Tag Archives: gender equality

Snub-a-dub-dub: After the Oscars

27 Feb


Last night’s Academy Awards Ceremony is being hailed as the Year of the Snubs.  

Not only did the Harry Potter film franchise wrap its ten-year span without a single Oscar.  Not only did Viola Davis leave without the Best Actress Award given to ever-lauded Meryl Streep, or Michael Fassbender walk away without a single nomination for his excellent work in the disturbing Steve McQueen film Shame.  

Worth note is that not one woman was nominated for Best Director, and not one of the nine films nominated for Best Picture was directed by a woman.

I’m glad to find I’m not the only one distressed by this.

IndieWire’s Women and Hollywood released this video of would-be Oscar contenders in a world with more gender parity.  The video cites these problematic statistics:

“The voting population of the Academy is 94% white, 77% male, and 62 is the average age.”

“In 84 years, only 4 women have been nominated for Best Director.  And only 1, Kathryn Bigelow, has ever won.”

“In 2011, only 5% of the top grossing films in Hollywood were directed by women.  The number has decreased since 1998.”

It seems to this film critic that the industry is following parallel lines to U.S. politics – the nineties saw a spike in female participation, but support for women in these fields has since declined.

Maybe It’s time to inject some estrogen (biological or otherwise) into this industry and into the Academy.  Maybe it’s time to rename the Oscars the Octavias.


Grrrls to the Front

22 Oct

Excellent discussion on “Women In Music & Media” featuring Emily Rems of Bust Magazine, Mindy Abovitz of Tom Tom Magazine, and Shirley Braha of MTV. (In order of feminist badassitude, as I perceived it.) Props also to Jessica Hopper, whose 2003 essay “Where the Girls Aren’t” was an inspiration for this post and clarification of a lot of feelings.

Standing in a crowd at a CMJ after show last night, I noticed that Sarah Marcus was right about the music of today. She recently told a college journalist that it’s very unusual today to see a lineup of bands without a single woman or girl musician- that Riot Grrrl had a tangible effect on who is inspired and empowered to start bands of their own.

Well, we haven’t come far enough. I’m not saying I want every college rock show to be Lilith Fair (but hey, it’d be awesome if a few were along those lady-loving lines); I merely want to see heavily increased representation of women in rock, pop and other music genres. I want to stand in an audience without having to hear the indie bros next to me comment on how hot the “token chick” in the band I’m trying to enjoy is. I’d also like to not have my ass pinched sans consent while standing in an audience (or ever).  But making shows into safe spaces for women is a (related) topic for another day.

I don’t think that the way to increase presence and representation of women is to prop up shitty bands, or insult boy bands just for being all-boy bands. But calling attention to the outmoded, overwhelming maleness (and whiteness) of festivals like CMJ, All Tomorrow’s Parties, and Bonnaroo is important.  We can all use a Whitey/Sausage Fest Check every so often.  There are tons of great women-led bands out there.  But we need to hear more of them- and we could always stand to have more bands waiting in the wings, practicing in bedrooms and garages.

So take up the mantle of the Guerilla Girls, and demand to hear more rocking bands that include women at your local music venues and any festivals you attend.

And while you’re at it, attend a LadiesRock Camp and get grooving yourself!

I wanna be in yr band.


Where do you notice underrepresentation of women-identified dudes and dudettes in music & art?