Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Girls on Film" -- Are You Kidding Me?

I am on vacation this week -- hence the numerous postings, but I have made the imprudent mistake of submerging myself in reading -- the "news."  Here's what we've got:

Travis Barker gets a tattoo to commemorate the death of his friend DJ Am.  For a guy who's tattooed over 80% of his body -- this is news?

Hustler is seeking crime photos of a hiker murdered and decapitated; some organizations are calling for the release of the video in which a trainer at Sea World is killed by a killer whale -- need I say more?

Lindsay Lohan is suing E*Trade for their Super Bowl spot in which one of their talking babies refers to "that milkaholic, Lindsey."  C'mon.  Is she serious?  Did I or anyone I know really make that leap?  Nope.  Sorry Lindsay, we're just not that into you!

Lastly, on cinematical.com writer Monika Bartyzel scolds Kathryn Bigelow for not mentioning in her Oscar acceptance speech that she happened to be the first female director to win.  Why, because she accepted humbly, thanking men and women who worked hard on the film, and those who inspired it by risking their lives?  Because she did not pull every ounce of attention in the room toward her, her efforts, her achievements -- isn't that what the Academy did by giving her the award?  Why do we want to hear self-indulgent harping on the same point?  Maybe it's because she did not use words like "first" or "groundbreaking;" maybe she recognizes that so many others fought long and hard to pave the way, and she doesn't exactly want to claim that of herself.  Or, maybe Ms. Bartyzel and so many other people need to stop distinguishing between black, white, male, female, young, old when it comes to referring careers and accomplishments that are in no way limited by the color of our skin, our reproductive organs, or our eligibilty for Social Security.  I'm not saying there are no disparities; I just want to know why we have to draw attention to them.  Do I feel inspired because Kathryn Bigelow opened that door for me?  Nope.  I know what I'm capable of regardless of whether my driver's license is marked "F" or "M."  I'm below average height and above average weight -- does that limit my ability to be a Vogue model?  You bet it does, and the day I change that you can gather 'round all the short, fat middle-aged hausfraus you can find for a glorious rendition of "We Shall Overcome."  It does not, however, limit my abilities to think, create or express how I feel; when it comes to awards for those aforementioned exploits, physical attributes are completely irrelevant and of no consequence.  Personally, I'd like to keep it that way.  We've all been told, "You will never because... (fill in the blank)" by some narrow-minded jerk who wants to rain on our parade; what limits us is our belief in some jerk's opinions.

Lastly, I'd like to point out that while I am not a feminist, I am feminine, and very proud to be so.  But, perhaps, a writer who wishes to make an issue of gender when it comes to creative and intellectual achievements, would not want to title her column "Girls on Film."
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