Monday, January 08, 2018

Reclaiming Our Time

Right, let’s dig in shall we? This weekend’s Golden Globes were an interesting clash in acute cultural awareness and standard superficial bullshit. Pretty much everyone wore black, which while it can be seen as an empty gesture was also arresting in its own way because, well, pretty much everyone did it. Everyone. You can’t even make everyone in an office take a piece of free cake. Now, to be fair, I am guessing like 90 percent of the dudes who wore black did so by default anyway because that’s what color men’s formal wear is. But still.

This reckoning was always about more than just Hollywood. #MeToo is about the systematic abuse of women, all women. And therefore it will only be successful if it embraces the plight of all women – regardless of race or class or sexual orientation or gender identity – not just those with the privilege and platform to finally speak out. It must lift up the voiceless, which is why I commend the Time’s Up Initiative, which instead of just offering lip service is putting up real hard cash (so far $16 million dollars and counting) to start a legal defense for women who might otherwise not be able to fight their harassers. Three hundred Hollywood women signed a letter of solidarity with female farm workers and domestic workers and service workers and factory workers and so on. That matters.

And some stars even brought female activists, many of who work directly for nonprofits that help these the groups, with them as their dates to the Globes. Michelle Williams was with Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo Movement and senior director of Girls for Gender Equity. Meryl Streep was with Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Laura Dern was with Monica Ramirez, president of the female farmworkers women’s group Alianza Nactional de Campesinas. Amy Poehler was with Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. Emma Watson was with Marai Larasi, executive director of the UK-based black feminist organization Imkaan. Now this is some non-gay same-sex coupling this gay lady can certainly get behind.

I forced myself to watch some of the red carpet coverage before the ceremony, which I normally ever view on mute, to find the line of questioning a teensy bit better but only – of course – for the women. Because what in the world could men have to say about sexual harassment, even though the vast majority of its perpetrators are indeed men?

I was also pretty disappointed by all the male winners who, aside from some of their shiny “Time’s Up” pins, had precious little to say about this particular moment in our social acceptance of the bullshit women have put up with for centuries at the hand of their male counterparts. Like, yo, Alexander Skarsgard and Sam Rockwell, your projects specifically revolved around the abuse of women. And yet, nada. Solving sexual harassment isn’t just up to women and can’t be done without men’s unequivocal commitment. Also, if you wore a Time’s Up pin and worked with Woody Allen or Roman Polanski recently, GTFO.

Anyhoo. I liked quite a few of the women’s speeches. Oprah, of course. Oprah always. Babs wasn’t bad either. And Laura Dern. And Frances “Fuck yeah, I made them think tectonic shift was a cuss word” McDormand. Though my favorite cut was from Natalie Portman with his fatal delivery of “And here are the all male nominees,” just before announcing the Best Director nominees. Like, damn, this Natalie needs to come out to play more often.

As for the awards themselves I was pretty happy for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and its star Rachel Brosnahan because it’s charming and she is charming. And you can’t be mad at “The Handmaid’s Tale” and its queer-inclusive storylines and terrifyingly plausible dystopia getting more attention. “Lady Bird” was lovely and while I haven’t seen “Three Billboards” I can never not root for Frances, so there’s that.

All in all, the Golden Globes felt like a glamorous shot in the arm. May it bolster our determination to work hard and tirelessly and take advantage of the momentum of this moment. Perhaps we can accomplish the needed sea change for women, all women. Look out, sexual predators. We’re gonna chase down every last one of you and hold you accountable for your actions. In heels, and backwards if we have to. Though, naturally, as a gay lady I’ll be doing it in sensible shoes.

p.s. Tomorrow we’ll revel in some SGALGG, I promise.


Osiris said...

Normally I don't like award shows, but the night was moving. It was cathartic.

The speech Oprah gave was energetic. So amazing. It was more powerful than anything Ive heard in years.

On the men, I thought they realized they needed to take a step back for the night and let the women lead - at last. During Oprahs speech, many men were standing clapping and cheering, some visibly moved.

But why did Wonder Woman get snubbed ? My friend said the award givers have a bias against superhero movies ? Is that true ? We need to change that.

Anonymous said...

Loved this but I can't support Natalie Portman. I still remember her supporting Roman Polanski when the US had a decent shot at getting him returned to the US.

Sherri said...

I like your article, appreciate most of what you’d aid.

I thought the pre-award statements by most was a beginning, and somewhat a cliche fad. I often find it contradictory when women want to be taken seriously, but show most of their cleavage. (Whether it’s a man or woman) it distracts from what they’re trying to convey. And no one is talking about sex trafficking or how one in three girls is sexually abused (I use to be a social worker).... so, it’s not just the top of the iceberg... it’s the global issue. I’m sure you get my feelings about this... said the speck of dust star.

Oh, when you recap with SGALGG, please post Claire Foy in that tux! Asking for a friend. Thanks!!

I appreciate the work you put into your blog!

Carmen SanDiego said...

Oprah killed it but yeah, the men were a disappointment as usual... I mean David Harbour was wearing all black with a "times up" pin, was asked about it and didn't even know what it was about.