it recently. I remember, however, that when it used

to be one of my guilty-pleasure travel reads, they had features about

out lesbians surprisingly often. In general, the magazine seems to be willing to feature

strong women, and not just ones who exude traditional glamour.

The women

honored on Monday were praised, of course, for their individual accomplishments,

but they represent a range of opportunities, many of which are newly

open to women. Let’s take a look at a few of the honorees and admire

how cool they are. (You can explore the full list here.)

Toni Morrison

— “The Voice of Our

Time

Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison

has written some of the most haunting and powerful novels of the 20th century: The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Sula. She was

the only black child in her kindergarten class — and the only student

who entered kindergarten already knowing how to read. Throughout her

education, she read everything she could and noticed one glaring omission:

“What about young black

girls who had never been the center of anybody’s literary intention? … No one had written them yet, so I wrote them.”

The Female Heads of the

Ivy League
— “Heads of the Class

There are now four female presidents

of the Ivy League. Four. Count them. Four. It’s not that long ago that

women were not even permitted to attend these schools, much less

lead them. While women are still underrepresented in the sciences, elite

educational opportunities for women have opened up dramatically in the

past few decades, and Amy Gutmann, Drew Faust, Ruth

Simmons
and Shirley Tlghman exemplify the heights to

which young women can reasonably aspire. What’s more, they signal leadership

likely to be committed to preventing gender from being an obstacle to

achievement.

Lorena Ochoa — “The Champ

Lorena Ochoa, the top-ranked

woman golfer in the world, was the first woman both to play and to win

a tournament at the Old Course at St. Andrews. The

course was historically closed to women, but she has certainly broken

the barriers. Ochoa opened the Lorena Ochoa Foundation, which enables

240 children in her hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico to get an education,

and she’s opened two gold academies to make gold accessible to kids.

How much does she rock?

Nancy Pelosi

— “Madam Speaker

Regardless of how you feel

about Nancy Pelosi’s politics, she is the first woman to be second in line

for the presidency of the United States. Pelosi did not enter politics

until later in life and is now the highest ranking female politician

in the history of the United States. And that is amazing. As a former

San Francisco Bay Area resident, I love Bay Area women politicians

(Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein) and I’m pretty

excited to have one of them so close to running the whole show. But

even if she were a politician of a different stripe, I’d still be excited

about the opportunity she represents. As she said when she was elected,

this is “an historic moment for the women of America … For our daughters

and our granddaughters, now the sky is the limit. Anything is possible

for them.”

This is just a smattering of

the honorees. Check out the rest of them for additional inspiration and take

a moment to share who your Woman of the Year is.