Publication date March 16, 2023
Sharon Stone claims of custody loss due to 'Basic Instinct' scene really true?
Sharon Stone recently made news when she disclosed in a podcast interview that she had lost possession of her child in 2004 as a direct result of her performance in the now-iconic moment from the film "Basic Instinct." One of the most memorable moments in film history is the short period of nudity displayed by Stone, who played the main character in the 1992 film.
Stone, in the conversation, discussed the custody fight she and ex-husband Phil Bronstein went through after he filed for divorce in 2003. Stone claims that her ex-husband portrayed her as a bad mother because of her work on "Basic Instinct," saying that their boy should not have been introduced to the movie's themes.
Stone was fortunate enough to recover custody of her kid, but the ordeal left an indelible mark on her life. She was open and honest about how publicly being questioned about her parenting skills had impacted her bond with her boy.
If Sharon Stone were a man, would she have kept custody of her boy after the release of "Basic Instinct"? Sadly, the response is "yes" far too frequently.
When it comes to on-screen roles, males are typically allowed more leeway than women. Female actors are often criticized and scrutinized, while male actors are often lauded, for taking on risky roles and provocative sequences.
Sharon Stone, who has been a pioneer for women in Hollywood since her breakthrough performance in "Total Recall" in 1990, is a prime example of the double standard at play in this industry. As much as Stone's work in films like "The Quick and the Dead" and "Basic Instinct" served to establish her as a top Hollywood actress, it also opened her up to a degree of scrutiny that her male co-stars never faced.
Stone's disclosure of her custody fight highlights the double standard that exists for women in the entertainment industry. In contrast to how men are often praised for sexually suggestive acts, women are often criticized and punished when they engage in similar behavior. As a result of this double standard, women are negatively impacted not just in Hollywood, but across all fields and walks of life.
With the Oscars in 2023 right around the corner, now is the time to start planning for a more diverse and inclusive film industry. This includes giving women more chances to work in front of and behind the camera and protecting their freedom to share stories that may be deemed controversial or risky without fear of retaliation.
In addition, we must recognize the double standard that exists with regard to gender and sexuality in today's culture. Women should not feel shame or condemnation for their bodies and should be given the same freedom as males to explore and exhibit their sexuality.
Regrettably, Sharon Stone's experience is not unique in the world of Hollywood. Historically, many women have been punished for acts of nudity or provocative displays, while men have not been subjected to the same degree of scrutinizing or condemnation.
Actress Lena Dunham, for instance, was criticized in 2014 for showing nude on her popular show "Girls," while the nudity and daring acts of male performers on the same show were lauded. Actress Emily Ratajkowski has also spoken out against the double standards she encounters in the industry, specifically the criticism she receives for appearing naked in photographs and performances while similar behavior by men is often overlooked.
Even when women aren't in the spotlight, they still confront double standards online regarding their bare skin and sensuality. While males may receive praise for participating in sexually suggestive behavior online (such as sharing shirtless pictures of themselves), women who do the same may face abuse and shame. This was brought to light by the debate surrounding the removal of a picture from 2018 in which artist and campaigner Rupi Kaur could be seen reclining on her bed with a trace of menstrual blood visible on her clothing, which led to the removal of her Instagram account. Despite its intention to combat the taboos surrounding menstruation and advance body acceptance, Instagram decided to delete the picture because it did not comply with the platform's community standards.
These double standards hurt women not just in the entertainment industry and on social media, but in all aspects of life. Women who choose to dress provocatively or show their sensuality are often chastised, while males who do the same are often praised. This contributes to damaging gender stereotypes and maintains a society in which women are humiliated for their bodies and sexuality.
As we strive for gender parity and a more accepting society, we must battle against double standards like these and defend women's freedom of speech. To achieve this goal, we must foster a society in which women are not punished for or ostracized for displays of nudity or daring behavior, but rather lauded for their boldness and originality. It also means standing in solidarity with women who are speaking out against damaging assumptions and calling them out when we see them.
To sum up, Sharon Stone's story is just one illustration of the double standards that exist when it comes to women and sexually suggestive acts. Women's bodies and sexuality are frequently chastised in the media, from Hollywood to social media, while men's actions of the same nature are praised. We need to combat these detrimental notions and foster an environment where people can speak their minds without fear of retaliation as we strive for a more just and fair society.