It’s that time of year again, kids! Just a friendly reminder that The Oscars are not the end-all-be-all of good films, k?
I joined in a great twitter discussion yesterday on the topic of Women at the Oscars hosted by Women’s Media Center, Bitch Flicks, and Melissa Silverstein from Indiewire. A great little roundup of the convo is here. (I’m the first tweet!)
This is just a tiny piece of the issue I’ve been wrestling with for well over a year now. Underrepresentation in media, not just for women, but for POC and LGBT populations as well (and all the places these intersect), is the #1 thing I find myself wanting to fight for.
I’m not ready to dive into my manifesto yet, but here are a few bits to chew on since it’s Oscar season…
Women make up 51% of the US population and purchase 50% of movie tickets.
Only one woman (and only one person of color) have ever won the award for Best Director.
Women directed 5% of the top grossing films of 2011.
But here’s the thing, having women in front of or behind the camera has no effect on box office gross. Only budget does.
I think it’s easy for film-people to say, “The Oscars don’t even really matter. It’s all politics.” Well, that’s nice that you know that, but to most of our culture, that awards show IS film. This season is the time of the year when a lot of people make an effort to see “real film” in theaters.
I’m not saying the films featured at the Oscars are bad, nor that the people who made them are not good filmmakers. (Although, do we really need to give Spielberg a nod every time he farts out an epic? Sorry, sorry. /snark.) But we NEED more representation in front of and behind the camera. Why? Why does this even matter? Why can’t we just see films as stories, no matter who is in them or making them?
Well that is a whole ‘nother enormous issue that I will write about at length later.
(On her height) “Years ago, one casting agent told me that the only roles I could play were lesbians and aliens.”
“Dogs tether you to the earth in some really good way. And exercise, of course. And martinis. And sexy high heels. That’s it. Good work, a nice pair of heels, a martini, a dog and a man - not necessarily in that order.”
—Lt. Adam Lamboy, commander of the Manhattan Special Victims Squad, in a story about how the NYPD Special Victims Division does its job, explaining that if a woman who reports being raped requests a female detective, the request is “taken as a sign of possible deception” because the “operative theory is that women who are lying think female cops will be more receptive to their stories.”
It is absolutely horrendous to think that there have been women whose allegations have been dismissed out of hand because, in the aftermath of having been brutally violated by a man, they mustered up the gumption to request a female cop with whom they’d feel safer discussing that most intimate of crimes against them.
(the above from Melissa at Shakesville.)
I’m not posting this to suggest that false accusations aren’t a legitimate issue, or that this actual motivation doesn’t exist, but to consistently operate under this reasoning is disgusting.
Probably should’ve waited until the end of Women’s day to write my post, but the ever-apropos Thought Catalog just published a gem.
Awful Things That Women Have to Deal With That Men Don’t by Ryan O’Connell
I do kind of hate the title of the post. It’s rough being a human being. period. But the article isn’t about the “unchangeable” things like childbirth or menstruation, but about the weird psychological games that women have to deal with society-wise.
And dudes have these too. For sure. They’re just different ones.
In a similar vein:
Also talks about the image pressures, pitting women against women, etc.
ok, sorry. I’m done. I think.