Words by Leona McDaid
January 8th, 2018
Last night’s Golden Globes was the one where the women took over. And boy did I get a kick out of it.
Normally these award ceremonies tend to be one long drawn out audition. Everyone on their best behaviour, playing “the awards game” to secure their next big role from some middle-aged male director who can make or break a career.
But last night seemed like there was change in the air, the women nominees seemed more self-assured in a room full of predominantly male decision makers. A contrast to the norm of being complicit, accommodating and by no means difficult.
What stood out to me the most, was the sheer sense of jubilation not witnessed since Barack Obama was elected. A sense of hope and a sense of power in numbers. Also what stood to me was sheer sisterhood.
Women, particularly in the entertainment industry, but increasingly in other industries I’ve worked in, are often pitted against one another. It is very subtle but works very much in favour of the patriarchal set up that we navigate in our daily lives.
Last night felt like the women in attendance felt truly empowered and not only that, were backing each other up. There was a sense of revolution. And in some instances, it made for uncomfortable viewing – for the men in the audience that is. It was as if they were at a party they weren’t invited to.
It reminded of my secondary all girl school days, where the male teachers were outnumbered on a daily basis.
Speaking of school days, Natalie Portman had her naughty girl moment, with her “male directors” remark that literally made some members of the audience squirm in their seats. It was thrilling viewing. Oprah Winfrey was, of course, inspiring but for me, the sharp follow up from Natalie Portman was a game changer.
Sometimes all it takes is a remark to speak up and take a stand. Who cares if it makes those around you uncomfortable? It needs to be said. I hope her courage meant that today some woman stopped a male colleague mansplaining to her or asked for that promotion and pay rise that is deserved.
I read recently that every great woman leader has a team of other women right behind her. Oprah took the first step last night, Natalie followed and I’m looking forward to seeing who steps forward next.
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