Girl Power at the 2017 Emmy Awards

by Lillian Roth

From vocally talented mermaid princesses to women stuck in bridesmaid land (27 times to be exact), women have repeatedly been portrayed by Hollywood as grossly dependent on men. Every television drama or rom-com seems to start with a woman, probably unhappy in her job as a fashion intern, but always charmingly quirky. Not shockingly, she gets broken up with, cheated on, or discovers a new crush by one-third of the way through plot development. By the end, some boy has kissed her or saved her life (or both).

We grew up with limited examples of women in the media ever doing more than answering phones or falling hopelessly in love. While of course there is nothing wrong with either of those life paths, we lacked the opportunity to see the struggles that come with womanhood and femininity. Therefore, women grow up thinking that our hardships are uncommon, unprecedented or nonexistent for others.

The 2017 Emmy Awards will help change that. Both onscreen and behind the camera, a fabulous number of women were not only nominated but FINALLY won. Specifically, The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies truly stole the show by winning eight awards each. Even more importantly than the sheer success, were the roles that were celebrated. These shows and characters finally dug deeper into our lives and issues as today’s woman, portraying hard topics such as domestic abuse and sexism. We are able to see more representation and understanding of these very real and widespread issues. Finally, women are portrayed as multidimensional, diverse, unique and complex. Several other girl-bosses were stars of the show, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep, Lena Waithe for writing and acting in Master of None, and Reed Morano for directing The Handmaid’s Tale.

Hopefully this year’s success for females at the Emmy’s will set the tone for the complexity and content we want and need out of our television binge sessions. We’ve known women are badasses, but thank God Hollywood is finally showcasing that too.

Lillian Roth