Not Enough Women at the Oscars

By Jane Fonda, Women’s Media Center
Posted on March 5, 2010, Printed on March 5, 2010

Without women, the greatest moments in film this year would not have been possible. Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan and I founded Women’s Media Center (WMC) five years ago to keep proving that very point: women are not only assets but requirements for a truly democratic media – and for strong and innovative entertainment. In this spirit, we at WMC celebrate all the women nominated for this year’s Academy Awards. Our video tribute below features clips from Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, Meryl Streep’s uncanny Julia Child, the Set Direction and Art Decoration for Sherlock Holmes, the documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America from Executive Producer Jodie Evans – CODEPINK founder, and Women’s Media Center board chair – and many more:

I’ve seen women’s cinematic influence throughout my career, but despite some historic awards this year (for Bigelow in particular) an annual report from professor Martha Lauzen – aptly named “The Celluloid Ceiling” – reveals the grim state of women in Hollywood.

Women directors actually dropped by 2% since 2008, accounting for just 7% of directors on the 250 top-grossing movies of 2009. That’s the same number as 1987. Only 2% of the top 250 films credited female cinematographers, and just 8% of writers were female; 86% of the films had no female writers credited. The list goes on.

Women’s Media Center responds to just this kind of disparity; we recognize the need to amplify women’s voices and tell women’s stories. What we view in the media – and who presents it to us – does so much to determine how we think, how we feel about ourselves, and how we view the world. Studies like Professor Lauzen’s are critical reminders of just how much work remains to ensure that all media – including entertainment – is a true representation of our world, our beliefs, and our experience.

I know how gratifying it is not only to work in film but to be acknowledged by peers; producing 9 to 5 was an opportunity that I valued precisely because it’s so rarely in the hands of women. Join me in celebrating the work of these extraordinary filmmakers, and sign WMC’s petition to ensure a longer list of women at next year’s Oscars – there’s a long road ahead, and loads of work to be done. You can count on Women’s Media Center to be there when that celluloid ceiling finally shatters.

Jane Fonda focuses the bulk of her time on activism and advocacy on environmental issues, human rights, and the empowerment of women and girls. In 1995, she founded the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP.) In 2000 she produced a film with the International Women’s Health Coalition, entitled Generation 2000: Changing Girls’ Realities.

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Friday Night Fun and Culture

Car Shows and Vegetarian Restaurants

On Wednesday evening we went to a Vegetarian Restaurant, The Cosmic Cafe, in the Oak Lawn/Cedar Springs area of Dallas. Oh yes, we have our own Gay Ghettos here too.  The decor is a wonderful melange of every cliche found in hippie guru tripping while seeking out the “wisdom of the East”.  In short it was “groovy” and brings a smile to our omnivore faces when ever we opt to eat there.

The food BTW is incredibly delicious and we have yet to order a disappointing meal there.

When we first got to Texas we were sort of appalled to discover the three meat combo that is all too common in BBQ restaurants.  My reaction was, “Meat is not a side for meat. Y’all might just want to scarf some veggies with that and French fries don’t count as a veggie.”

I’m not sure of the rest of the world outside of the US, but the corporate selling machine has helped program our eating pattern to such a space where obesity is the given and thin/healthy is the exception.

Now we should read out ingredients as well as the calories per serving as well as what constitutes a serving but many of us are uninsured until 65 since we are either unemployed or under-employed.  Not to mention how many of us have jobs that do not provide insurance.  This makes staying healthy a requirement.

Organic is important in some product like milk.  There are too many growth hormones and  antibiotics in the regular milk.  With other things the organic is not so important.  Look for the little green and white USDA Certified Organic label.  The corporations try to trip you up by using “Natural” or “All Natural”, which does not mean the same thing.

For me vegetarian meals are part of an over all pattern and not a way of life because I still like meat in all its various forms.  I just prefer to not get into the coronary care loop with stents and by-passes if I can avoid it through diet.

How does this bring us to the Auto Show? I often think that even in a hostile or indifferent society it is possible for each of us to do small things that in turn encourage others to do small things.  I’ve watched as cigarette smoking has gone from common to rare.  I see solar panels and power generating wind mills at a few houses within several miles of my house.  I have farmers and ranchers who were going to turn their farms and ranches into housing developments tell me that organic farming and  raising grass fed beef has  kept them going.

We have been looking at the Prius for several years now.  We aren’t in the market for a new car yet, our paid for Jetta only has 60K on it and is a wonderful car to drive.  But it only averages 28 MPG when I drive to and from work .

So the Prius is a given and so are the Volkswagen TDI clean diesel models.  Subaru is famous for its LGBT/T friendly advertising. Scions are cute and so is the Kia Soul and the not so LGBT/T friendly Nissan Cube.

But at this Auto Show the car company that most fascinated me was Ford with their brand new Focus Hybrid and their 34-40MPG Fiesta.  There is a certain allure to buying an American product as a statement at this particular time.  A way of rewarding an American company for getting the message that we want greener cars that get better mileage.

Not to mention the fact that the Fiesta is so fucking cute.

Green is a new song in the repertoire at events like these.  There were several side attraction vendors selling light tubes and solar powered attic fans because in spite of the climate change deniers there is a critical mass of people out there looking for small things they can do to live greener and reduce their carbon foot prints.

For me “alternative lifestyle” never had anything to do with having had to deal with transsexualism or even much to do with my lesbianism.  For me “alternative lifestyle” was more about what caused me to read beat poetry as well as listen to folk music.  It had to do with living consciously rather than consuming conspicuously.

Poverty played a role in my not consuming conspicuously and I like nice things as much as the next person even if the nice things I like are different. It is just that I would rather buy books than cosmetics, a new lens than expensive shoes or boots.