Sexy Women In Award Shows: Objects? Feminists? Funny?

Both the Emmys and VMA awards this week garnered very strong reactions, both positive and negative for the way women were portrayed.

First, Beyoncé’s 16-minute tour de force medley of her new CD at the VMAs was hailed as a feminist masterpiece…though I can’t quite agree.  I was pleased she had a neon sign with the word “Feminist” behind her and I applaud her huge power player status in the music business; also that the word is being introduced to girls who might feel it has a negative connotation otherwise, due to its negative media branding.

feministThe voice over that was broadcast when the sign lit up on stage said that women are taught to suppress and have less of a sexuality than men and that women are sent the message that they must be less successful than men.  That much is true.

The positive here is that Beyoncé proudly owns her sexuality.  The negative is that her version of it advertises a kittenish-I-am-a-pole-dancer-for-the-male attitude that I worry makes young girls think this is what they are good for.  And all they are good for.

Ironically, her best performance as a vocalist was when she was singing to her little girl.  Beyoncé is so bloody talented, I can’t help wishing once in a while she would just share her music with us without female back up dancers posed upside down, legs in the air, spread eagle with their asses painted in gold glitter behind her as she sings.  But that’s just me.

Then, at the Emmys, Sofia Vergara twirling around on a pedestal as eye candy while the president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences President, Bruce Rosenblum, spoke about diversity has garnered boos from every corner.  Clearly she was in on the joke about women being objectified and playing that to the hilt, which unfortunately does nothing to decrease its frequency in this business.   The bigger problem is that Rosenblum was speaking about diversity and no one listened to a damned word he said.  Whatever the “meta” joke was, it didn’t work.  Why didn’t the academy think that was a message worth hearing?

Jerry and I talking about this and much more…don’t miss it! (To listen, click on the link below for audio.)


What do you think?

Originally published at Anita Finlay’s blog.  Reposted, in full, with permission of the author.




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