Should Award Show Categories Be Gender Neutral?

by Yesha Callahan

Gender Neutral Awards 2013

Imagine if award shows had categories such as best non-white actor, best white actor, or best white rapper. That probably would never fly. Many people in the entertainment industry have applied this same line of thought when it comes to gender still being applied to award shows like the Oscars or Golden Globes. In a world that is pressing towards gender neutrality, some feel that it should no longer be acceptable to segregate award categories based on sex.

“That’s a great idea,” said Mark Andrews, writer-director of the animated film “Brave.” ‘’At the end of the day, we’re all storytellers, and I don’t think when we’re defining a character that the gender is the major defining factor. In all other awards-eligible fields, including directing, writing or cinematography, everyone is “going for it,” male and female alike, Andrews said.

But in an industry where men definitely outnumber the women, is it fair to say that men will always have the upper hand in winning? Award winning actress Sally Field, who’s nominated for both an Oscar and Sag for Lincoln, thinks there’s an unfair advantage.  ‘If you do that you won’t see any actresses up there (on stage) at all,’ she told the Associated Press.

Is there a line that should be drawn when it comes to gender neutrality? Since it’s already happening in the military, should other industries consider it as well?  “It’s not like it’s upper body strength,” Gloria Steinem dryly observed of the requirements of acting.

Even Nicki Minaj, although not an actress yet, thinks it’s a good idea. “You see all those divas in the audience looking so pretty, and they all want to beat each other out,” she said. “It’s entertainment.”  Some could say that statement is loaded within itself. Woman vs. woman. Duking it out over an award.  Once again there’s nothing like a good catfight.

As this is the weekend of the SAG awards, it will be interesting to keep track of the gender wars.  Will it be the men or women who take home most of the awards? Who knows, Sally Field may be onto something.

Do you think a gender neutral award show is a good idea?

  • THE RAVENS ARE BETTER THAN YOUR TEAM. RAVENSNATION!

    I agree with Sally Field.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    The voting system is already suspect with who get to vote. I don’t think it would be fair unless the gave men and women an equal amount of votes.

  • P

    THE RAVENS ARE BETTER THAN YOUR TEAM. RAVENSNATION!

    Yes sir or Yes ma’ma! This is it right here!!! — your user name!

  • ToClutch!

    Oh my! Stop teasing me with these Denzel pics! I’ve been looking at him for 10minutes. I think he is telling me to have a nice weekend. LOL!

  • Whatever

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

    At the end of the awards ceremony, a man walks away with an award and so does a woman. It’s already fair, so what is the problem?

    Why are we comparing actors to the military? On the topic though, why are civilians in such heated debates about an issue that should only be decided by those in the military. Most of us will never have to go to war or be on the front lines so we shouldn’t have a say. After speaking to female friends and family in the military on the issue, most agree with women not being on the front lines for various reasons. While having these discussions (which also got heated), I realized this should only be up to those who will actually be affected… the rest of us are just talking.

  • victoria

    Great point. How can I decide what is best for the military when I have no idea what they endure?

  • Mademoiselle

    When casting allows men to audition for women’s roles and women to audition for men’s roles, I’ll support unisex award categories.

  • LolaChi

    I agree.

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