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