A Spectacular Tumble - feminist musings on the Oscars

 I don't actually know what relevance these pictures have to the rest of this post - oh well. 

I don't usually touch on 'feminist' topics or issues on this blog but I am someone who loves to state their opinion, and where opportunity arises i'm there. And while I didn't happen to watch the Oscars this year (nor any other year for that matter), I did happen to catch footage of possibly the most controversial issues of the night which, with host Seth MacFarlane, were bound to occur. Unfortunately, 'humour' was a common theme of the night, most of these jokes have erupted backlash. These derogatory remarks were being thrown around frivolously by MacFarlane, who even dared to make a 'joke' about Chris Brown and Rihanna, making light of sexual abuse. 

The main issue I wanted to address, however, is possibly the most controversial and grande, musical-esque performance of the night. The song was titled "We Saw Your Boobs", and with a title like that it was bound to stir controversy. This opening song was a supposed homage to Hollywood's leading actresses. When I first saw it, I was puzzled for a moment as to why I found it unsettling. It wasn't the mention of a female body part, nor the horrible melody. It was the fact that it trivialized these actress' performances and diminished them to mere acts of 'exposure' and nudity. These scenes in movies are perfectly fine and are usually done in good taste, what i'm disappointed in is not nudity. It's a complete dismissal of the actress' effort and skill in executing these roles in popular culture. It ignores the fact that these women's performances did not just consist of being topless. They consisted of hard work, skill and a desire to provide entertainment - after all, that is what an actress/actor is supposed to do.

These actresses themselves were shown in disappointment, Naomi Watts' expression went grim as she was mentioned in the song. Whether these reactions from the females mentioned in the song were real or staged for added 'humour' (I suspect they were fake reactions), it still warrants a concern for the way in which female actresses are celebrated for their work. 

Furthermore, as I flitted around some sites while reading about this occurance I noticed a few other events being reported on from the night and also one too many comments which generalized feminists (something not unheard of) and complained that too many people found the song offensive, often alluding to the fact that those who don't find it funny have no sense of humour. While I understand that humour is truly a subjective thing, it can often cause harm that goes unnoticed. Instances like this call for serious re-evaluation rather than dismissal because it's 'just a joke'.
I'm just going to let this set of comments speak for itself. (Source)

Sidebar of the Daily Mail's 'femail' section. (Source)
Notice (in the image to the left) how the women are making headlines for their "spectacular tumble(s)" demonstrating what  clumsy beings they are (sarcasm intended); and the men are portrayed as talented and fun as they "take home three Best Actor Oscars"and "steal the show...(with) 'high fives."
All in all, I'm glad I didn't watch the Oscars, however it does provide a comprehensive overview on issues that exist in contemporary culture; a microcosm if you will.

What do you think about these instances? I'm completely open for discussion on this one. Do you think i'm over-reacting or were you also disappointed?

ps - Sorry for not posting for a while, I actually wrote this a few days ago but wasn't sure on whether to post it...

13 Responses to “A Spectacular Tumble - feminist musings on the Oscars”
  1. Snow says:

    I didn't watch the Oscars this year.

    I don't like that it is seen that only feminists can find this offensive, and that they are made a joke of. I think a man or woman who wasn't a feminist could find this offensive.

  2. Snow says:

    By the way, your outfit is very nice! I like the overlapping of your patterned sheer tights and skirt :)

  3. kundalini says:

    Oh god that outfit looks pristine.
    I just did not find most of Seth's jokes funny if I'm honest and this year's winners did not inspire me at all for the most part. The tweets about Quvenzhane REALLY pissed me off though. Even more so, I was bothered that many powerful women (like the head of Jezebel) were saying to "lighten up" and she wouldn't mind being called that herself. The fact that this was said to a KID and one of the few PoC nominees for this year unsettled me. What do I know? Apparently to most, I'm a humorless A- Hole.

  4. Lillian says:

    Thanks so much! I agree about Quvenzhane, it was probably the most insensitive incident of the night. Especially because as you said, she is a kid and PoC - it truly represents the issues within society at the moment. Thanks so much for your comment :D

  5. Lillian says:

    I agree, it's disturbing that people are brushing this incident off as a joke. :/

  6. Lillian says:

    Thanks so much! :D

  7. Mikazuki says:

    I've heard a lot of people express similar opinions on this, and I totally agree.

  8. Lillian says:

    Thanks for the comment :D

  9. Ana says:

    Great post!

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  11. Wholly agreed --I wrote something similar about MacFarlane's misogyny, and the general anti-woman feel of the whole proceedings. It's sad that people actually find such hateful stuff "humorous."

  12. Lillian says:

    It really shows how powerful 'humour' is in conveying ideas to the public without a hint of uproar. Thanks for the comment!

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