The NYBetaTimes Magazine features a small infographic titled ‘Academy award winning acceptance speeches by shout-outs (since 1971)’:
“Wife” is the number two most-thanked entity, thanked more often than even the director (!). The number of times a “husband” was thanked by a winner trailed in a pitiful sixth place. (If the world was fair, the screenwriters would be in third place, after the Academy and director, instead of last place. Better yet, the fans who cough up $14/ticket would be thanked most effusively.) Apparently, male winners think their wives are more responsible for their success than the writer, director, cast or agent. Well, they gotta go home to the wife.
These results aren’t a surprise. (When was the last time you met a humble or grateful attention whore? And there ain’t no bigger attention whore than an actress.) But it’s fun to speculate why female Academy award winners are so much less likely to thank husbands than male Academy award winners are to thank wives. Some reasons:
1. Although male and female awards are split evenly among the best actor and actress categories, there are plenty of awards given to technical categories that are probably dominated by men. Also, most directors have been men. So there are just more male winners overall to thank wives.
2. Women who win are (significantly?) younger than the male winners, and thus less likely to be married. Youthnbeauty is more important to an actress’s success than an actor’s.
3. Related to the above, a high status male award winner, no matter how ugly, is likelier to find a happy wife than a high status female award winner, who has priced herself out of most of the mating market. Also, ugly female award winners, despite their career status, still suffer from Kathy Bates syndrome, i.e., “why isn’t my success translating into a long-lived happy marriage?”
4. The feminist aka beta male-hating revolution kicked into high gear in 1971, so those early years were front-loaded with married (egads!) female Academy winners going out of their way to avoid thanking their husbands.
5. Women are, innately, less grateful than men. When a woman succeeds, it’s all about “me me me! look at me go!”. When a man succeeds, he feels a certain principled obligation to extend expressions of gratitude.
6. A woman who succeeds in her career can’t afford to thank her husband, because many people will presume the husband pulled strings for her, especially if he himself is powerful. A man, in contrast, can afford to thank his wife, because there is a tacit understanding among listeners that the wife really had nothing to do with his success.
It would be interesting to see this chart for the pre-1971 years, and broken down by award category. I suspect you would find more appreciative women before the SHTF.