Emmys makes strides for women… sort of

By Kaydee Donohoo

Staff Writer

It was clear that the Emmys were a night for women when #SheRules trended on Twitter. Netflix started the hashtag with a commercial featuring some of the strong women in their shows and movies, ending with the tagline “Here’s to the women who rule our screens.”

The new hashtag was met with so much celebration and positivity. The worst I read was “wait, you forgot this actress!”

Queer women Jill Soloway, Sarah Paulson (nominated for two shows), Nina Jacobson, and Kate McKinnon all got to give an acceptance speech. Two female directors, Jill Soloway and Susanne Bier, won in their categories. Television shows being nominated, as Netflix pointed out, were filled with strong female leads.

While many women took the spotlight, it would have been even better to see more diversity among the winners; for example Tracee Ellis Rossn should have won. While the bar is very low, the Emmys did have more diversity than the average award show.

There was so much positivity surrounding the night. I was happily scrolling, thinking the night was so great. I was so happy for everyone because this was a night for women. Until I saw the Boston Globe article cover; “Where to begin with Amy Poehler’s Emmys getup?”

Kate McKinnon

Credit: eonline.com

This was the Boston Globe’s article, not some fashion magazine-sponsored post. I don’t think I need to reiterate the age-old story that states no matter what women’s accomplishments are, they will be reduced to how they dress, and what they look like in the eyes of the media and society.

Complaints about it feel unwarranted. “Umm… it’s the Emmys, Kaydee, why are you complaining? There’s a tradition of dissecting what women are wearing, choosing the best-dressed and then shaming the women who were worst-dressed.” Do you hear yourself?

Kate McKinnon’s dress? I absolutely loved it. I noticed a deep v-neckline seems to be signature for red carpet events. And how her lipstick matched her dressed perfectly? Stunning! Yet, my happiness for Kate winning was beyond what she was wearing. It did not even occur to me until I  reflected how much she deserves this award, and what it means for the queer girls to grow up with her as the Holtzmann icon and role model as the first openly lesbian SNL cast member. Her speech was so genuine and she is always so humble. All of those traits were important and yes, her dress did happen to be pretty.

I know, it is a tradition, and can be super fun to notice and point out the details of dresses. Sure Amy Poehler’s dress could have been better, but the more you look at it the prettier it actually is. The Globe article painted being worst -dressed as a tragedy because those women deserved better. They do deserve better, and having to dress to one style of predictable glamour to seem young, isn’t it.

Men’s award-show outfits do not have a fun variety to them, but this means they are not praised or shamed for standing out. It is a pressure only women suffer from.

Despite this reminder that women are currently judged by their clothing, we do have to look around and see that Emmys night was overall amazing. I am not going to let what seems inevitable ruin my happiness for that night overall, because women do rule our screens. #SheRules.

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