Thursday, January 19, 2017

Behind every great Gosling

So I asked my daughter what she thought of Ryan Gosling's Golden Globes Best Actor acceptance speech in which he thanked his 'lady' for taking care of their daughter and being pregnant with their second child while also nursing her brother who was sick with cancer so that he was free to act, sing, dance and play piano in La La Land and she said it was great. It seems almost everyone else agrees.


British journalist Narjas Zatat of the Independant does not (see link above). She says Gosling's speech reinforces the patronising notion that behind every great man is a 'great' woman doing the unglamorous heavy lifting of supporting and caring for her man - and his children - and sick and aged relatives to boot, work that is not actually considered great - or even work - whether women are thanked for it or not.

I'm not quite sure what I think. To be thanked publicly by your man for this usually invisible work is better than remaining invisible and being totally taken for granted, I guess. But it would have been nice if Gosling had added something about Eva's acting career (which never came up) having to be put on hold to carry and care for his children and how he can never return that favour in full but he will do what he can by trying to be the best partner and dad he can be and the caregiver in chief for their family when that is what she needs him to be. Something about them being in this greatest of jobs - of making and raising a family - together, as equals - not one great and award-winning, the other just good - would have given substance to his thanks for supporting me by doing womanly things speech.

You can't play a romantic lead when you are actually pregnant, after all.

For a feminist critique of La La Land see here.

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