Hello there, can I interest you in some inspiring AF information? Each year TIME compiles a slate of top influential people of the year, broken down into categories like artists, pioneers, and icons. On April 17, TIME released their latest list, and the number of women on the 2019 TIME 100 list is super encouraging.
Out of the 100 slots for 2019, 44 of those are either women or include women. I know, I know, you were probably hoping for a majority, but while it's true that women still make up less than half of the list, 44 is actually a pretty great number when compared to the years prior. In 2018, the number of women on TIME's list was 42, in 2017 it was only 37, and in 2016 it was only 36. So, sure, the number of women on the list is growing slowly, but it's growing. Each year the numbers are getting a little bigger, and while it seems like it's taking a while, the fact that there is growth is pretty darn encouraging.
Forty-four women is the highest it's been in at least four years, but it's not just about the number of women on the list, it's also about the categories they fall into. There are celebrity icons like Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga on this year's slate, but there's also Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old activist taking on climate change in Sweden. Also on the list are two Indian public-interest litigators, Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy, who made history when they overturned a 157-year-old law that made all sexual activity "against the order of nature" punishable by law. Another inspiring name on that list that seemed to catch the Internet's attention was Christine Blasey Ford.
It seems like forever ago, but in September 2018, Ford came forward with allegations of sexual assault against President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, who was later confirmed to the bench. In September, in a letter shared with Congress, Ford accused Kavanaugh of allegedly trapping her in a room during a party they both attended in high school, where he allegedly pinned her down on a bed and attempted to remove her clothes. Kavanaugh denied the accusation, calling it "completely false." Elite Daily reached out to representatives of Kavanaugh for further comment but did not hear back. Following the letter, on Sept. 27, Ford stood before the Senate Judiciary Committee and recounted the events of the alleged assault.
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of Ford's home state of California, who was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee which heard Ford's testimony about her alleged assault, wrote the blurb accompanying Ford's entry on TIME's list. In it, Harris wrote about the psychology professor's courage in coming forward with her allegations against Kavanaugh. She wrote,
At her core, she is a teacher. And through her courage, she forced the country to reckon with an issue that has too often been ignored and kept in the dark.
Ford's story coupled with Harris' powerful and impactful words was of course touching, but Twitter took note for a more unsuspected reason: because Ford shared the list with the man she accused and Twitter was upset.
Some might be thinking that TIME's list isn't perfect, but I found counting the increasing number of women over the years to be really inspiring, even if it's slow, and even if TIME might still have a few kinks to work out. To more women next year!