Tuesday 23 July 2019

Comment: 'Ryan Gosling’s Golden Globes speech about wife Eva Mendes wasn't sweet, it was sexist'

Ryan Gosling accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for his role in
Ryan Gosling accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for his role in "La La Land" during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Actor Ryan Gosling attends the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Golden boy: Ryan Gosling, seen here with La La Land co-star Emma Stone, paid a glowing tribute to his wife
Actor Ryan Gosling arrives at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards, January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel
Actor Ryan Gosling (L) and actress Emma Stone pose in the press room during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in La La Land
Ryan Gosling accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for his role in "La La Land" during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for his role in "La La Land" during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Ryan Gosling accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for his role in "La La Land" during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Actor Ryan Gosling attends the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, winners of the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Motion Picture ? Comedy or Musical for 'La La Land', pose in the press room at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held

Narjas Zatat

In his acceptance speech for winning a Golden Globe for Best Actor in La La Land, Ryan Gosling took a moment to thank the ‘lady’ in his life, fellow actor Eva Mendes.

While he was singing, dancing and playing the piano for the role, she was at home, holding the fort, looking after things so that we could have “one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a film”.

“If she hadn’t taken all that on so that I could have this experience, would surely be someone else up here other than me to today. Sweetheart, thank you”, said the actor.

She wasn’t just making sure his dinner was cooked by the time he came home, no, she was “raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer”.

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling

Despite the swooning on social media for his Notebook-esque outpouring, I can’t help but feel that Eva Mendes, an award-winning actor in her own right, took one for the team and provided the emotional labour needed for Gosling to further his own career.

Gosling’s appreciation for his wife, may be genuine but it plays into structural inequality women face in the workplace, least of all Hollywood. Yes, Mendes has agency, and the decision to put her career on the back burner for the sake of her husband’s was hers, but why did she have to make that decision to begin with?

In 1,206 films, 60 to 90 per cent of the dialogue was delivered by men, and in an additional 307 films, that figure shot up to 90 per cent. More damning still, a pathetic seven per cent of Hollywood directors are women.

It would seem that male directors are hiring male actors for male roles, meaning that Mendes simply doesn’t have the same amount of opportunities as her husband.

Ryan Gosling accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for his role in
Ryan Gosling accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for his role in "La La Land" during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

PICTURES: 32 Best and Worst Dressed at the Golden Globes

This isn’t a trend consigned to the entertainment industry. According to data from the Pew Research Centre, the number of stay-at-home mothers in the USA has been steadily rising for the past 15 years. In 2014, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. No wonder more women chose to put their aspirations behind those of their male partners.

What’s more, there’s often an assumption within relationships that the woman will stay at home to look after children, sick or in other cases, ageing relatives. This isn’t something that women are just “better at” and we’re “angels” for taking on such work.

Rather women are taught to be self-less and to care, and more often than not, feel an obligation to do so.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in La La Land
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in La La Land

It is something that is expected of women, and valorising it perpetuates this as an ideal that women have to live up to, and often make sacrifices for. Earlier this year, Gosling told the Evening Standard that women are “better” and “stronger” than men.

Putting women on a moral pedestal in this way excuses men from transgressions, such as not coming home and helping with care work.

Gosling's speech runs uncomfortably close to the old adage "behind every great man is a great woman".

No, she's not behind you: she's standing right next to you, and maybe you should tell the audience next time that you’ll be home to help out more.

(© Independent News Service)

Independent News Service

Editors Choice

Also in this section