Glam­our fuses with pol­i­tics at an­nual Women of Year awards

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jo­ce­lyn Noveck

NEW YORK: There were movie stars and su­per­mod­els, TV hosts and pop stars.

But per­haps the most rap­tur­ous ova­tion at Glam­our mag­a­zine’s an­nual Women of the Year awards went to 79-year-old Demo­cratic U.S. Rep. Max­ine Waters of Cal­i­for­nia, who de­lighted the crowd – in­clud­ing hun­dreds of cheer­ing young girls – with a rous­ing speech that ended on a very po­lit­i­cal note. “Im­peach him,” she ex­horted the au­di­ence. “Im­peach 45! Im­peach 45!”

Along­side Waters, hon­orees at Mon­day evening’s cer­e­mony, held at a theater in Brook­lyn, in­cluded ac­tress Ni­cole Kidman, singer Solange Knowles, late-night host Sa­man­tha Bee, model Gigi Hadid, film di­rec­tor Patty Jenk­ins, and fash­ion de­signer Maria Grazia Chi­uri of Chris­tian Dior. Also hon­ored were record-set­ting as­tro­naut Peggy Whit­son, Syr­ian refugee and UNICEF Am­bas­sador Mu­zoon Almelle­han and the many or­ga­niz­ers of the Jan­uary women’s marches.

Though this was the 27th year of the Glam­our awards, there was a dif­fer­ent sen­sa­tion this time around, noted Cindi Leive, Glam­our’s out­go­ing edi­tor-in-chief.

“There’s a feel­ing in the air,” she told the crowd at the be­gin­ning.

She didn’t have to ex­plain that she was re­fer­ring to the Har­vey We­in­stein sex­ual ha­rass­ment scan­dal and the sub­se­quent cas­cade of al­le­ga­tions in Hol­ly­wood and else­where, with both women and men com­ing for­ward to ac­cuse pow­er­ful men of sex­ual ha­rass­ment, as­sault or mis­con­duct.

“This is a sin­gu­lar mo­ment for women,” Leive said. “I am so glad that we get to seize it.”

One of the most pow­er­ful mo­ments in the cer­e­mony came when the two New York Times re­porters who broke the We­in­stein story – Jodi Kan­tor and Megan Twohey – took the stage to in­tro­duce a quar­tet of women who had ex­pe­ri­enced sex­ual ha­rass­ment or as­sault.

The first to speak: Anita Hill, who has been a sym­bol of the fight against sex­ual ha­rass­ment ever since she tes­ti­fied in 1991 against thenSupreme Court nom­i­nee Clarence Thomas. She hadn’t got­ten the re­sult she wanted back then, she ex­plained – Thomas was con­firmed any­way – but in just a few years, of­fi­cial com­plaints of sex­ual ha­rass­ment sky­rock­eted. “I saw that we had a chance to shift the nar­ra­tive,” Hill said.

Also ap­pear­ing was Olympic gym­nast Aly Rais­man, who came for­ward last week to al­lege she was sex­u­ally abused by a U.S. team doc­tor, Larry Nas­sar, who has been ac­cused by more than 100 women and girls of sex­ual as­sault. “We need an­swers,” Rais­man said.

Kidman, ac­cept­ing her award, noted it had been “an ex­tra­or­di­nary year – we’re in un­charted ter­ri­tory right now.” But she said she pre­ferred to cel­e­brate “all of us, and what makes us, us.” She thanked her par­ents, and then noted that she had “an ex­tra­or­di­nary husband,” singer Keith Ur­ban. “As much as I’m a strong woman, I need help and I need sup­port,” she said.

Along with the hon­orees, there were plenty of high-wattage pre­sen­ters: Ser­ena Wil­liams, for ex­am­ple, came to in­tro­duce her friend, Hadid, not­ing that the su­per­model was one of only a very few peo­ple that could get her to leave her new baby, even for one night. Drew Bar­ry­more in­tro­duced Bee, and orig­i­nal Won­der Woman Lynda Carter in­tro­duced “Won­der Woman” di­rec­tor Jenk­ins. Singer-ac­tress Zen­daya, 21, in­tro­duced Waters, who clearly had fans among the young women from var­i­ous girls’ or­ga­ni­za­tions seated up in the bal­cony.

Waters told them that she didn’t just want them to vote – she wanted them to be­come po­lit­i­cally ac­tive.

“I want you to do ev­ery­thing you can to get ready to run for of­fice,” she said.

Also ex­hort­ing the young women to ac­tion was as­tro­naut Whit­son, 57, who re­turned to Earth in Septem­ber af­ter 288 days in space. In all, she has spent 665 days in space – a record for a U.S. as­tro­naut.

“I started as a farm girl in Iowa,” an emo­tional Whit­son said. “I dreamed of be­ing an as­tro­naut and an ex­plorer, and I made it.” She told the young women that it had taken 10 years of try­ing be­fore she fi­nally was ac­cepted in the space pro­gram.

Leive, who an­nounced in Septem­ber that she was leav­ing Glam­our af­ter 16 years, said at a din­ner fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony that she had never seen women as en­er­gized as they are now, with the cur­rent, ex­pand­ing con­ver­sa­tion on sex­ual mis­con­duct by pow­er­ful men.

“Some­thing has shifted in the very mol­e­cules in the air,” she said.

Hadid was among the hon­orees at Mon­day evening’s cer­e­mony.

Kidman, ac­cept­ing her award, noted it had been “an ex­tra­or­di­nary year.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lebanon

© PressReader. All rights reserved.