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Are Hollywood awards by gender out of touch?

January 24, 2013 • Entertainment


FILE – In this Jan. 13, 2013 file photo, Actress Sally Field arrives at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Actors and actresses compete separately at awards shows, a tradition some in the industry consider vital for women but others question. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Do Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Helen Mirren really need a category just for women — a singular kind of affirmative action — to snare one of Hollywood’s favorite accessories, an Oscar, Emmy or Screen Actors Guild trophy?

In a society tilting steadily toward gender neutrality, the separate-but-equal awards that divide actors into one camp and actresses into another have the whiff of a moldy anachronism.

True, the Association for Women in Science gives honors to encourage female success in male-dominated fields. But to mark enduring achievements, would its members ever yearn for a Women’s Nobel Prize in physics?

In contests of intellect or artistry, should gender ever matter?

“It’s not like it’s upper body strength,” Gloria Steinem dryly observed of the requirements of acting.

The separate labeling of male and female performers is losing favor in the industry. Actresses often swat the distinction away by calling themselves “actors,” standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.

Usherettes are long gone from movie theater lobbies, after all. And defense officials said Wednesday the Pentagon will be lifting its ban on women in combat.

SAG, which holds its awards ceremony Sunday, edged toward neutrality with its trophy dubbed the Actor, although the Login to read more

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