Time Magazine Names Few Women as “People Who Mattered”

Time Magazine named President Bush as the 2004 “Person of the Year,” for the second time. Time also named 17 people, one group of women, and a horse as “People Who Mattered.” In addition to the cast of “Desperate Housewives,” only two women were named as “People Who Mattered” – Nancy Reagan and Martha Stewart. Time Magazine’s annual “Person of the Year” was originally called “Man of the Year,” a much more fitting title as only four individual women, one group of women, and “US Women” as a whole have been given this title in the tradition’s 77-year history. Until three US women whistleblowers received the title in 2002, none of the individual women were American. “After watching Time reveal its Man of the Year with great fanfare for [the first] ten years [of Ms.’ existence], Ms. readers and staff had enough,” wrote Gloria Steinem, a founding editor of Ms. magazine. Ms. magazine began a tradition in 1982 of naming “Women of the Year” to showcase the diversity of women’s accomplishments. The 2004 Ms. Women of the Year included the “Jersey Girls” (Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Mindy Kleinberg, and Lorie Van Auken) the four 9/11 widows who made the 9/11 Commission happen; Betty Dukes, the lead plaintiff against Wal-Mart in the nation’s largest class action sex discrimination suit in history; Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), whose courageous and determined actions saved the life of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti; Samantha Power, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Problem from Hell: American in the Age of Genocide, brought national and international attention to genocide; Kathy Najimy, an actor/comedian and leading feminist activist; and Lisa Fernandez, an Olympic Gold Medalist who is symbolic of the massive gains of women made at the Olympics this summer. The magazine also selected 18 additional “Women Who Made a Difference,” from Susan Hockfield, the first woman president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; to Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatowski, a whistleblower who was the first to expose neoconservatives who were distorting intelligence to convince Congress to approve the invasion of Iraq; to Allison Schieffelin, a Wall Street bond trader who sued Morgan Stanley for sex discrimination and won, on her own behalf and on behalf of hundreds of other women. JOIN the Ms. community and receive one year of the premier feminist publication


Time 12/20/04; Ms. magazine

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