Last night the girls all settled into bed and Sean decided to try and mow the lawn before the sun tucked itself in for the night below the horizon. I found myself with a rare opportunity to watch horrible TV and comfortably lounge in my bed sans pants. Normally I watch endless hours of HGTV, but as I flipped through the channels I stumbled upon the MTV Movie and TV awards. I figured that was a good background noise for while I read.
The first award was for gender-neutral Best Actor. Being that this is the first award of this kind, I put my book down and decided to watch. They listed the nominees including Emma Watson for Beauty and the Beast, Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out, Hailee Steinfeld for The Edge of Seventeen, Hugh Jackman for Logan, James McAvoy for Split, and Taraji P. Henson for Hidden Figures. I was amazed to see such diversity in the category. Not only was this the first time they decided to group men and women in the same category for best actor, but it seemed that race didn’t matter either.
I haven’t seen Beauty and the Beast yet, but it was no surprise when the award went to Emma Watson. She is a very talented actress, whose potential has nowhere near been reached yet. Beyond her acting abilities, I have thought of her as a great role model for my children for some time now, and her speech last night solidified her place among the other great women I will introduce to my children.
“The first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience. MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone, but to me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.
[…] I think I’m being given this award because of who Belle is and what she represents. The villagers in our fairy tale wanted to make Belle believe the world was smaller than the way she saw it, that her curiosity and passion for knowledge were grounds for alienation. I love playing someone who didn’t listen to any of that. I’m so proud to be a part of a film that celebrates diversity, literacy, inclusion, joy and love the way this one does.”
Raising three daughters in 2017 is challenging to say the least, raising any children for that matter. Generations before me are struggling with these new ideals of inclusion, diversity, compassion and empathy. It’s so important to me that any ounce of discrimination based on gender, sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation, hell hair color… are all removed from our home. It simply does not matter.
I love that my girls will be brought up with at least some of the world heading in the right direction. MTV, I haven’t watched your channel in quite some time. But, I applaud this giant step you’ve taken for everyone. I hope others start to follow your lead. To the fans who voted for Emma, and for voting Best Kiss to actors Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome from Moonlight, thank you for being so open minded. Ashton and Jharrel’s acceptance speech gave me such hope. “I think it’s safe to say that it is ok for young performers, especially us minority performers, to step out of the box,” Sanders began. “This award is for that. It’s for artists who need to step out of the box and do whatever it takes to tell a story and whatever it takes to make a change, to get people to wake up.”
It was really cool to see. I felt just a little bit better about raising kids in today’s generation. Award shows are just the beginning, stepping stones, for the rest of us to start looking at each other as equals. It is so important to me that all of my children feel comfortable and confident to be every bit of who they are, whatever that looks like.
To my girlies, i’m gonna give you all of my love. Always.