A rock is always a rock. No one argues whether it is a lady rock or a man rock unless the rocks argue between themselves. But yesterday, I was captioning a picture in Garry’s piece about the Oscars. It was the six actresses who are up for “Leading Actress” awards at tonight’s Oscars. I’ve noticed how everyone — male, female, and other — all refer to themselves as “actors” because we are not supposed to notice that there are actual physical differences between the sexes. Unless we are on a date, in which case we notice little else.
It brought to mind a sign I saw in a hospital — maybe 20 years ago? — which said, “Persons in need of gynecological care please go to the fourth-floor sign-in desk.”
Persons? How many male persons are in need of gynecological care?
As far as I am concerned, making all people the same effectively eliminates much of what makes us an interesting species. It certainly spells the end of much of the enjoyment we take in one another. I realize that women have been oppressed. I am a woman. I have been oppressed. I’ve been raped, nearly strangled by dates who had tentacles instead of arms. I’ve been paid less despite working harder — and better — than male colleagues. I’ve failed to be given a raise or a better job because I don’t have a dick.
I like being a woman. I don’t want to be a sexless “human” individual. I am not a rock. I like men because they are men and because they are funny and fun. Besides, I’m married to one and I like him. I think it’s mutual.
So for my caption, I wrote “Actresses.” Because they are women and the award is for best leading actress in a movie. If we are going to eliminate sex, why not just group all the leading actors — male, female, and other — in a giant group and just randomly give out awards because they are all actors, right?
Does anyone think that’s a good idea?
As long as we don’t use word discrimination because that’s BAD. Of course, we will still pay women less for the same or better work. Stranglers, rapists, and gropers won’t give a rat’s ass about wording. They know who is who and word games won’t change them.
Maybe it’s time to recognize that words have power, but proper phrasing is not going to change the interactions we find most hateful and cruel? Maybe it’s time to focus on the real problems and try to fix them — the cultural upbringing that tells boys it’s okay to maul a woman because they can. Maybe it’s time to pass that equal pay amendment. Maybe it’s time to make rape a serious felony and use the investigative information we have to nail the bastards.
Maybe the women competing for Best Actress should proudly remain women, too.