Woman of the Year Award Causes Controversy
There are a lot of crazy things happening in our world today. Between all these terrorist attacks, the social media movements, and recently the news of Charlie Sheen being HIV positive, there’s a lot to talk about. This past year has seen its fair share of good and bad moments, one of the more popular ones being Caitlyn Jenner. Formally Bruce, she has come out and made positive strides for the trans-gender community and continues to shed light onto a topic that most aren’t well educated on. She recently won the 2015 Glamour Magazine “Woman of the Year” award for her movement with the trans-gender community, which caused one former recipient to return theirs.
John Smith, widower of Moria Smith, returned his wife’s “Woman of the Year” award because they chose to give the same award to Caitlyn Jenner last week. Now, on the surface, this may come off as immature, hateful, and just plain wrong. However, John gives his reasons as to why he went about doing what he did. I’ll let you all decide on if he’s right or wrong, as well as give my input after.
Moria Smith was one of the 23 New York City Police Department officers to die on 9/11 and the only female NYPD officer to die that day. She was seen before her death rescuing people from the towers. Glamour decided to give her the award shortly after her death, to which John accepted on her behalf. When John found out Caitlyn had received the same award, he felt as if the award had lost its value, and returned his wife’s.
It’s not that Glamour honored a transgender person; James told CNN, as well as gave his support for Glamour giving the same award to Lavern Cox last year for her strong LGBT advocacy. As a police officer, James had covered a shelter of transgendered youths, recalling aiding those who attempted suicide, listening to stories of physical, mental, and sexual abuse, or kids being thrown out of their homes for their decisions. The difference between them and Caitlyn, according to James, is “they didn’t have the luxury of being part of the Kardashian circus”.
“They were truly brave people fighting hourly for existence” Smith continued. “When Mr. Jenner said the hardest part of being a woman is finding out what to wear, he proved to me that he is not truly a woman. I believe this comment and others he has made trivializes the transgender experience as I have witnessed it”. Caitlyn was one of several women honored at the Glamour event, including survivors of victims of the Charleston church shootings, Reese Witherspoon, and the U.S women’s national soccer team. Glamour has stood by their decision in giving Caitlyn the award.
One Side, The Other Side, And Your Side
The question I have is: what would you do if you were James Smith? Do you feel he’s justified in his actions? I personally see where James is coming from. On one side, James feels as though Caitlyn is only getting the award based off of his celebrity, and not by what he’s doing. He’s witnessed what it’s like for those who don’t have the same platform that Caitlyn has and the hardships that they go through on a daily basis. James felt as if she’s getting the award because she’s tied in with the most popular family of 2015, not because of what she’s standing for.
On the other hand, no pun intended, but it takes balls what Caitlyn did. The once American Olympic gold medalist decided that enough was enough, and that he wanted to change who he was to feel more comfortable with himself. To be a male as popular and as successful as he was and transform into whom he felt like inside takes a lot of physical and emotional commitment. Part of it being instances like this where people are uncomfortable and believe that what he’s doing shouldn’t be glorified. That being said, I think Glamour was right in sticking with Caitlyn as their recipient of the “Woman of the Year” award, despite what kind of backlash would come from it.
When push comes to shove, I believe to each his own. Is James wrong? Some say yes, others say no. I always believe in getting an opinion or facts from both sides, and establishing an opinion of your own. What do you think? Let me know! Attached is the link from CNN regarding James’ story.