Saturday, March 04, 2006

Oscar Envy

Look at this picture. Do you see what I see?

Oh. My. God. These billboards are all over town. Talk about a statement!

The Guerilla Girls have been putting up at least one billboard in Hollywood for years now trying to shame the movie community into acknowledging its near exclusion of women from the Oscar ranks. The Oscars have chosen a billboard ad campaign this year that not only rejects shame at the unfairness, but actually celebrates the penis connection. In your face girlie.

As Freud himself said a hundred years ago about penis envy but applies equally well to Oscar: The young girl has noticed the difference between boys and girls and feels that she, somehow, doesn't measure up. She would like to have one, too, and all the power associated with it.

In this way, women's complaints are a form of envy, and we all know envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. So the semiotics of the billboard throws it right back at us: women lack the necessary tools or are guilty of envy. Either way, men are inoocent. They can't help it if they have more of what it takes than women do.

Shaming clearly doen't work. So in one way, I agree with the mainstream - stop complaining. Not because we are wrong, but because it won't work. We need to develop a bit of our own jiu jitsu to turn the hulking goliath's own strenths into liabilities.

Any ideas?