The Year in Women

A look back at the last 365 days in women - the good, the bad, and the decidedly iffy.

madonna onstage with guitar
A look back at the last 365 days in women - the good, the bad, and the decidedly iffy.
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WOMEN WHO WHOMP
We laughed, we cheered, we readied ourselves for world domination.
Middle Age Is the New Sweet Spot Even at 50, Madonna's still got enough juice to be a factor in A-Rod's divorce.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
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2 of 36
WOMEN WHO WHOMP
I Am Perky, Hear Me Roar
After barely surviving her second year in the CBS anchor chair, Katie Couric justifies her $15 million salary with a deftly withering interrogation of Sarah Palin.
B. Barket
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3 of 36
Hijabulous! Ruqaya Al Ghasara, a 26-year-old sprinter from Bahrain, is the first Muslim woman to run wearing a hijab (covering everything but her face and hands), reaching the semifinals for the 200-meter sprint at the Beijing Olympics.
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4 of 36
WOMEN WHO WHOMP
Cue My Big Fat Greek Joke
Arianna Huffington's eponymous blog seals its status as the election go-to for the liberal-leaning, catching 5.5 million unique visitors per month and reaching an estimated value of $100 mil.
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.com
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5 of 36
But Too Bad Women Aren't Funny On the strength of 30 Rock, Baby Mama, a $5 million book deal, and doppelgänger Sarah Palin running for VP, Tina Fey rockets up the Hollywood power lists.
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6 of 36
WOMEN WHO WHOMP
And You Should See Her Parallel Park Danica Patrick becomes the first woman to win an Indy car race in April, when she takes the checkered flag in the Japan 300.
Brian Ach/WireImage.com
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7 of 36
While J.K. Rowling Was Busy Buying France With her Twilight series, author Stephenie Meyer rides the vampire trend to multimillionairehood, with 12.2 million books sold and a buzzy $37 million movie hitting theaters this month.
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8 of 36
WOMEN WHO WHOMP
Can You Say "Celesbian"?
LiLo and Sam hook up...
Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com
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9 of 36
... Ellen and Portia get hitched...
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10 of 36
WOMEN WHO WHOMP
... and club music goes totally bi-curious with Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl."
Dominique Charriau/WireImage.com
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11 of 36
WOMEN WHO WHOMP
Who Cheats on Christie Brinkley? Following tales of her husband's teenage girlfriend and $3K-a-month porn habit, the ex-supermodel gets custody of the kids and $80 million in real estate, platinum grin intact.
Tim Soter/WireImage.com
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12 of 36
WOMEN WHO WHOMP
Angelina, Inc. She's not just the most sought-after drama mama, she's probably the most lucrative. By our math, Angie contributed an estimated $460 million to the U.S. economy last year, in tabloid sales ($100 million), box-office bank ($350 million), and salaries for security staff and a nanny for each child ($10 million) - to say nothing of the sensual massage oils she must use on Brad.
Cliff Watts
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13 of 36
The rise of Sarah Palin found budding Gloria Steinems in surprising places. Dick Morris, Republican strategist said "A man would never have had to go through [what Sarah Palin endured]...It's the deep sexism that runs through our society. Glenn Beck, conservative pundit said "Can't raise kids and be a vice president? How irresponsible for this woman to do it? What a sexist thing to say."
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14 of 36
TWO STEPS BACK
Cringe-worthy lows on the road to glory.
Makes Us Miss Grand Theft Auto In a new Sony PlayStation game, Fat Princess, players stuff a damsel with cake until she's too fat for opponents to move her.
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15 of 36
Can We Smack You Upside the Head Instead? "Mr. President, want to?" asks Olympic beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor, inviting the leader of the free world to smack her rear during his post-game courtside visit.
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16 of 36
Real Housewives of the Polygamist Compound A raid on the Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas reveals 19th-century fashions and a caveman level of female subjugation.
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17 of 36
Maybe That's Why Yale Accepted Bush To balance the 58-to-42 female-to-male ratio in colleges, admissions officials woo men by designing butch brochures and accepting lower-achieving boys.
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18 of 36
Not What We Meant by Equal Opportunity The new growth industry among women in the Middle East? Suicide bombing. This year in Iraq, at least 27 female bombers struck, compared to eight in '07.
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19 of 36
Because Men Are Doing Such a Kick-Ass Job Running Wall Street In September, Sallie Krawcheck, the chairman and CEO of Citigroup's Global Wealth Management unit, is the last of three female chief officers on the Street to be pushed out.
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20 of 36
TWO STEPS BACK
And It Takes Years Off Your Vaj! The inventor of the G-Shot - a collagen treatment for your G-spot - has made $185,000 in sales in the past year.
Todd Huffman
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21 of 36
Hot New Teen Accessory! Juno, Jamie Lynn Spears, Bristol Palin, and the sophomore class of Gloucester High make a worrisome trend of teen pregnancy.
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22 of 36
THE SCAPEGIRLS
If business goes south or the campaign hits the skids, nobody makes a better fall guy than a gal.
Marion Jones We get why the disgraced track star was stripped of her five Olympic medals after 'fessing up to doping. But explain to us why she's serving a six-month federal prison sentence when better-paid, higher-profile juicers still enjoy the champagne-room treatment. (We're looking at you, Roger Clemens.)
Kirby Lee/WireImage.com
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23 of 36
Samantha Power What happens when a Pulitzer Prize - winning Harvard policy whiz turned Obama adviser calls Hillary Clinton "a monster"? She gets the boot, and an estimable 15-year career becomes a two-word campaign-season epitaph: collateral damage.
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24 of 36
THE SPURNED WIVES CLUB
Bold-faced philanderers had a banner year, and their wives stood by them - often just to the left of the lectern, bleary-eyed and pissed.
Silda Wall Spitzer A hot, Harvard-educated corporate lawyer quits her job to support her crusading husband's vice-fighting career; he repays her by hooking up with a 22-year-old, $4000-a-night call girl.
Jamal Countess
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25 of 36
THE SPURNED WIVES CLUB
Elizabeth Edwards We can only hope that John's scuzzy infidelity with loose-cannon videographer Rielle Hunter took Elizabeth's mind off her terminal cancer.
Jim Spellman/WireImage.com
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26 of 36
THE SPURNED WIVES CLUB
Carlita Kilpatrick Thousands of text messages (some graphic) expose Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's affair with his chief of staff. His wife, meanwhile, stars in ads touting her husband's family-values credentials.
Bill Pugliano/Getty
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27 of 36
SECOND ACTS
Whether they failed, faltered, or fell off the radar, make no mistake - they're baaaaaack.
Carly Fiorina Three years after being ousted as Hewlett-Packard's chief executive, she returns as McCain's top economic adviser (though she still believes it's harder to run H-P than the USA).
James Devaney/WireImage.com
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28 of 36
SECOND ACTS
The Original Supermodels Linda Evangelista, 43, beats out a pubescent waif for Prada's fall/winter '08/'09 campaign; Claudia Schiffer, 38, bumps various French ingenues to land Chanel; and 38-year-old Naomi Campbell stops assaulting others long enough to score Yves Saint Laurent's fall campaign.
Tony Barson/WireImage.com
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29 of 36
SECOND ACTS
Kathie Lee Gifford The left-for-dead chatty survivor lands a hosting gig on the Today show.
Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com
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30 of 36
Paris Hilton The human punch line has a laugh at the expense of John McCain, who likened Obama's celebrity to hers. "Thanks for the endorsement, white-haired dude," she coos in her surprisingly funny Web video.
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