January 23, 2015

Golden Globes 2015: The year for celebrating other women


This article first posted on The Independent

After staying up all night watching this year’s Golden Globes I felt that same positive giddy feeling that I felt when first watching Lena Dunham’s Girls (which coincidentally airs its fourth series tonight.) That’s because a lot of the winners spoke about the representation of real “actual” women, in real “actual” circumstances. Somehow, this year’s awards season managed to get off to a feminist start.

Particia Arquette set the tone for the night by thanking Richard Linklater “for shining a light on this woman and the millions of women like her, and allowing me to honour my own mother with this beautiful character.” But that only was only the start of a night of celebrating other women, with Arquette saying to Meryl Streep after they hugged: “I hope someone of your DNA transferred onto me”.

Gina Rodriguez gave any emotional speech for her win for Jane The Virgin, and included her sisters in her speech for being “the biggest role models in my life. This award is so much more than myself, it’s for a culture who sees themselves as heroes.”

Julianne Moore quoted her mother that a “happy woman is a woman who has work and love”, and Amy Adams celebrated the community of women in the room: “I’m just so grateful for all of you women in this room who’ve such a lovely, beautiful voice, for speaking to my daughter, thank you so much.”

But the best came from Maggie Gyllenhaal, who made a beautiful observation about the evolution of women in television: “What I see actually, are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy and sometimes not, sometimes honourable and sometimes not. What I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in film”, followed by an eruption of whoops and cheers.

To counteract the dress obsession and the bizarre question “who are you wearing?” (which sounds like a weird horror movie) co-host Amy Poehler launched the #AskHerMore Twitter campaign. The idea is that women should be asked about more than who designed the piece of fabric hanging off their bodies. Examples being: “what did your character teach you?” or “what else are you looking to achieve?”

We still have a way to go to make the representation of women in film ‘equal’, and more real. We urgently need a larger representation of women of colour on screen, and we still need more female directors, producers and bosses. But you couldn’t watch last night’s ceremony without feeling sure that we are moving in the right direction.

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