Why, you ask, should I care?
I asked that same question to 2010 Liss:
Time has not selected an individual woman as its "X of the Year" since then-president of the Philippines Corazon Aquino was named Woman of the Year in 1986. In 1999, Time changed the annual year-end honorific, which had almost exclusively been a "Man of the Year" since its inception, to "Person of the Year," but it merely created an illusion of parity. Still no individual women.
"Person of the Year," my ass. If Time doesn't believe there's been a single individual woman deserving of the title in 24 years, then the least they could do is be honest and go back to calling it what it really is: "Man of the Year."
In 2009, Kate Harding made a familiar observation:
Jeff Bezos, George W. Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama and, as of yesterday, Ben Bernanke have all earned solo “Person of the Year” covers since the language was changed — as have Mikhail Gorbachev and Bill Clinton (twice each), George H.W. Bush, Ted Turner, Pope John Paul II, Newt Gingrich, David Ho, Andy Grove and Kenneth freakin’ Starr, since Aquino’s win. I am detecting a pattern.
This year Time named four runners-up. True story: the only woman among them is famous for marrying a famous dude.
I know that Time's person of the year is a gimmick designed to sell magazines, but gimmicks matter, particularly when the media make them major stories. As important as global protests have been (even when they've upheld key parts of the kyriarchy :ahem:), they're not exactly the work of a person. Time, I suggest you find a better name for your crappy award.