Flat White

Magda’s “mandroid” madness

14 February 2018

7:29 AM

14 February 2018

7:29 AM

Remember when they said last year that if we re-defined marriage then nothing was going to change? Well, from one of the leading spokesman (or as Justin Trudeau would mansplain, ‘spokespeople’) of the ‘Yes’ campaign, we now get this gem:

Yep, that’s right Mr Oscar—aka the ‘mandroid’—is now the ultimate symbol of misogynistic, gender binary, LGBTIQ discrimination. I don’t know why I never saw it before. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t actually have any genitals! (If you don’t think that’s a problem then you really have to see episode 1 “USS Callister”, in season four of Black Mirror, on Netflix. Then you’ll understand.)

But let’s imagine for a moment that Ms Szubanski is right and that it’s time to replace the classic art deco statuette with some kind of modern alternative. What should we have in its place? The mind truly boggles with the list of possibilities. I mean, how on earth can you have a “less-binary” figurine?

A golden unicorn perhaps? Maybe a pink pyramid? How about a plus-sized actress in her netball uniform, with an appropriate comedic grin? Or what about this suggestion, tweeted by @kateenglebrecht:

Now that’s something I’m sure the likes of Harvey Weinstein would definitely like to get their hands on. Or for a #MeToo generation is that too soon?

As for Magda’s other suggestion about re-naming the statue, here’s a little known historical fact. According to the Oscar’s official website, that’s not even it’s real name. Instead, in a conspiracy theory that could rival the American government’s involvement in 911, it was given the title by a woman. How about that for a triumph for feminism!

Officially named the Academy Award of Merit, the statuette is better known by its nickname, Oscar. While the origins of the monitor aren’t clear, a popular story has it that upon seeing the trophy for the first time, Academy librarian (and eventual executive director) Margaret Herrick remarked that it resembled her Uncle Oscar. The Academy didn’t adopt the nickname officially until 1939.

What I found the most fascinating was the Twitter conversation that ensued:

So, that is what we’ve now come to? Everything has to be gender neutral. With the redefinition of marriage, it’s no longer permissible to just be a guy or a girl. Instead, you have to be neither. If this was the plot for an episode of Kath and Kim on the ABC it would be funny. But it isn’t. Unfortunately, this is our brave new world.

Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.

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