In defense of the sanctimonious women's studies set || First feminist blog on the internet

Open Oscars Thread

Have at it.

**UPDATE: Way to drill down way lower than people’s worst expectations of you, Seth McFarlane. Bleagh.**

**UPDATE: WTF? appalling Onion tweet re Quvenzhané Wallis.**

95 thoughts on Open Oscars Thread

  1. Halle Berry and Charlize Theron look gorgeous. I would kill to have their bone structure. It must be awesome to be able to rock short hair.

    Countdown to Seth saying something wildly offensive?

    And last, that tiny little girl who is up for best actress? OMG WHO IS SHE, SHE IS TINY AND I WANT HER TO WIN. And she’s going to be fucking Annie, based on her interview, which is amazing.

        1. The appalled/disgusted reactions from Charlize Theron and Naomi Watts during the song were the only thing bearable about it.

    1. That was Quvenzhané Wallis, who was only 5 when she started filming the movie she’s nominated for. And she is awesome.

      1. She is tiny! Also, how badass is she? You can repurpose that Coppola family joke (that I actually liked). “Oh, you already know your multiplication tables? I was nominated for an Oscar.” What a trump card.

    2. The appalled/disgusted reactions from Charlize Theron and Naomi Watts during the song were the only thing bearable about it.

      I watched the video on Buzzfeed just now but I usually don’t watch the Oscars. Were the rest of the actresses he mentioned by name there? Why didn’t they get reaction shots? Was that a normal amount of reaction shots? Who’s in charge of deciding which to show? Because I think I appreciate them showing that it hurt those two women, showing the effect his jokes have on real people, but what about the others? I guess I can see how it could go both ways though, maybe they don’t want their reaction shots shown when they’re already being singled out for nastiness.

      I guess I’m thinking, given that Seth MacFarlane and everyone who approved that bit is a jerk, what else can we analyze? I’m interested in how it played out with the audience and what was decided to be aired. Maybe I should actually watch the oscars next year. Though I think I prefer online highlights.

      1. Three or four is probably a usual amount of reaction shots for a song. The other reaction was from Jennifer Lawrence, who was happy that the line about her was that they haven’t seen hers at all. I know some of the other women mentioned in the song were there, but may have been farther back in the audience or were presenters and so maybe backstage already.

        1. Comments in the Buzzfeed article say that none of those reaction shots were live and that Jennifer Lawrence was actually wearing a different dress than in the rest of the night, and Charlize Theron was backstage. Anyone notice if that was true?

        2. Treebeard, I did see a collection of Jennifer Lawrence gifs and in all of them but one she is wearing a strapless gown, but in the one purported to be from the opening number, she’s wearing something different, indeed. Her hair might be different too, if I recall.

  2. The best part of watching the Oscars in Spanish is when somebody says something stupid–or something that bombs–there is a 3-5 second pause where you can almost “hear” the translator thinking “Um, how can I say this?”

    1. I used to always joke that the English-Spanish interpreters on CNN used to make Bush Jr actually sound intelligent. It happens!

    1. I don’t think anybody’s terribly surprised at McFarlane being wombatspew, but WTF was the Academy thinking?

      The #OscarWomen hashtag is a refreshing refuge from the worst of the sexist crap.

      1. I figured the show would be an explosion of racism and sexism the moment I saw a promo on ABC featuring a seven-letter slur starting with W aimed at people perceived to be poor undocumented immigrants from Latin America. This aired on a Saturday afternoon during a dog show.

        I haven’t watched an awards show in over a decade. The reaction to tonight’s shitshow only reinforces my decision.

  3. Spanish announcers went off script to say, more or less, “Go Chile!” during the reading of Best Foreign Film. It was cute.

      1. You don’t think there was an element of racism to that too? It was regarding Salma Hayek. I thought he had said something about literally not understanding her, but it’s okay because she’s hot.

        1. Be glad you missed it, frankly. My mouth dropped. I was kind of hoping they’d pass each other and she’d trip him.

        2. They totally just added it, and yeah! Super racist! Penelope Cruz in the same breath, because accents are super hard.

        3. I just watched it. Didn’t mention a guy, too? Javier something, Penelope Cruz, and Selma Hayack? I don’t know who that guy is, but it sounded to me like his point was to make fun of their accents.

      2. Thanks for the link. Opening song was appalling. That article has already gone up to 8 things, and they haven’t even added the extra one you mentioned yet.

  4. Why do people hate Anne Hathaway so much? I admit I don’t follow celebrity stuff much so maybe I missed something she did, but it just seems bizarre to me.

      1. ELLA ENCHANTED!! Amazing.

        I actually adore her. I think she’s ridiculously talented and seems like someone I’d want to have a drink with.

        Semi-related (in that she’s a talented woman too) – but Adele is amazing right now. Good for her.

      2. I hated the movie version of Ella Enchanted, but I was a little book snob and Ella Enchanted remains the one of my favorite books.

        1. When my kids were insisting on watching the movie 6 times a week, I didn’t even know it had been a book. I was ridiculously excited when I found it was originally a book.

    1. The only reasons I’ve seen for disliking Hathaway are that she seems smug and her interviews/speeches too pat and rehearsed. And also that she seems a little too eager to be liked; which I think kind of makes her an easy target, like Sally Field with her “you really like me” speech.

      1. Yeah, that’s basically what I’ve heard – that she comes across as fake or otherwise less than genuine. IMO, she just comes off as… idk how to say it exactly… actressy? She has that kind of affected, studied voice that stage actors tend to have.

        1. Well it does take quite a lot of study to learn how to project one’s voice to fill a theatre without amplification, so of course stage actors (which was Hathaway’s orginal training) have studied voices. That doesn’t make them necessarily affected just because those years of voice study tend to remove most traces of nasality and gutturality, y’know.

          1. In fact, I’d say that veteran stage actors who talk in interviews just like the people they grew up with are the ones who are being affected, because they’re consciously faking those speech patterns they used to have before they got their training.

        2. Is that it? Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen have way more of that “stage actor” element to their voices and people love the hell out of those two.

          And as tigtog said, if a person spends hours a day for years of their life studying how to use their voice for acting, they are simply not going to sound like the average Joe or Jane. I think we can give actors some slack there.

      2. Field was referencing a line of dialog in her 1979 film Norma Rae (“I think you like me. “) She making a joke that the audience didn’t get because the line wasn’t that famous.

        Hathaway finished her speech last night by saying, “Here’s hoping that someday in the not too distant future the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and never in real life. Thank you.”

        I thought that was a tough, honest thing to say. Les Mis is a big overblown melodrama, yes. But Hugo was a political writer and the exploitation of poor women was an important theme in his work. It was brave of Hathaway to say that Fantine is still with us.

    2. Anne Hathaway was the Google suggestion as I typed in “why do people hate” into my search bar; the hatred is inexplicable to many.

      Hathaway’s affinity for Ayn Rand is the most discouraging thing I’ve heard about her, but I don’t really think the general public cares that much about Ayn Rand either way.

      This is a cliche and perhaps pat answer, but I think sexism and envy are sufficient explanations for this one.

      1. Hathaway’s affinity for Ayn Rand is the most discouraging thing I’ve heard about her, but I don’t really think the general public cares that much about Ayn Rand either way.

        You owe me ten minutes.

        Whether or not you agree with Ayn Rand-and I have certain issues with some of her beliefs-the woman can tell a story.

        Ew. No, Rand’s stories are turgid and her characters are blockcuts who spout set-piece speeches rather than natural dialogue, which just makes the rhetorical flourishes of the Objectivist ideology stand out more jarringly.

        It’s not enough to make me actually dislike Hathaway though – I just disagree with her and question her literary taste.

    3. Why do you like her? (Or at least, not dislike her?)

      There doesn’t need to be some big reason. There will always be some people that you don’t like, with no real reason other than that something about them rubs you the wrong way.

      Hathaway just has that affect on a LOT of people.

      I think, to me at least, it’s because she really lacks charm. A lot of actors and actresses have some quality to them that lets them charm people, makes them love them without ever knowing them. They make themselves seem like really fun, interesting people.

      I agree with de Pizan on the fake-ness aspect, as well as the trying-to-be-liked thing. Trying to get people to like you, but failing to win them over, really tends to breed contempt.

      I don’t buy into the sexist theory behind the Hathaway hate so much. Scarlet Johansson isn’t being blamed for “ruining Avengers”. There are actresses that are considered more attractive than Anne, and ones that are probably considered less, and they get less hate on their looks. Kristen Steward probably gets that level of hate on her looks, and she, once again, is a person who fails to charm anyone, usually being described as coming off as cold and aloof.

      I don’t see envy as a probable cause either. Sure, Hathaway has a lot to be envied of, but any more so than any other actress?

      1. I guess I have a soft spot for some socially awkward people, especially if they’re otherwise talented, and I’m very aware that women are not forgiven for being socially awkward to the same extent that men are, because women are meant to be all intuitive about social skills. So for me her gawky/naive qualities make me feel protective, not hateful.

      2. One big difference: Kristen Stewart, at least in the Twilight movies (which, face it, are the major reason she’s famous), is absolutely dreadful. She barely moves her face, and looks deader than the actual vampires on screen.

      3. I basically agree; my answer was intellectually lazy.

        To be clear, it was not my intent to say that everyone who dislikes Hathaway has to indulge some sort of character flaw to feel that way.

        I don’t see envy as a probable cause either. Sure, Hathaway has a lot to be envied of, but any more so than any other actress?

        Personally, the likelihood that I will envy someone’s fame or fortune correlates negatively with my appreciation for their professional work. You’re still correct though; envy isn’t a sufficient explanation.

  5. I’ve not seen her movie, or even heard of it before the Oscar noms, but I’m totally rooting for that little girl for Best Actress.

    1. This! Me neither. I’m really bad about movies though. The only nominated movie I saw was Les Mis. I’m also cheering for her.

      1. This is the first year in a long time that I’ve actually seen more than one or two of the nominated films. Django, Lincoln, Les Mis, The Hobbit, Avengers, Prometheus, Adam and Dog.

        Beasts of the Southern Wild actually looks pretty good, but I think that the lack of exposure will hurt its chances.

        1. Mind you, a kickstarter to find some cranky gnomes to steal his shoes and empty endless buckets of Legos before him wherever he goes, that I could get behind.

        2. Don’t be a killjoy. There’s nothing more appropriate and classy than vocally fantasizing about someone you don’t know (but dislike the stupid shit they say) being sexually assaulted.

        3. Sexual assault? I suppose you could make the argument that getting kicked in your genitalia is a sexual act, but I’m fairly confident neither mac nor Seth would consider it a sex act in hypothetical scenario. Physical assault – fine. I actually think it’s perfectly healthy to have violent fantasies, but understand not everyone wants to be exposed to them and this isn’t my space, but I dislike stretching “sexual assault” until it’s essentially meaningless.

        4. a kickstarter to find some cranky gnomes to steal his shoes and empty endless buckets of Legos before him wherever he goes, that I could get behind.

          I don’t get it, does the added silliness here make the fantasy of inflicting violence okay? Why is this acceptable when the joke about a kickstarter for kicking isn’t?
          Both jokes appear to be motivated by anger at Macfarlane’s bigotry and the point of each is to relish the fantasy of physical pain being inflicted upon him via nonsensical societal mechanisms.

          1. I was employing a meme from another space, and I should have known better. My goal was to move towards nonsensical ill-wishing rather than fantasising about an act that it is actually possible to pay somebody to do, yes. I don’t see a problem with venting steam via ill-wishing per se, but ill-wishing in a way that might be quoted out of context elsewhere as representative of violent manhating feminists I definitely do see as a problem for this blog, because I’ve seen it done elsewhere.

        5. i don’t get it, does the added silliness here make the fantasy of inflicting violence okay?

          Not to parse things too anally. . .but is this necessarily a violent fantasy? Mr. McFarlane may be an asshole, but I think he’s likely capable of walking around a pile of legos on the ground. I see it more as a fantasy of causing continual inconveniences for him and as such find it rather amusing. Personally, I’d like to see his laptop crash randomly on the birthdays of various social justice activists from the various oppressed groups he’s maligned. On January 9, the ghost of Simone de Beauvoir would cause his laptop to crash. On May 19, the ghost of Malcolm X. On July 2, the ghost of Sylvia Rivera. And so on.

        6. PA- I feel like it’s pretty well established, at least in feminist spaces, that touching someone’s private bits without their consent is sexual assault. I don’t see why the touching being violent or done with intent to harm should change that. Just struck me as troubling that fantasizing about that sort of thing is largely brushed off in this one very specific case.

        7. I feel like it’s pretty well established, at least in feminist spaces, that touching someone’s private bits without their consent is sexual assault.

          No, unwanted sexual contact is sexual assault. I literally cannot find a definition that does not specify sexual contact. I do not consider getting kicked in my genitals as sexual contact and would argue (as I did above) that most people do not. If Seth falls into the camp that does, sure! Call it SA. Otherwise, physical assault is correct, and you’re helping redefine SA until it’s meaningless.

  6. Ugh, and also: this is why I don’t watch the Oscars. Or…any equivalent, really. That said, I’m one of those reactionary douches who won’t watch anything that won a non-technical Oscar unless several people whose taste I trust tell me it won’t bore me to tears or prod me into fury. So that’s a thing.

  7. And then there was this tweet from The Onion:

    The Onion ‏@TheOnion
    Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c***, right? #Oscars2013

    [Moderator note: Slur redacted by us. The Onion wrote it in full.]

    1. Wow. It’s like someone was thinking “Y’know, even with McFarlane, I’m not sure tonight is quite disgusting enough yet.”

    2. I’ve read someone on Tumblr defending the tweet as satirizing the brutality and nastiness of the comments on many websites under pretense of being edgy. Given that this is the Onion, I’m willing to consider it, and the introduction “Everyone else seems afraid to say it” tends to point at it.

      The guy on Tumblr also told that it was good satire. Duuh, nope, it’s an utter failure. There needs to be something to distinguish satire from the real thing (absurdism, exaggeration, etc), and it simply wasn’t there. If it hadn’t come from the Onion I’d never had considered it satire, not even a poor attempt at it.

      Maybe, maybe, it was funnier in the head of whoever typed that, and improvising satire is admittedly hard, but an apology is in order nonetheless.

        1. I think Amanda Marcotte pretty much nailed it. I totally agree with her and she worded it better than I could.


          Absolutely. I never got the racist and sexist comments equating “satire” anyway.

          Yeah, that’s the thing: you can’t just blurt out offensive stuff and then play the “satire” card when people are offended, like so many people do. Pretending the intent was satire doesn’t make it so. Hell, even if the intent was satire (which we can reasonably suppose from The Onion), it doesn’t imply the result is actually satire.

        2. +1 Andie. She’s 9 years old. Amanda’s commentor Kevin Keith nailed it:

          the problem was not just that they miscalculated the likelihood that their irony would be understood, but that they aimed ironic abuse at someone – a child – to whom you can’t be abusive, ironically or otherwise.

    3. That’s awful. I can see how it might be a failed attempt at satire, with the emphasis on failed. Seconding Schmorgluck – an apology is definitely in order, here. Calling a little kid a c–t is not cool.

      1. The Onion‘s CEO has apologised (properly) in a press release which they put up on their Facebook page (accessible without logging in).

        The apology takes full responsibility, apologises unreservedly, promises that tighter controls will be implemented over their twitter account and that the individual(s) responsible for the tweet will be disciplined.

        I particularly appreciate the final line:

        Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.

        Let’s hope that they are truly sincere.

        1. I no longer follow The Onion on Twitter because of this. I’m all for satire when it comes to politicians and adult celebs, but NOT little girls.

  8. So apparently the biggest outrage against MacFarlane was his joke about Lincoln’s assassination. So I guess insulting women (many of whom are right there in the audience) is just peachy keen, but make a joke about Lincoln and that’s just going too far (probably cause making fun of powerful straight white men is just the worst)

    1. I expect it was more to do with the shock value of making light of political assassination as a terrorist act aimed at undermining the state, compared to the cultural commonplace of cheap-shot racist/sexist punchdowns that people shrug off (far too easily, of course).

      As to making the joke about Lincoln rather than other victims of assassination, it was (a) topical to one of the award nominees, and (b) I’m pretty sure even McFarlane would have balked at making a similar joke about Dr King or Malcolm X or JFK/RFK or Mohandas/Indira Gandhi or Anwar El Sadat, because there are still people alive who knew them and still care very much about why they were assassinated, even if there had been a movie about one of them which had been nominated, and McFarlane is very much aware of who the soft targets are and who they aren’t.

      After all, he’s shrugging off the criticism of his jokes last night right now, because he didn’t alienate anybody who, by his standards, really matters.

    2. His joke about Lincoln certainly wasn’t “going to far.” It was a inept, bland joke that he told with a inept, bland delivery. I’d actually be highly offended by Mr. MacFarlance for being an affront to well-crafted humor, if his being a pandering hack wasn’t so overshadowed by the constant oppressiveness of his words.

  9. I think it says something when the Oscar host is trying for edgy comedy and a nominee (Day-Lewis) gets off something as edgy and funnier than anything the host does all night.

  10. Mrs. Fat Steve called me an ‘elitist’ for not watching the Oscars with her. So, you can imagine that I was quite frankly shocked at the comments here and elsewhere especially as she had told me how ‘hilarious’ Seth McFarlane was. Is it possible that there is a way to appreciate the jokes and still be a feminist? We’ve been married 18 years and she’s never shown any misogynistic tendencies before…

  11. Have just added a belated update to the post regarding the Onion tweet, because I want it to be indexed better for searches (eta: given that there are still people out there defending The Onion and carping at their decision to apologise). As you were.

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