In the 85-year-long history of the Academy Awards, only four women have been nominated for Best Director. That's absurd.
This year, the 77 percent male, 94 percent white Academy made it clear that they weren't ready to recognize a woman twice for outstanding directorial work when they snubbed Kathryn Bigelow for her work on Zero Dark Thirty. Bigelow became the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar in 2009 for The Hurt Locker. Her new film, based on true events leading up to the killing of Osama Bin Laden, snagged nods for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Screenwriter, but Oscar left no love for Bigelow herself.
Let's get this straight: While Hollywood is still male-dominated, lots of women made excellent films this year. In stark contrast to the Oscars, women filmmakers had huge success at last month's Sundance Film Festival. The lopsidedness of this year's Oscar nominees underscores the challenges faced by women working in the world of blockbuster films.
The problem here is not the quality of films made by women. The problem is Oscar economics.
"Contrary to the fears of some pundits, the ascent of women does not portend the end of men. It offers a new beginning for both." So argues Stephanie Coontz in the New York Times most emailed article (as of this morning), "The Myth of Male Decline." Though polemics on the tanking of men as a gender abound these says, Coontz has some real talk—and some real data—to suggest there is a lot more to the "end of men" story.
One thing you'll notice if you spend any time following youth issues in the media is that coverage comes in waves. The Pew releases a report, new employment stats for the quarter come out, etc. and all of the mainstream outlets take a turn at reinventing the wheel via their own spins on the story du jour. In the last few days, the illegal and, in some quarters, unethical nature of unpaid internships has been on the front burner.