What’s Current: Oscars edition

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

The Oscars happened last night. Men won most awards, except for the Mad Max sweep that saw female winners in Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Makeup, and Best Costume Design. Director of The Revenant, Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, now has more Best Director Oscars than… ALL of women. BUT, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, director of A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, won Best Documentary Short for her film depicting the phenomenon of Pakistani honor killings of females. Obaid-Chinoy also wins the unofficial award for best acceptance speech: “This is what happens when determined women get together.”

Host of the Oscars, Chris Rock, attempted to undercut the success of Carol by describing depictions of lesbian love as “girl-on-girl” porn: “Of all the girl-on-girl movies I’ve seen this year, Carol was the third best.”

Vice President Joe Biden introduces Lady Gaga, who performs her Oscar-nominated song “Till it happens to you” from the film The Hunting Ground, dealing with the issue of campus sexual assault. (Biden also encouraged people to take the “It’s On Us” pledge in order to “change the culture” of sexual assault. While Biden’s intentions are probably good, it seems disingenuous, at best, to frame an individualistic pledge as “culture changing” and obfuscating, at worst, of possibilities for real cultural change, such as addressing porn culture and the sexual objectification of women.)

Patricia Arquette says she lost roles for giving a feminist acceptance speech at the 2015 Oscars.

Happy Leap Day! It’s the day once every four years that women are “allowed” to propose to their men. Glosswitch’s incisive analysis:

“Marriage is sold to a woman as the day: the dress, the attention, the party. You can’t sell it to her as the lifetime commitment otherwise she’d run screaming for the hills. The proposal must be an “event” — often an extremely passive-aggressive, public, controlling event — since a long, considered discussion might not lead to the desired outcome…

The leap year proposal tradition works on a principle of artificial scarcity. Women are told ‘look, you can only ask for this thing that you really, really want once every four years. Use it! Don’t miss your chance!’ Sure, you could propose at any other time — it’s not literally against the law — but that wouldn’t be proper, would it?”


Susan Cox
Susan Cox

Susan Cox is a feminist writer and academic living in the United States. She teaches in Philosophy.

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  • northernTNT

    I am very much looking forward to “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”. It won’t in Yukon, nothing any good ever does. So I’ll have to catch it online whenever that happens.
    And I’m very glad the anti-priest movie got top vote, it was awesome. I have no clew at all what people saw in Mad Max… I was bored to yawns.
    I think I just want to give up on Inarritu, blah, so self absorbed.

  • oneclickboedicea

    Chris Rock really doesnt get human rights abuses against women does he?

    • Spark658

      Men like him can’t see sexism the same way they see racism because in their minds it’s totally justified. We are othered, made into sex objects and dehumanized, and apparently he’s bought right into it, as have most men. In his mind it’s nothing like black men being discriminated against; it’s ok to treat us this way because we’re just fundamentally deserving of it.

      • Cassandra

        Racism against black men is often painted as being so so so much worse than sexism against women. Women are the only oppressed group that does not contain men, and all men across all races oppress women and benefit from male supremacy. Chris Rock is unfortunately pretty representative of patriarchy.

      • Sally Hansen

        So very true. Dworkin points this out in her book Pornography: Men Possessing Women. Women of color are on the lowest rung in society, and men of color benefit from this, even if there is racism against them, they at least still get to dominate another group of people to make up for it.

  • will

    Chris Rock should receive a Cognitive Dissonance Award. This rich powerful man cannot seem EVER to address racism without simultaneously throwing women under the bus. Incapable of making the obvious link between oppressions, he stands on one of the most visible platforms in the western world, spewing bigotry while supposedly challenging unjust hierarchies.

    Thanks for nothing, dudebro.

    • Spark658

      Yep, I didn’t even watch it but this has always bothered me about him. Totally clueless. Feminism helped make me aware of and passionate about racial inequality as well, it’s too bad it doesn’t seem to work the other way around.

      • somebody42

        I get your point and feminism also lead me to focus on other oppressions. But I have found that some men of color are more likely to “get” sexism because they can see a parallel between it and racism. The men in mainstream media who seem to get it the most are men of color.

        • Spark658

          That’s good to hear. I’d actually be super interested in hearing what they have to say about the connections, do you have anyone in particular in mind?

        • Sally Hansen

          I can’t help but be reminded of a Key and Peele skit in which they actually critique the whole liberal feminist idea of self-objectifying to “empower oneself”. Two great comedians capable of critiquing racist and sexist culture simultaneously. I love their show.

  • Cassandra

    It’s interesting; when I clicked over to the piece about Patricia Arquette losing out on roles, this is the first sentence I read (in bold type no less):

    “Patricia Arquette has claimed she lost out on two roles as a result of her strident speech on gender equality at the Oscars.”

    One wonder who wrote that sentence. The female author someone else? Either way, why is Arquette’s speech described as “strident?” “Strident” is a word that is never used on men, and why is asking for equal pay seen as “strident?”


    • Tired feminist

      For me, what this headline is stridently screaming is “women, keep quiet! Learn you lesson!”

    • Sally Hansen

      Well, ya know, we’re all just shrieking, delusional, crazy women. Obviously anything we say can’t be taken seriously. Half the world is gaslighting the other half on a daily basis.