It would be an understatement to say that the world doesn’t know how to treat women. They are subjected to sexism and insult every single day and these on-stage moments from big events are  a clear proof of that. 

1. The first woman to win Ballon dOr, Ada Hegerberg, was asked if she can twerk by DJ Martin Solveig.

You must see this in the light of the fact that while men’s Ballon dOr (popularly known as ‘Ballon dOr’ because awards given to men are considered to be the default), started in 1956. It took women 62 years to get on that stage and when they finally do, they are asked to twerk. 

2. Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu was asked to mimic an animal during the ‘question-answer’ round.

Again, context. Beauty pageants are sexist, to begin with, and an argument often given to counter the blame is “what is wrong with women wanting to look hot and attractive?” Nothing is wrong with that, except the definition of “hotness” and “attractiveness” these events promote. It’s very limiting. Then, on top of that, you ask your contestants to act like a cat when you could have asked her anything ranging from her politics or simply her life. 

3. The first time African-American women appeared on the Miss America stage (1923), it was for a musical where they played ‘slaves’.

This is racist, sexist, and unbelievable. It’s so ironic that an ‘event’ that is supposed to be ‘for women’, often does everything to bring them down.

4. In 2003, Adrien Brody grabbed and kissed Halle Berry after winning an Oscar.

Shocked at what had happened, Berry just laughed and everyone just went ahead, applauding Brody because ‘she did not react like she was uncomfortable’. Sigh. 

Years later, Berry said that at that moment, she was just thinking “what the fuck is going on right now?” and “just fucking went with it”, which is simply unfortunate.

5. During Emmys, 2014, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences President Bruce Rosenblum told viewers that they will give everyone something fun to watch as Sofia Vergara literally rotated on a pedestal in front of him.

Later, Sofia said, “I think it’s absolutely the opposite. It means that somebody can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself”. Absolutely correct. But it’s the way in which these “fun” activities play out, right? Just because you play a joke on yourself, doesn’t make it less sexist. Also, Emmys should have done a better job there. Why was she put in that position in the first place?

6. In 1951, comedian Groucho Marx left his Emmy award and grabbed Miss America Rosemary LaPlanche. 

He later said that he thought she was Emmy. Seriously?


7. Richard Gere kissed Shilpa Shetty on the stage during an awareness event for AIDS. 

This led to widespread protests and Shilpa came out and defended Gere by saying he was just trying to be “entertaining”. Both, the rioters and Shilpa, missed the point. While people were mostly concerned about ‘Indian values’, Shilpa failed to acknowledge that while she did not mind it, the act of kissing an unsuspecting woman is offensive.