This is wrong.
Posted by: oddone 08:06 pm EDT 06/11/24
In reply to: re: It's ladies night among the acting winners at the Drama Desk Awards - simbo 07:07 pm EDT 06/11/24

I'm sorry. I find this argument against combining categories (in the way the Drama Desk does) to be really dumb.

I'm actually ambivalent about gendered vs gender-free categories. I feel like there are pluses and minuses to both ways of handling awards. But if you're going to have gender-free categories, I think the Drama Desk's way makes the most sense. Far more than something like the Independent Spirit Awards (which combines the categories, and thereby doubles the number of nominees, but then still has a single winner.)

"Oh, but it's weird to have two winners!"

Why? Because one of the winners presumably got more votes than the other? So there's a "first" and "second" place?

Let me tell you a secret - THAT ALWAYS HAPPENS. I guarantee you that - if you look at any award, anywhere, with gendered categories, the "Lead Actor" and "Lead Actress" winners won't get the same number of votes. One of those two will have more votes than the other. The difference is, we don't think about that, because no one (except the accountants) ever gets to see the vote tallies. But they exist. One of the Lead performers is still "in first place."

Combining the categories - and still having two winners - pits all "Lead Performers" against each other, and allows for voters to choose two women (if they want) or two men, or two whoever.

(Now, do/did voters choose based on gender anyway? And perhaps some chose two women this year to "overcome" the supposed chance that men would "win all the awards"? Or did they actually pick their two favorite performers, and this year that "just happened to be" mostly women? We'll never know - I suspect some voters might not even know themselves. To be honest, I actually don't think the idea of gender-free categories removes gender from the equation at all, as much as it might want to, which is part of my ambivalence about the whole idea, but that's another thing altogether.)

But to say that having two winners in the Performance categories means that we're on a short slippery slope to having two winners in all the other categories is just silly, and I think you know it is. No one ever suggested that. It's the same number of nominees and winners as it has been for years (barring ties, of course, and there were two of those this year). It isn't privileging acting over the other categories. Actors always had four awards (and the a fifth for solo performance). Now the only division is Lead vs Featured. But it's the same number of awards as always.
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