Slate’s sexism on the SAG awards

There’s no doubt that the call-out of sexual harassment in Hollywood and elsewhere has been salubrious, and a warning to men to lay off the assault, gender-based persecution, and predation. Sadly, in a new piece on the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards, Slate hasn’t learned where the line should be drawn. Herewith is the text of Rachel Withers‘s new article “The 2018 SAG Awards will be presented by an all-female lineup, because women are awesome.” Emphasis is mine.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed on Wednesday that the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony will be presented by women, women, and more women, as a mark of what womenfolk have been through this year and since the dawn of time.

Like many award ceremonies, the SAG Awards usually pairs a man and a women to announce each winner—but this year, only women will have that honor. The lineup is yet to be announced, but the ceremony, which has never before had an emcee, will be hosted by Kristen Bell. The nominations were also announced by women, with Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash revealing the nominees Wednesday morning alongside SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris, awards committee chair JoBeth Williams, and awards committee member Elizabeth McLaughlin.

Kathy Connell, the SAG Awards executive producer, told the Hollywood Reporterthat the decision was in recognition of the idea that 2017 belonged to women. “Beginning with the Women’s March in January, it’s been the year of the woman,” she said. “This is a unifying salute to women who have been very brave and speaking up.”

Men will still be allowed on the stage sometimes, like when they win an award, but with female-heavy ensemble casts nominated for Lady Bird, The Handmaid’s Tale, GLOW, and Orange Is the New Black, hopefully we won’t have to see more than a dozen suits on stage for the evening.

Connell insisted this was not about punishing men for their behavior (even though they definitely deserve it). “We don’t want to slight the men who have given great performances this year,” Connell added. “Knowing our membership, I’m sure our men will embrace the opportunity to honor women.”

Since when did Slate become Salon? As for the bits in bold, I can conclude only that all men, and not just those accused of assault, are being demonized.  (“Hopefully we won’t have to see more than a dozen suits on stage”, etc.) If that’s not sexism, what is it?


  1. Taz
    Posted December 23, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe how many people are gushing over a publicity stunt.

    • Harrison
      Posted December 23, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      The funny thing is how many companies/organizations attempt to virtue signal how well they treat their female employees before someone quietly reminds them that labor laws work both ways and doing things like, for example, only offering female employees a raise rather than all employees is not okay, ethically or legally.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 23, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Yes it is stupid because does not contribute one ounce to sexual harassment as a problem in the U.S. work place. It is pathetic, as if we should look to a Hollywood awards show for our moral guidance. The shallow end of the pool is very crowded these days. Move over Trump, you have plenty of company.

    • Blue
      Posted December 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry about it. Contrastingly /
      comparatively to its Flip / Reverse in re sexism as of, this
      idn’t much.

      As Randall states ” … … as if we should
      look to a Hollywood awards show for our
      moral guidance.”


  3. DrBrydon
    Posted December 23, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I guess, like racism, it’s only sexism when They do it, not when We do it. It doesn’t make me optimistic that we are heading to a more just, harmonious society.

  4. Laurance
    Posted December 23, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m an old woman, and over my 76 years I’ve had my share of abuse and molesting. This kind of nonsense does nothing to address the problem. Keeping suits off the stage, IMHO, is no different from keeping skirts out of the way and in their places.

    (At white haired age 76 I find I’m trading sexual abuse in for elder humiliation and invalidation.)

  5. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 23, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    If it’s for one year only, I can kinda sorta see it.
    As a permanent shift, I give it thumbs down.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted December 23, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, let the sisterhood have a turn, I say.

      • Posted December 23, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        I guess you agree that Bret Weinstein should have left Evergreen State on the Day of Departure, then, so that the “brotherhood could have a turn”. Right?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted December 23, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

          I think Prof. Weinstein should’ve felt free to stay on campus, or to leave in a show of solidarity, as he and he alone saw fit. The SAG awards are invitational as I understand it, and this year women are being bestowed the symbolic honor of being hosts and presenters. Men have not been disinvited from attending; nor have they otherwise been prohibited from participating in the SAG award ceremonies.

          I would similarly have no objection if Evergreen State, or any other school, wanted to set aside a particular day, say during Black History month, on which it would invite esteemed black scholars to campus to act as guest lecturers.

          I see a clear distinction between the two circumstances.

    • Travis
      Posted December 23, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      I’m not a fan of demonizing half of the earth’s population for one mere event. I’m against it in all cases.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 23, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        You have quite the low threshold for “demonization.”

        • Blue
          Posted December 24, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

          +1, Mr Kukec.

          And in re demonization of humans female ?
          Nearly “in all cases” thereof & dehumanization when said demonizer /
          dehumanizer are those of humans male … …,
          thus excerpt of Ms Ensler’s of which
          I utterly concur: “I am over the .PASSIVITY.
          of .g o o d. men. Where the hell are you?

          You live with us,
          make love with us,
          father us, befriend us, brother us,
          get nurtured and mothered and
          .e t e r n a l l y. supported by us,

          soooo why areN’T you standing with us ? !”

          and ( per Mr Rob Okun ) “for as far back as
          well, f o r e v e r.”

          Radical Feminist

  6. Posted December 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    In the end this is a ceremony where the famous and overly privilaged get to congratulate each other for no material accomplishment. I suppose they are trying to make themselves seem more relevant in doing this. But it only outlines their tone-deafness, if that is a word.

    • Posted December 23, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      It’ll a sad day when people’s efforts to produce entertainment for the masses really are dismissed as “no material accomplishment”

  7. Posted December 23, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    … and any man on stage should be dressed in drag (in the best of taste) just to complete the occasion.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 23, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Chicks, huh? Whaddya gonna do?

  9. Posted December 23, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad they’re allowing men on stage when one of them wins an award. Very generous of them, and so much more dignified than just lobbing the award into the crowd in the general direction of the winner.

  10. eric
    Posted December 23, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I expect there were decades in which all the awards presenters were men and women were relegated to silently escorting people on and off stage. So I have no problem with the all-women lineup. But backhanded insults? Unnecessary and low. One can celebrate women without insulting men.

    • Harrison
      Posted December 23, 2017 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Identity politics posits that there can only be winners and losers and all interactions are zero sum.

      You know the old saying: A rising tide lifts some boats and drowns others.

  11. Brian salkas
    Posted December 23, 2017 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    This smells a bit like what happened to Bret Weinstein. Well-intended attempts to include members of marginalized groups end up becoming just as sexist/racist as the problem they were trying to solve. How about we crack down on predatory men who harass and molest women and really give women a true sense of safety in this world as opposed to trying to “even the score” in some kind of phony way that is really little more than an empty virtue signal.

  12. Posted December 24, 2017 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    I’m reminded of how “black” South Africans are constantly accused of racism by “white” South Africans whenever they bring up – or act on – the consequences of Apartheid. “Reverse racism” and “reverse sexism” are not the same as racism and sexism. If they were, we would need to deny that male privilege and white privilege exist. After saying that, I agree with some of the commenters above regarding how constructive the Slate example is. After all, even here we have a number of people defending personal wounds masquerading as intellectual debate. The question remains: what is the best strategy for moving forward in a way that holds both men and women equal?

    • DiscoveredJoys
      Posted December 24, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Equal opportunities or equal outcomes?

  13. Divalent
    Posted December 24, 2017 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Okay, men are privileged, so it’s not sexist to exclude them because it is punching up. But what about the other genders that have been excluded?

  14. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted December 24, 2017 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    “hopefully we won’t have to see more than a dozen suits on stage for the evening.”

    I quite agree. But then I go with the Urban Dictionary definition of a ‘suit’ – i.e. a useless management drone. Of either gender, in fact.

    Possibly not the original intent of the comment… 😉


  15. Mickey Mortimer
    Posted December 24, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    How dare we have a women only presentation in a show, when women have been barred from even entering millions of shows before this. Men won’t be the default?! Waaa. You have to step aside for a moment to let others’ sexual assault be noted? Boo hoo. It’s pathetic.

  16. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted December 25, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Nothing wrong with having women-only presenter line-ups. If it means that men are less likely to win an award simply because of their gender, that is another matter. But to stage an event like this to acknowledge the previously unacknowledged injustices inflicted on women and which women were required to put up with to advance their careers, seems only fair. If next year’s event is mixed gender again, then no problem, IMHO.

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