Friday Feminist Fuck You: Academy Awards

Hey there, we’re back with our potty-mouthed vlogging for another installment of the Friday Feminist Fuck You. I recorded this week’s edition, and since I lack video editing software, it’s grainy and missing the fancy titles and logos that Jessica’s version was sporting last week. But anyway, check it out:

For more on gender and the Academy Awards, see this op-ed from the Guardian.
If you missed last week’s edition, check out Jessica telling Grover Cleveland High School to fuck off. And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Join the Conversation

  • EverythingisImage

    That was interesting…I’ve never thought of that. Thanks for sounding off!

  • wallie

    I would like to add a fuck you to the Academy Awards for “forgeting” to include Whoopi Goldberg (the first African American female to host the Oscars)in the flashback clip of all the greatest hosting moments in the Academy Awards history.

  • Stefan Hayden

    I’m a fan of the videos and they are all informative but all this “fuck you” stuff just seems a bit abrasive.

  • Jessica

    Yeah, Stefan – much better we treat sexism with kid gloves. Come on now.

  • Tobes

    I enjoy the “fuck you” bit actually. Keep it up :) Sometimes certain situations are deserving of some abrasiveness.
    I had never actually thought of this! And you are SOOO right. Why in the hell is the best actress regulated to middle of the program non-important spot?

  • Baby Fem

    I admit that the word “Fuck” always makes me jump a little bit, as I typically reserve it for when I’m really pissed at something, and Jessica uses it quite freely :) But I actually like this feature as well, and I think it’s a GREAT way to address some issues that some would think of as “minor issues” that are not “worth” feminists’ time. Keep it up, Jessica!

  • Oskar

    I’m not sure I entirely agree with this Fuck You (except for the Nobel-prize thing, that’s totally fucking outrageous).
    I don’t necessarily mind that the Academy separates the awards into two different categories, and I don’t think it is a way of somehow banishing women to a “lesser” award. No one seriously thinks that Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett, or Meryl Streep are worse than Philip Seymour Hoffman or Daniel Day-Lewis. I think it is a good way to give more people awards, and I think it’s overinterpreting to say that it is sexist at all.
    (someone could make the point that men and women have essentially different styles of acting, and while I see what they’re saying, I don’t agree with that at all. Look at what Cate Blanchett was nominated for this year, or Felicity Huffman two years ago, or Hillary Swank before that)
    As for the order in which they comes, that changes from year to year. Best Actress and Best Actor virtually always come just before Best Director and Picture (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show before where one was in the middle), and they alternate which one of them come last.
    There are great, great problems with sexism in Hollywood, like the fact that if you’re a woman, over 25 and over 100 lbs, you can’t get a role to save your life. If you do fit those criteria, most of the roles are still pretty terrible. I heard an interview where Ellen Page was asked (presumably for the five-hundreth time) something like “How do you like playing such a smart and strong young woman?” and she snapped back “That’s a ridiculous question, do you ask Emile Hirsch what it’s like to play a smart and strong young man?” Or how about the absolute dearth of female directors? Sofia Coppola was only the third woman (and the first American woman) EVER to be nominated for Best Director. THAT’S sexism. Do a Friday Fuck You on that instead, the Academy Awards having different categories for men and women is trivial shit in comparison.

  • Oskar

    Oh, and by the way, I totally love the concept of the Friday Fuck You’s! Keep em coming, hell, make two a week! I just had some issues with this particular one.

  • Halfmad

    Goddamn, Oskar, is this your first time here??? Do you NOT get that it’s the small, pervasive, LITTLE SHIT, the deeply ingrained sexism is every part of everyday life, that is a much larger issue than the “larger issue”?
    To quote Clarisse, it matters. It matters!

  • Halfmad

    PS So has the pearl-clutching from Michelle Malkin over feminists and their dirty, dirty mouths started yet?

  • Olivia

    This is a really interesting topic. I had never given thought to why there were separate acting awards for men and women. If we accept that, then should there not also be separate awards for all the other categories i.e. director, screenwriter, etc?

  • jessilin79

    You know, I agree and disagree. On the one hand, it doesn’t make sense to desegregate awards like director and screenwriter on the basis of gender and segregate acting awards. On the other hand, imagine if the academy had to narrow down what would normally be 10 great performances (5 for men and 5 for women) into only 5. I fully agree women can compete against men and win, what I would be afraid of is that if they were limited to five choices for best acting. It would over-politicize the whole thing. If less women were nominated, we would hear about it, and that might lead to a woman winning just because she is a woman, not on the strength of her performance. I only say this based on the wins of Halle Berry and Denzel Washington a while back. People were complaining black actors are under-nominated, then two winning the same year led to speculation that they only won in order to let a black actor win. Sorry if this sounds rambling… :)

  • llevinso

    Okay I watch the Oscares every year religiously and this is the problem with the Guardian’s article about the Academy Awards…each year they switch off the order of the awards. Last year Best Supporting Actress was presented first, then Best Supporting Actor, then Best Actor, then Best Actress. So this year they did Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress, Best Actor…they do it like that every year. So it’s not like the Academy was trying to slight the females, it’s just that this year it was the male’s turn to go last.

  • Ann

    jessilin, I think there’s an easy answer to that. Why not give out awards for “Best Acting in a Drama” and “Best Acting in a Comedy” etc. To me, it makes way more sense to create award categories based on movie genre, not on gender or any other characteristics of the actual actors.
    I completely disagree, Oskar, that men and women have “essentially different styles of acting.” Yes, they’re offered very different roles. I think that discussing the fact that they’ve split the acting awards by gender is *NOT* “trivial shit,” but goes to the heart of everything you wrote about the pervasive sexism in Hollywood.

  • MissusTufnel

    Men and women do not compete for the same roles. They can not audition for the same roles, nor is there cross-casting. (I’m Not There being an important exception.) I’m all about getting pissed at Oscar for the lack of females honored in other categories, but in acting you cannot have one category. That’s just the way it is.

  • lizadilly

    I think this is just an outdated aspect of Old Hollywood. They’d never combine them because it would make the awards less interesting.

  • ellestar

    I completely agree with Ann that if categories are to be split up, the categories should differentiate between comedies and dramas. Those are what require different acting styles and comedies definitely get little recognition for the work required to make people laugh.
    I’m a little torn about the separation of male from female acting categories. If they did separate them, I could see a dearth of female nominations and awards. I can just picture the reasoning: “But it’s so much HARDER for men to get in touch with their emotions enough to ACT. Therefore, they worked harder and should win.” We all know what bull that is, but it is what I would predict if they didn’t segregate by gender.
    I don’t know. I love movies and am always appalled at how much sexism still exists in the movie making process. Calls for change by female actors and audiences in general seem to fall on deaf ears. But since money talks in Hollywood, I’m hoping “Juno” will be a positive change for women in movies.

  • Oskar

    I completely disagree, Oskar, that men and women have “essentially different styles of acting.” Yes, they’re offered very different roles. I think that discussing the fact that they’ve split the acting awards by gender is *NOT* “trivial shit,” but goes to the heart of everything you wrote about the pervasive sexism in Hollywood.
    I’m apologize, perhaps I wasn’t clear, I completely agree that men and women don’t have essentially different acting styles. I meant that some people could argue that they do, but that’s BS. Just look at Cate Blanchett play Bob Dylan this year, easily outperforming the other (male) actors who played (essentially) the same role.
    There is definitely an issue of sexism in Hollywood, but splitting the categories is not it. There is not a person in Hollywood who considers the male prize more prestigious than the female prize, and there is not a person in Hollywood who would argue with the statement that there are actresses many actresses who wildly outperforms their male counter-parts. The upper strata of acting talent is filled with just as many women as men, women like Naomi Watts, Meryl Streep (who has by far the most Oscar-nominations at 14!), Hilary Swank, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Jodie Foster, etc. etc. These are just some off the top of my head, there are tons more.
    This has nothing to do with “Ohh, we can’t possibly allow the puny females Marion Cotillard or Tilda Swinton to compete against the Mighty Manfolk, Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis! That would be insane!” That’s not what this is. This is just how acting awards have always been, look at the Emmy’s, the Globes or the SAG awards, they (along with all the other awards) all do this, and it has nothing to do with sexism, it’s just how those shows work.
    I used a little to harsh words, perhaps, and for that I apologize, but I do think this issue is truly trivial. There is a super disturbing sexist trend in Hollywood that deserves all the criticism we can throw at it, but the dividing of the acting categories ain’t part of it.
    I’m sorry, I’ve rambled on in a long message again.

  • keshmeshi

    If the male and female acting categories weren’t separated, women would never win. Some years the Academy has a really difficult time filling all ten slots for best lead and supporting female actors. That’s a failure of Hollywood for not offering better roles for women, but that’s where it stands right now. Until all of Hollywood changes, there’s no justification for combining the categories.
    I’ve heard other feminists offer up female directors as examples of women who should have received nominations. Nicole Hofcener, Rose Troche, and Kimberly Peirce come to mind. Frankly, based on the type of movies they direct and the demonstration of their talent up to the present day, the only way those directors would have been nominated by now would be by designating one or two nominations for female directors. Unlike with acting, there aren’t enough female feature film directors to justify separating the Best Direction category.

  • biancamarisa

    I love Friday Feminist Fuck You!

  • Olivia

    I like Ann’s idea for awards based on film genre. I’ve always thought comedies are overlooked in the Oscar’s.

  • rileystclair

    ann’s genre idea is good and i’m constantly lamenting the snubbing of comedies at the oscars (jack black and will ferrel’s song last year about a comedian at the oscars was hilarious btw) but i think missustunfel has a point. there aren’t directing or screenwriting jobs dictated by gender, but there are for acting in nearly all cases, so i think that has to be taken into account.
    also, i like the idea of recognizing more acting performances over fewer, and i think women would get shut out if there were just one acting award given each for lead and supporting.

  • cuddlebot3000

    I think you present one very valid reason in favor of sex-segregating the academy awards – the fact is generally speaking, men DO get better roles than women [alas, "hookers, victims, and doormats" - so true. I'm a self-admitted Lifetime movie addict. I swear those are the 3 main genres!].
    Better roles = more opportunities for awards. The end result would be fewer women being recognized for their acting achievments. Until there is equality in that regard, segregating the Best Acting Person awards will have to suffice.

  • Raznor

    I’m of two minds regarding “Best Actress” category. On the one hand, I pretty much agree with everything in the video. But on the other hand, considering how few good roles there are for women and the inherent sexism of people in the Academy, a non-gendered Best Actor category would likely never go to a woman, and we’d be lucky if more than one woman would be nominated in a given year. At least in the current state there are 10 actresses whose performances are highlighted each year.

  • Stefan Hayden

    It just seems like there is a middle ground between being angry and poignant and yelling obscenities.
    I’m not against cursing in anyway nor do I think the issues are anything less then paramount.
    I guess I’m just saying the saying of “fuck you” seems a little forced.
    maybe if you said it with more feeling and emotion then just saying it as the title of a blog post.

  • moriath

    Y’know, I think I would be fine if the acting categories remained separate. I don’t think men and women inherently have different acting styles, but certainly the types of roles that are offered to men vs women in Hollywood are strikingly different (just as gender stereotypes in any field are). However, what fucking pisses me off is the term “actress” vs. “actor.” Whoopi Goldberg once said “An actress can only play a woman. I am an actor; I can do anything.” As a lifelong actor, I’ve always loved that quotation. Actress is a diminutive form of actor, designed once again to set the woman apart as “different.”
    Thank you for letting me get that off my chest!

  • rosiepie

    Yes, if the best actor awards weren’t segregated by gender, women would hardly ever win. But that would force people to address the fact of sexism in Hollywood; the fact that women generally get lamer roles and less recognition than men would become more obvious, and people would get pissed off. Giving seperate awards to men and women allows Hollywood to gloss over these problems.So I totally agree with this FFY :)

  • Persephone

    HA! I love this feature! I love hearing Jessica say “Fuck you!”
    I never even considered the idea of the Oscars being seperated by gender. I guess it’s probably because I couldn’t give less of a shit who wins the Academy Awards, really.

  • ravenfire

    I have to ask if you got the idea from this from The Angry Hippie’s Podcast. He does a friendly fuck off each episode that this totally reminds me of. He’s also done a few great shows on feminism.
    I’ve loved both Friday feminist fuck you’s by the way. Sometimes nothing gets your point across better than a bold, strong, “FUCK YOU”!!!

  • Liza

    I agree that it’s complete bullshit that women are underrepresented in technical categories, as well as the fact that the Best Actress is at a less important time in the show, but it doesn’t inherently bother me that the separate awards exist. At least, until Hollywood wises up and creates as many good roles for women as they do for men. But I think that the awards should be treated the same (how about having them one after the other in the show? same with supporting) and women need to be more strongly represented in other categories.
    P.S. Diablo Cody? Woot.

  • FEMily!

    I was wondering why they announced Best Actress in the middle. I don’t mind the separate awards for men and women in acting, though. There is usual a lead actor and a lead actress in every movie. I think there is more ageism when it comes to nominating performers in a leading role. Abigail Breslin from “Little Miss Sunshine” was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, even though she was the subject of the movie.
    What I noticed was how when both women and men were accepting awards, the women were shooed off the stage with the infamous Oscar music. I thought it was so unfair when the woman who co-wrote that song from “Once” got cut off, and I was very happy to see Jon Stewart invite her back on stage to say her thank-yous.

  • ojibwayangel

    I am for nonviolence and the fuck you is violent to me. There is a a way to approach issues like this and not fuel fire with fire.

  • jstein

    I honestly hadn’t considered it a sexist issue, though it certainly is. (and an interesting point that they do show best actress halfway through the show, though it’s not entirely true to say that they put it with a weak group of awards, as it directly follows Best Supporting Actor and usually immediately proceeds best song, though I’m not sure if that’s the way that format worked this year)
    I’ll say that, in fairness, a woman has very rarely put in a performance where I thought she outshined the best actor winner (Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball and Charlize Theron in Monster are the only two that immediately come to mind), but I agree that this doesn’t stem from them being any less incredible in their profession, rather from the fewer number of leading roles in feature films. (which stems directly out of a sexist society where we tend not to see women as protaginists, but you know where this is all going)
    The point is that while this might be a great idea, I’m not sure that you’d still be happy if men beat women out for this category 9 of every 10 years. Maybe you’d be happy just to have women nominated, but it’s just a thought.
    That’s not a shot at you, Ann, I’m just saying that that’s the way I think things would end up happening. Definitely a very interesting idea.