Woohoo. For the first time ever 38 women made it on to the ‘TIME 100′, the magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. This is the most women that have ever been named influential by TIME.
The notable women included musical artist Rihanna; Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian who was detained during the Tahrir Square protests that toppled her country’s regime and subjected to a humiliating “virginity test;” Chinese self-made billionaire Chen Laiwa; Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff; Spanx founder Sarah Blakely; Hillary Clinton; Fatou Bensouda the Gambian lawyer who in June takes up her post as Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; Angela Merkel, President of Germany; Christine Lagarde, director of the IMF; Chelsea Handler; Adele; both Kate and Pippa Middleton and Sarah Burton who designed Kate’s legendary dress for the biggest wedding of the decade.
But why did it take the magazine so long to put 38 women (still less than half) on the list? Well, TIME’s Europe Editor, Catherine Mayer, notes that the road to equality for women has been a long and twisted one. The TIME 100 is a reflection of that. And though it would be easy to put many women in industries like fashion, entertainment and art on the list consistently (Kristin Wiig made it too after her huge year with Bridesmaids), it wouldn’t help the cause. Who isn’t going to appreciate the talents of Adele and the Adeles of days to come? But how many Samira Ibrahims will there be? Out of times of great controversy and turbulence can come great leaders. There is no doubt that the Middleton sisters have had great influence on women all over the world but it is of a very different nature (and Mayer notes that Pippa was made famous from the world’s appreciation of her derriere.)
“We look for trailblazers and try to search out inspiring women who have asserted power, not inherited it. Some readers may blow raspberries at choices that do not meet this criterion (though they would never question the inclusion of Kim Jong-un). The Queen, celebrating the 60th year of a long and remarkable reign, serves as head of state in 16 countries and presides over the Commonwealth of 54 nations. Alice Walton, the Wal-Mart heiress, founded the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas. Critics will complain that one was born with a silver scepter in her mouth, the other with a bulk order of cutlery in hers.”
The issue had notable women write about these influential women. These were amongst our favorites.
Chelsea Handler by Kathy Griffin: “Look, I don’t know how Chelsea Handler does it. Chelsea presides over her own media empire talk show, sitcom, books, all while sharing a network with Ryan Seacrest and the Kardashians. To hell with the Time 100; she should be Person of the Year just for putting up with Khloe.”
Adele by Pink: “There are a few artists in my life who I can think back and remember where I was when I first heard them. Her success renews hope in me that the world I live in has good taste that we still occasionally come back to what is simple, and simply amazing.”