Oscars 2013

The Oscars just recently took place, although I did not watch it, numerous amounts of my friends were telling me how Seth McFarlane, the host of the Oscars 2013 was being very sexist. Even though this is not a new thing to happen in Hollywood, I was surprised to hear such crude and cheap remarks made about women at an award show tendered to promote great films.

 

Seth McFarlane opens the show with a monologue called “We saw your boobs” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saHG2MLDfPI). This song consisted of him singing about the various actresses who displayed their breasts in films followed by a chorus: “We saw your boobs, in that movie that we saw, we saw your boobs!” Later on he starts listing off specific movies in which the actresses were topless. Some of the actresses were present at the Oscars and their reactions to the monologues were shown. One of the actresses covers her face in a shameful manner, which to me did not seem very funny at all.

 

Later in the monologue, Seth made the remark “we haven’t seen Jennifer Lawrence’s boobs at all.” Although nudity of women is so common in films of today, there is still a double standard when it comes down to it. Near the end of the monologue Seth points out that Kate Winslet has been in numerous topless scenes. He portrays her as being scandalous by saying that she’s probably nude in whatever movie she’s filming right now.

 

Scarlett Johansson is also brought up in the monologue, saying “we saw her boobs not on the big screen, but on our mobile phones”. As soon as I heard this reference I couldn’t help but think about the women who are blackmailed into suicide by naked pictures being threatened to be leaked on the Internet. This is a very popular issue in India, people taking pictures on their cellphone while girls are showering or changing then blackmailing these females into having sex. This is not something that should be made fun of and should not be taken lightly.

 

Furthermore, as the night goes on McFarlane consistently makes remarks about women almost portraying them as objects.  He has made outrageous comments and is targeting almost all the women that were at the award ceremony. As mentioned above, Hollywood is known for objectifying women but this has got to change. Humor is often used to undermine women and portray them as sexual objects. There are many other ways to enlighten a crowd but Seth McFarlane took it to another level by using very derogatory comments towards the women. Showcasing women’s bodies has always been a problem in Hollywood. From smash hits like James bond it has been clear for decades that women in Hollywood are encouraged and even pressured to lose more and more weight in order to be considered at the top of their profession. Women are usually never judged on their performances in movies but their aesthetic appeal. Paparazzi and media as a whole spend remarkable amounts of time and money talking about how the actresses are dressed and the “do’s and don’ts of the red carpet” rather than focusing on their talent, which ultimately creates the actresses image.

Oscars-2013-Red-Carpet
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7 thoughts on “Oscars 2013

  1. This video makes me wonder why we are STILL perpetuating the idea that appearance is the most important thing for actresses. Well, maybe it isn’t as simple as that. I think there’s been a lot of great acting by females over the past year – I’m especially happy with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosting the Golden Globes this year, with Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables, and others. But Seth MacFarlane’s performance at the Oscars seems to have the effect of countering any progress that has been made… His sexism is offensive and used as a method of asserting dominance. It’s almost comparable to a (very) public display of sexual harassment… The discomfort of the targeted actresses puts him (and all of the other male performers, most of which are white, hmm…) in a dominant position. Some say that people are taking the performance too seriously. Personally I don’t think it’s very funny.

    Your post reminds me of something that I was thinking about the other day. There is so much media attention focusing on clothing and appearance for women in Hollywood, and most of the attention goes to women. I mean, how often do we see critique on the suits and appearances of male actors at award shows? This past week I was curious about openly gay couples in Hollywood (see this link: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/same-sex-star-couples-gallery-1.81923). I noticed that most of the couples were male couples. Is this a coincidence? Do you think that it is easier for gay males to fly under the radar when there is so much media attention surrounding women? Would it be more difficult for gay females to be open about their sexuality in Hollywood?

  2. Correction: the male to female ratio of couples in that article is actually close to even. Regardless, do you think that females are judged more harshly? I’m curious about everyone’s thoughts on this

  3. Yes, I definitely think that females are judged more harshly in Hollywood. For instance, a couple of weeks ago my friends and I were watching an episode of Greys Anatomy and there was a lesbian couple on it. When my friends saw them romantically involved it made them uncomfortable and they made comments about it. On the other hand later on when we saw a gay couple it didn’t seem to bother them as much. Furthermore, I think it made them feel more uncomfortable when the women were together because there was a lot more touching than when the men were shown together. In North American society, gay male couples are more prevalent because males are considered to be superior in today’s popular culture, thus accepted more then gay female couples.

    • Have you ever noticed that shows/films tend to be more explicit in scenes with straight couples? For example, in Skins (the UK version), sex scenes between gay couples often involve characters that are mostly covered or the scenes are shorter in length. Sex scenes between straight couples in the show feature characters who are almost entirely exposed, they are more frequent, and they last longer. Do you know of other instances of this?

      • In the T.V The Following, there is a ‘pretend gay-couple’ that actually develops into a gay-couple, however, aside from a kiss, no sexual scenes are shown until a love-triangle is formed with a female and a sex scene involving all three is shown.

  4. All the comments and all the focus was on the female actors’ dresses. I realized that all the female actors are supposed to be the “One”. They have to look special. Unlike girls, guys are supposed to look neat and nice. Not special. I think all the females will probably be very stressed out because of those dresses.

    • I think there is also an unfair environment for male actors who wish to break away from the “neat and nice”. Whenever a male actor strays away from the traditional ‘suit and tie’ their masculinity is questioned by the tabloids or made fun of, so why would a male actor want to look special if they are condemned for straying to far away from the ‘norm’; I mean Justin Timberlake dotting a bow-tie instead of a tie (ooooo watch out!) was apparently a big enough change for the tabloids to go crazy over.

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