Tag Archives: labels

Yes, The Winner For Best Director Has A Vajayjay. Can We Please Move On?

I am typing on a Compaq computer (make that dinosaur) wearing a white Target t-shirt, Lands End cardigan sweater and Talbots jeans. (That sentence reminds me of my single chat room days. A/S/L? … Ahhhh, memories.) My boys love Skechers (especially if they light up) and my daughter collects high-end purses to rival Imelda Marcos. My husband says he doesn’t like to be a billboard for a clothing company and pretty much refuses to wear anything that has a signature. But he has been known to advertise Nautica. We prefer Haagen-Dazs over store brand ice cream. What can I say? We label.

Where would we be without labels? Love them or hate them, they permeate every aspect of our lives. From what we wear to what we eat to how we describe other people. But that’s where I’d love to see us draw the line. I’m tired of labeling people.

I understand that in some cases labels are necessary. College Graduate. Medical Doctor. Kindergartener. Accomplished Chef.

But why oh why – in 2010 – are we still hung up on Woman or Black?

At the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, Barbra Streisand walked onstage to present Best Director. And she began to speak. She pointed out that the Best Director Award had never been awarded to a woman or a person of color (those aren’t her exact words but that, my friends, is a topic for another post).

I groaned.

Please, please, please don’t make this about gender or skin color, I prayed. 

Please, just tell us who won.

Just talk about the great talent represented by the nominees. Because if a white guy wins, minority groups will be crying foul. And if a woman or a person of color wins it will completely take away from the fact that they are a talented filmmaker.

She opened the envelope. A hush fell over the crowd. And with a melodramatic tilt of the head Barbra said, “The time has come.”

Kathryn Bigelow won for Best Director of “The Hurt Locker.”

Of the ten movies nominated, “The Hurt Locker” was the one I was rooting for. I had no idea that a woman had directed it when I saw it and I didn’t care. I felt it was an Oscar worthy film. And the fact that I’m not that fond of James Cameron didn’t hurt either. Oh, I agree. He’s a passionate, talented filmmaker. But his over-the-top, ego inflated interviews have always turned me off. Plus, the little tidbit at the end of this post knocked him down quite a few pegs – especially in terms of his “brilliance” with his film  “Avatar.” (And completely unrelated but kind of interesting. Kathryn Bigelow is James Cameron’s ex-wife)

Yes. A woman has finally won the award for Best Director. Yipee.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m GLAD a woman has finally won for Best Director (and I do mean finally, because seriously. It’s taken this long?)  But can we just move on? Can we forget that she has a vagina and focus instead on her talented, amazing, intuitive genius? Can we celebrate the honest and moving portrayal she was able to convey on-screen? Look past the hair, make-up and stunning dress. I know you can do it.

When we focus on gender or skin color we diminish someone’s God-given talents and abilities. We deny them the opportunity to own their accomplishment. We stir up that nagging little voice inside them that says, “Did they just pick me because I’m a woman (or black)? Because it was time for a woman (or black) to win this award?” And we feed the detractors who say, “They just gave it to her because she’s a woman! (or whatever)”

By the year 2042, whites will no longer be the majority in America. Isn’t it time to dump the labels? Can we all just be people instead? I used to work at a place that favored men when it came to salaries. We used to laugh in the teacher’s lounge and tease “remember to bring your penis!” when a fellow female co-worker was on her way to her yearly review. My boss once said to me, “But men have to support families. Yours is just supplemental income.” (This was years and years ago and he was old, so put down your tomatoes. I’ve forgiven him.)

But this is 2010.

Kathryn Bigelow is a talented, deserving director. Who just happens to have a vagina.

Let’s move on. Shall we?

(The following is audio from Avatar and actual film clips from Disney’s Pocahontas)


Filed under Observations

I’m Dumping The Labels And Embracing ALL Of My Friends

My grandmother knew how to have friends. She had many. Some were closer than others but she really knew how to nurture the important ones. I loved how she handled the balance.

When I was growing up I wanted to be like her but I couldn’t. I wasn’t the life of the party. I didn’t like being the center of attention. I was picky, I told myself. That’s why I have just a few close friends. I had varied interests in high school that kept me from connecting with just one group. I was an athlete – I had a few close friends there. I sang and was involved in theater – I had about 2 close friends in that group. And I was in some accelerated classes – a bit of a nerd, if you will. Since I was involved in athletics and theater the other “nerds” thought I was cool. Many of them really wanted to be my friend but they were “nerds” and I was an idiot high school student. I stayed on the fringes in my nerd classes.

My daughter is my opposite. She has about 10 best friends at age 17. And then about 50 “close” friends. Her Facebook friends number over 1000. Everyone she meets she considers a friend. I’m not sure this is a good thing.

And now, in my adult life, I have about 5 good, close friends I could call on with any problem, any joy. I’m happy with that. It’s a good number. Not as many as my grandmother and certainly not as many as my daughter – but I’m hoping she’ll become a little more discriminate as she gets older.

What I didn’t count on when I started my blog were the friends I’d meet here. Submom from The Absence of Alternatives, in one of her recent comments here,  pointed us in the direction of a very interesting blog post about internet friends and distinguishing them from “real friends.” Melissa Ford  believes there is no distinction. Friends are friends. Whether you met them in a class, at a party, in the mall or online.

As I revealed in a previous post, I met my husband online. This isn’t anything I was ready to shout from the rooftops. When people would ask how we’d met I’d often say, “At a health seminar” which was partly true. But not the whole truth. And I was ashamed of the whole truth. Meeting online, back then anyway, seemed desperate, unseemly.

When I talk about any of you to my “real-time” friends I preface it with “online friends,” as if, somehow, you are all less than or “un-real.” My real-time friends (who don’t blog or converse online with people they’ve never met in real-time) don’t get the level of intimacy we bloggers are able to achieve with one another. They don’t understand how I feel like I can truly “know” any of you. But reading Melissa’s article has me thinking – and I’m thinking that I know some of you better than I know my real-time friends.

And the more I write about this the more I am ready to abandon these labels of “real-time” and “online” when it comes to my friends. Quite honestly, there are days when I spend more time with you here than I do with my other friends.

The beauty of the internet is that it strips away pretension. Here we are basically the same. Sure, we can decorate our blogs to reveal certain things about ourselves. We can pick and choose what we want others to see. But for the most part, the ability to make judgements about others based on income level and appearances is more difficult.

Our writing reveals our true selves. Good, honest writing is what I’m drawn to. And good, honest friends are what I’ve made here. Real friends. In real-time. Oh, we haven’t met face to face but the time I spend with them – reading their posts or emails, commenting back – is very real and takes a good bit of my time.

So, like my grandmother I am nurturing the relationships that are important to me. And I want all of you to know, every minute spent here in Blog World has been worth it.


Filed under friends