“Fighting is essentially a masculine idea; a woman’s weapon is her tongue.” – Hermione Gingold
It’s March, which means it’s officially Women’s History Month and a little over a week since the Academy Awards were broadcast. The post-Oscar chatter has been staggering. Sure, there was the usual on the merits of the winners and losers, as well as on this year’s host and his misogynist antics. But, we have somehow managed to step it up a notch (or down, depending on how you look at it) and added something you probably already know too well as the “Why We Love to Hate Anne Hathaway” debacle. It’s the fabricated spin that just keeps on giving.
I didn’t get the depth of this saga until I recently posted an article with reference to this on Facebook. The comments were almost immediate. And they were either strongly for or against. There was no sitting on the fence. I, personally, couldn’t believe how quickly people had become vested into this web of absurdity. Do we all need to get a life? I was so sure that many of you already had one…until now.
My fascination forced me to take this one step further. So, I got on Google and searched for “hating Anne Hathaway,” and you know what?? I found over 20 web pages of news listings with regards to this. It seems everyone has a point of view about the snarky, but lovable Jennifer Lawrence vs. the contrived, hate-worthy Anne Hathaway debate. These are two talented actresses whom the Academy deemed worthy of their awards. They each gave the performance of their career thus far. Yet, we, as women (and some men as well) choose to discuss and write in depth about how one must be more appreciated than the other.
In this day and age of reality overkill with sensationalized “stars” (wanna-be-somebodies in designer wear with good skin, high cheekbones and great hair dressers) on every channel, almost every day–have we become void of integrity? We have too easily become conditioned to believe that if it doesn’t end with a winner, a loser, a million likes and/or follows, it lacks significance.
Take it one step further and consider the quandary of our youngest ever Oscar nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis. During the broadcast of the Oscars, she was called a derogatory name on Twitter. A term that she probably didn’t even know existed, let alone what it means (rhymes with hunt and begins with a “C”…yes that one). Even this fiasco, which begged to be discussed for so many reasons on so many levels, didn’t get that many web news pages. (Imagine for a second, being her mother and having to explain to a nine-year-old how she should respond to this should the question pop up during press Q and A sessions.) Welcome to the real world in America, Quvenzhané. Your days of innocence have officially come to an abrupt end. In retrospect, the Bathtub might not have been such a bad place for a kid after all.
What these incidents suggest to me is that the time has come for us to stop acquiescing to the propaganda and to use our collective power to put a stop to the media minimizing our achievements. With all of the great strides women made this past film season, engaging in the conquering and dividing within our own ranks is downright despicable. Instead, let us take pride in our triumphs of the year. Here are just a few of the issues that are more deserving of our focus and support:
– The increased visibility and participation of women directors in international film festivals, ceremonies and award shows
– The diverse pool of female award nominees and winners (often first time) both nationally and internationally
– The ongoing discussion on the status (and lack thereof) of women in Hollywood
– Strategies for shattering the perennial glass ceiling…once and for all
Some are old issues and some are new. But they all warrant our full attention. So, c’mon, ladies, let’s take a pledge, old-school-Girl-Scout-style and make a promise not to find ourselves sitting at this same table with the same whine and cheese (yeah…I went there) this time, next year. It’s the beginning of a new film season! A time that should be full of hope and promise for new highs, less hurdles and even fewer defeats. I’m rooting for us in 2013….poms-poms and all.
Happy Women’s History Month, everyone!
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