Glamour fuses with politics at annual Women of Year awards
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 then-Supreme 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.