I am an award show junkie.
Despite not really having two cares to rub together about celebrity culture the rest of the year, between December and March I become completely obsessed with the beautiful people and their shiny bits of ceremonial metal.
But there’s one thing that’s always kind of irked me about awards season. And that’s the awards themselves.
When it comes to acting, there is no reason why men and women can’t compete in the same field. It’s not a sport. It’s not like Cate Blanchett and Leonardo DiCaprio are lining up in their gym gear, trying to see who can hurl a hammer the furthest, or jump the highest, or do any other sort of activity in which you could say that one gender has an inherent biological advantage.
From a historical perspective, I understand why it would have made sense to separate the awards. The roles that women played and the roles that men played were very different. Women needed to be dainty and pretty, and men needed to, well… carry the plot. But surely things are different now, and the guys and the girls can be ‘graded’ as such.
This is a monologue that I have given many a time in the lead up to the Oscars.
“The Oscars are archaic!” I cry. “Meritocracy!” I say.
But, I rarely stop to think that, maybe, the awards season’s affirmative action policy is actually doing the chicks of Hollywood a favour.
Every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences holds a their Nominees’ Luncheon. After the luncheon, they get all of the nominees together and take a photo. Here’s the one from this year:
That’s a lot of blokes.