Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day, and how lovely to be able to celebrate it with Kathryn Bigelow's win for Best Director last night--much deserved, as far as I'm concerned (as if I knew what I was talking about). TERRIBLE Oscar program last night, saved only by Sandra Bullock's fabulous acceptance speech and the triumph of The Hurt Locker over Avatar/FernGully.

It was an amazing night, though, for images of how far we've come from the first International Women's Day in 1911. I love this picture of Barbra Streisand, the presenter for best director, with Kathryn Bigelow, who won it. I remember when Barbra presented for best director before, back in 1994 when Jane Campion was up for the award. So sixteen years have gone by with only one other woman nominated (Sofia Coppola in 2003) when Barbra opened the envelope, waited a beat, and said, "Well, the time has come." Beautiful moment.

A moving moment also when Mo'nique accepted her award and thanked Hattie McDaniel, who had won in 1940, while seated at a segregated table. She thanked her "for enduring all that you had to so that I would not have to."

It will be an even better moment, though, when women and people of color winning these awards is of no notice whatsoever, and when we don't need an International Women's Day at all. We've got a ways to go.


Anonymous said...

Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech made me cry like everyone else - but I have to admit I was already crying from the moment I saw the look on her face when she heard that she had won. I will try to remember to say thank you to my own mother today.

On the topic of International Women's Day, though - no one ever says that they look forward to a day when they don't need George Washington's Birthday, or a day when they don't need Easter, or a day when they don't need whatever other so-called mainstream holiday or holy day they have. So why should we think of celebrating International Women's Day by hoping for a time when it goes away? Why not simply hope instead for a time when we can all celebrate it in a spirit of abundance?

Thus speaks the historian, who must now go look up the origins of this holiday, as she does every year, and also prepare to celebrate with friends from around the world on Friday, as she will be doing for the first time this year. We can not buy celebratory mimosa flowers in the frozen north land where we live, so we will be drinking mimosa cocktails instead.

Laura Toepfer said...

I'd love to be able to simply celebrate International Women's Day in a spirit of abundance; the "need" part is simply a recognition that we've got quite a ways to go. But I'll drink a mimosa to how far we've come--and to George Washington and Easter, too!

Anonymous said...


Returning to the Sandra Bullock thread, I'm happy to say that I just saw "Blind Side" for the first time last night, and I liked it alot.

What did you think of it, you lover of sports movies, you?