Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Life’s Not Fair. But We Can ACT Like It Is.

It’s feel good Tuesday and to be honest it’s getting harder and harder to find things that can accommodate this category.

Butt as I was purging my hard drive this morning of all superfluous Sundance-Hollywood-movie related images and viruses I did find this, that I think may do the trick:

Awards Affirmative ActionGloria Steinem and Marlo Thomas

s-MARLO-THOMAS-largeThe case for aging naturally: Gloria wins, if we were still allowed to keep score

Here we have author and activist Gloria Steinem with actress, author, and activist Marlo Thomas on deck, discussing one of today’s most pressing issues: gender issues in Hollywood. Specifically, whether the trend towards gender neutrality (which Gloria practically invented) should be extended to the field of acting by eliminating the distinction and recognize them all as simply “actors.”  That would eliminate separate “best actor” and “best actress” prizes and allow men and women to compete against each other for the “best actor” award. That seems sexist on it’s face to me, butt what do I know?

Or Claire Danes, for that matter (at 37 second mark)

Apparently this is a far more nuanced issue than I thought. As always the central concern is fairness: trying to make sure everyone gets a fair shot to do their fair share of giving it a fair shake on a level playing field.

lauren bacall humphrey bogartLife ain’t fair, kiddo. Once you get that the rest is easy.

“In a society tilting steadily toward gender neutrality, the separate-but-equal awards that divide actors into one camp and actresses into another have the whiff of a moldy anachronism.

True, the Association for Women in Science gives honors to encourage female success in male-dominated fields. But to mark enduring achievements, would its members ever yearn for a Women’s Nobel Prize in physics?

In contests of intellect or artistry, should gender ever matter?

"It’s not like it’s upper-body strength," Gloria Steinem dryly observed of the requirements of acting.

The separate labeling of male and female performers is losing favor in the industry. Actresses often swat the distinction away by calling themselves "actors," standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.”

Sally Field (actress) comes down firmly on the other side of the argument - in favor of keeping them separate (butt equal) because, as she points out, the deck is still stacked in favor of men:

“As Fields pointed out, the bedrock challenge is that women get fewer substantive roles than men. Ironically, that’s obscured by the artificial parity onstage each year at awards shows. Five women compete, five men compete, two winners are crowned.

So what’s the problem? A quick numbers check makes it clear: Females constituted about a third of the characters in the 100 top-grossing films in 2011, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

This despite the fact women make up slightly more than half of the U.S. population, and, according to the center’s previous research, the finding isn’t an anomaly.”

“Artificial parity” -well, that does seem unfair. And Sally’s impeccable logic was all it took to swing Gloria to her side:

“In this context, feminist leader Steinem sees legitimate reason to retain separate acting awards. When two unequal groups are combined, it’s the less-powerful one that loses, she said, as when 20th-century U.S. school desegregation led to mass layoffs of black principals and administrators.”

Really? I don’t know, nobody’s done the research. Butt putting the allegation out there is sufficient evidence in most cases of discrimination, so let’s just move along shall we?

karen lewis pres chicago teachers union-STRIKE-articleLargeDon’t worry Gloria, Chicago teachers union Prez, Karen Lewis is gonna fix that.

Tom O’Neil calls this outrageous Hollywood cover-up “criminal:”

Awards shows routinely try to add celebrity-driven categories, not drop them, to increase a show’s "glamor and glitz" quotient, he said, as well as mask the industry’s unequal treatment of women.

Let’s give two-time Oscar winner Field the last word in this debate:

Actresses "should be in their own category because they are in their own category," [ed. like politicians] she said. "They face their own specific kind of difficulties surviving in this business that actors, bless their hearts, don’t face."

Since Big Guy just leveled the playing field for women in combat I’m guessing that he  would stand with Gloria, Marlo and Sally in this unfair War Against Women.


Butt here’s something I’m still unclear on:

bo football in the oval BO told The New Republic:

“I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football.”

Butt if Big Guy wouldn’t let an imaginary son (who would look just like him) play football due to the inherent danger, would he let the Wee Wons (who do look just like him) play front line combat soldier? Or would he not put them in harms way either?  Even though he’s cleared the way to put your daughter there?

I may have to go in for a tune up. I seem to be experiencing some cognitive dissonance in my logic region. I keep getting conflicted data output messages. Like these:

It’s okay for women to have “assault” weapons  when pressed into mortal combat on the front lines.


Butt it’s not ok for women to be armed with the same type “assault” weapons to defend themselves?

h/t American Digest 5 Minute Argument

That just can’t be right. I know our Prezzy is the titular (can I say that?) leader in the War against the Republicans War on Women, so this just doesn’t make sense to me.

error-logicOh, by all means! Especially if it makes things fairer.

Let’s consult an expert in the field of fairness and women: maybe Gloria can explain this apparent logic failure from a feminist perspective. Hey Gloria! Why do you do what you do?


“Feminism starts out being very simple.  It starts out being the instinct of a little child who says, ‘It’s not fair’ and ‘You are not the boss of me.’  It’s something in us who knows it.  And it ends up being a worldview that questions hierarchy altogether.”  Gloria Steinem, Gloria: In Her Own Words

Wow! If only poor little Gloria’s mother had been wise enough to tell her that life isn’t fair we may have avoided a whole lot of missteps along the path to make it so. For that matter, imagine if Stanley Ann had done the same thing for her son…

stanley ann dunham“Life’s not fair Barack, and it’s your job to fix it.”

Linked By: BlogsLucianneLoves, and NOBO2012 on Free Republic, Thanks!