And the Winner is…Mr. or Mrs. Oscar

March 4, 2010 | NeW Staff

In case you didn’t know, the Oscars are sexist.  Yep, that’s right.  Because men and women don’t compete against each other, one UCLA women’s studies researcher is calling for a rolling up of the red carpet. The author Kim Elsesser argues,

“The divided Oscar categories merely insult women, because they suggest that women would not be victorious if the categories were combined. In addition, this segregation helps perpetuate the stereotype that the differences between men and women are so great that the two sexes cannot be evaluated as equals in their professions.”

Wait a second.  What??  Having male and female Oscar categories is insulting to women?  Somehow, I can’t figure out how separate awards for men and women implies that women would lose if judged in a unisex actor category.  I am having a hard time even following the logic here.  This isn’t even close to a matter of “segregation” as Elsesser calls it.  There is absolutely no discrepancy in the prestige of the award.  Best Female Actor and Best Male Actor are both deemed “the best” that year.  What is the solution according to Elsesser?

“For next year’s Oscars, the academy should modify its ballots so that men and women are finally treated as full equals, able to compete together in every category, for every nomination. And if the academy insists on continuing to segregate awards, then it should at least remain consistent and create an Oscar for best directress.”

Maybe you haven’t heard, but female director of Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigleow is a favorite for this year’s best director category.  So what does that say about inequity?
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