Female artists dominated the Grammy Awards last night.

Meanwhile, during the Academy Awards next month, women will not be able to compete with men in numerous acting categories. The archaic Oscar tradition of separating male and female actors fosters damaging assumptions about gender and women.

Last night’s Grammy Awards saw Taylor Swift win album of the year, Miley Cyrus win record of the year, Billie Eilish win song of the year, and Victoria Monet win best new artist. Swift also made history by becoming the first artist to win Album of the Year four times.

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In 2012, the Grammys eliminated gendered categories, allowing men and women to compete for all honors. Previously, rewards were given to the top male and female pop performers.

However, when the Oscars are handed out next month, Annette Bening, a nominee for best actress, will be unable to compete against Bradley Cooper, a nominee for best actor. Instead, the Academy will vote individually on the top male and female actors.

This strategy dates back to the Academy Awards’ inception in 1929, when gender roles in society and the workplace were vastly different than they are today. Women having only recently gained the right to vote and were still several decades away from equal workplace rights, so offering separate awards may have been appropriate at the time. With films concentrating on women’s experiences and women rising to top leadership positions in society, gender-based award segregation becomes increasingly unreasonable.

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Separating the awards by gender reinforces the misconception that men and women are so unlike that they cannot be judged as equals in their fields. Furthermore, separate prizes reinforce the assumption that gender is binary, when it is not.

Last year, Elliot Page, a transgender Oscar candidate, told Entertainment Weekly that he hoped for change. “Hopefully, we start moving beyond that degree of binary thinking,” he remarked of the Academy Awards.

Some speculate that women may not win in a mixed gender battle, while the Oscars have typically favored men. According to a USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative investigation, 17% of the 13,253 Academy Award nominations since 1929 have been women, while 83% were men. That is about five times the number of guys who were nominated. Less than 2% of the nominees were women of color. Only 16% of all winners during the last 95 years were women.

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Ironically, the non-acting categories at the Oscars are gender-neutral, despite the fact that males typically dominate in these categories. According to a recent analysis by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, women make up only 22% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers on the top 250 grossing films in 2023. Only three women have won the Oscar for Best Director in its history.

Despite having a far higher representation in playing jobs, women have yet to achieve parity with males. Another study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film discovered that in 2022, women accounted for only 37% of all speaking characters, while 80% of films had more male than female characters. The Oscars’ gender-specific acting prizes disguise the industry’s inherent injustices.

Men and women have different voices and pitches, yet the Grammys decided to combine the male and female singing categories.