Why Do Men & Women Still Have Different Award Categories?


Last year, we posted a story called, “Do The Oscars Really Need A “Best Actress” Category?” It’s award season again, and this topic is back. Amanda Marcotte weighs in on it on Pandagon:

Marcotte references a post from Bitch Ph.D. which reads:

Is it not so strange that all the awards shows for non-music, that is, all the completely performance based awards (because at least in theory things like Best Album are about writing) segregate the actual performance awards by gender? Not Best Screenplay by a Man or Best Cinematography by a Woman, but always and across the board Best Supporting Actress and Best Actor. What’s the deal with that?

Sybil from Bitch Ph.D. posits: “It’s all about the performance aspect, no? …Performativity, as I figure it, is so inextricably linked to gender that we cant think of ways to compare performances across those lines.”

On one hand, since women compete against other women for parts, does it make sense that they would compete against women for awards? On the other hand, as Sarah Churchwell wrote in the Guardian last year, “Imagine the uproar if we had Oscars for best performance by a black man in a supporting role, or best leading performance by a Jew.” When singer Kate Nash won a Brit award for “best female artist” she reportedly declared, “female is not a genre.”

But what would happen if, say, Kate Winslet, Mickey Rourke, Heath Ledger, Sean Penn, Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep were in the same categories? Would women ever win?

Men And Women Are Different, In That Their Opportunities Are Different [Pandagon]
Gender(ed) Awards* [Bitch Ph.D.]

Earlier: Do The Oscars Really Need A “Best Actress” Category?
And The Best Frock Is… [Guardian]

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