The 26-year old developer of Facebook joins 83 others in accepting the honour, first established in 1927 to recognize those that have been the biggest influencers on the
It should be noted that Time’s Person of the Year was formerly known as – shocker – Time’s Man of the Year, but those forward thinking journalists smartly recognized that men are not the only newsmakers or influencers in… 1999.
And then, a scant three years later, they actually named a non-man person of the year!
Congratulations to 2002’s Cynthia Cooper! Oh, and 2002's the FBI. And another woman, Coleen Rowley! Oh, and Enron. Wait! Another woman! Congratulations, 2002’s Sherron Watkins! Oh and here’s another 2002 representative, WorldCom. Collectively, these women… and companies… and government organizations were named person of the year. Only, they weren’t. They were named The Whistleblowers, and three women made up 50% of the title. That’s, let’s see – 16.66% each! Congratulations, women!
Of course, I’m being silly. These were not the first non-men to be honoured by Time. In 1936 they gave Wallis Simpson the prize in a specially re-named Woman of the Year edition. And the next year, China’s Soong May-ling shared the title with her husband, Chiang Kai-shek. So, Time was into gender equality in the pre-WWII years. Good to see, because it would take 15 more years before Queen Elizabeth II took the title, for, I would guess, becoming Queen, a post she obviously worked monumentally hard to achieve. Er, inherit.
We’ll have to fast-forward a few years now, let’s see, in 1966 The Generation 25 and Under (now known as those that will soon bankrupt Social Security/Pension Plans – or maybe just Mom and Dad – the Baby Boomers) got a shout-out; must have been some girl-bits in there… 1969’s Middle America had to have included a few of the ladies… 1971 was Nixon, no surprise, but surely 1972 had to have gone to Israel’s Golda Meir! We remember the Summer Olympics, right? The massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches in Munich and Meir’s Mossad operation to hunt down the killers? Agree or disagree, that was a pretty spectacular year for Meir. Surely she got the nod! Wait, let me take a look to be sure… 1972… Richard Nixon. Again.
But don’t despair. In 1975, American Women took home the gold, represented by 12 esteemed individuals because if they’re not part of a Monarchy, Time only liked to award women as part of a group.
Breakthrough in 1986 with the appointment of Corozan Aquino as Man of the Year, then Time moves safely back into, Do Not Let the Women Go It Alone campaign, with 2002's The Whistleblowers whom I’ve already mentioned, and then the inclusion of Melinda Gates with her husband, and Bono! in 2005, as one third of The Good Samaritans.
So there you have it. 52 Americans, 1 computer, 1 planet, 4 Black men, and 3 women in 84 inductees, including 2010’s Mark Zuckerberg, who, although Facebook has been around since 2004, beat out Sarah Palin – oh wait, she wasn’t on the list. Beat out Michelle Obama – um, no sorry… Oprah? No. Nancy Pelosi? J.K. Rowling? Lady Gaga? (remember, these are supposed to be ‘influencers.’) Any double X chromosomes out there?
There was, in fact, not even a woman on the nomination list, so chances that a woman would have won 2010's Person of The Year title were pretty darn slim.
However, Time for Kids is now in the voting stages of their version of Person of the Year, and on the nom list are Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Lindsey Vonn. Three women on the nomination list? That looks good!
Except we all know that Justin Beiber’s gonna take it.