Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: The Oscars’ gender disparity is still an issue

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Do you know how many women have been nominated for the category of best director in 95 years of the Oscars? Seven. And how many of them won? Three. 

These absurd statistics highlight the gender inequality that has hovered over Hollywood for decades. This year, the academy didn’t nominate any women for this category. Should a distinct category be created so women can have the recognition they deserve? 

There was a series of superb women-directed movies this year that were completely erased from the Oscars. Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King” and Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun,” are some that were solid contestants but didn’t end up making the cut. There were more than 70 movies directed by women in 2022, and none of them were even considered by the academy. 

The Oscar Academy Award was first presented in 1929, but the first nomination for best director given to a woman didn’t happen until 1975, with Lina Wertmüller for “Seven Beauties.” After her, Jane Campion was nominated in 1993 for “The Piano,” but only won her statuette last year for “Power of the Dog.” Between them, two more women won the prize — Kathryn Bigelow in 2009 for “The Hurt Locker” and Chloé Zhao in 2021 for “Nomadlan” — but there wasn’t a year that two or more women were nominees together. 

After outcry from film-enthusiasts around the nation, recognition of women-directed movies at the Oscars got scarcely better after Bigelow was the first woman director to score in 2009. However, women are still neglected by the academy; not knowing if they will be nominated or not. After the ladies won the prize two years in a row, the academy decided to snub women from the category this year, leaving people furious.  

A hashtag criticizing the academy is now trending in social media. #OscarsSoMale is a movement that points out the sexism and male favoritism that still happens in the 21st century; not only at the Oscars but in society. As a woman wanting to work with films, I find this situation profoundly sad. When are we going to get the recognition we deserve? Maybe the Academy could just divide best director into two subcategories — female and male. But would this solve this poignant issue or just hide their sexism? 

Winning an Oscar is much more than having a gold statue on your shelf. It is a striking way to stand out in the industry and can open many doors to the nominees and winners. The prize is supposed to be a recognition of hard work, no matter gender, sexuality, race or religion. Diversity, equality and representation at the Oscars would change and positively affect the course of cinematographic history.

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About the Contributor
Elise Coelho, Staff Writer | she/her
Elise is a sophomore from São Paulo, Brazil. She is majoring in philosophy with a minor in journalism. She loves to read, write, listen to music and take pictures. Her favorite band is Maneskin, and most of the time you can find her at a theater watching a musical. After graduation she plans to become an author and share her stories with the world.

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OPINION: The Oscars’ gender disparity is still an issue