But in hindsight, 2008 turned out to be just the opposite for women: a severe letdown, with damaging consequences. It revided old sterotypes, divided the women's movement, drove apart mothers and daughters, and set back the cause of equality in the political sphere by decades.
...the political culture does not take women as seriously as we would like to think. The glass ceiling may be cracked, as Hillary Clinton declared at the end of her presidential campaign. But it is far from broken.
Women in politics, though very different from women in Hollywood, still gives us a context to think about how women are looked at in general.
...she made a movie that looked like it was directed by a man. That plus the subsequent hype (not fostered by her in any way) about being the "first woman" has made her inevitable. Oddly if Hurt Locker WAS directed by a man we wouldn't be having this conversation. The award would be Cameron's to lose.
Bigelow had to be perceived to be like a man in order to break through. While I have said it before I don't believe that The Hurt Locker is a film for men because it is a war movie and things blow up, any more than I think Valentine's Day (an upcoming film) is a film for women because it is about romance.
"If I watched The Hurt Locker, I probably would naturally assume it was made by a man given the subject."
Kathryn Bigelow longs for the day when people shouldn't know or care about the gender of the director. And quote frankly it's only us insiders who really care at all, but care we do and deeply. Here's what she said to the LA Times after her nomination:
I long personally for the day when the modifier is a moot point...I anticipate that day will come, but if 'The Hurt Locker' can make the impossible seem possible to somebody, it's pretty overwhelming and gratifying. At least we're heading in the right direction.
I long personally for the day when nobody cares that Kathryn Bigelow was married to James Cameron or how she looks. Because I have read articles that literally have said that James Cameron directed The Hurt Locker or that she only has a career because of him. But we lived in a world where Kathryn Bigelow is being held up to an absurd standard. She's a boy and a girl. She's the hot one and the kick ass one. She's everything to everybody. That's a lot of pressure on one person.
Across the board, the key to true transformation is advancing a critical mass of women into leadership, so that we can move permanently beyond gender and on to agenda.