Miss Piggy Is Getting A Feminist Icon Award

And some people aren't too happy about that.

via Shutterstock

The Brooklyn Museum’s Sackler Center First Awards, an annual award given to an extraordinary woman (or women), will be given to Miss Piggy at the June 4th ceremony. The puppet pig is following in the footsteps of women like former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Anita Hill and writer Toni Morrison.

The award is named for Elizabeth Sackler, who founded the Center and became the first woman in the Brooklyn Museum’s 200-year history to be named board chair.

In selecting Miss Piggy, Sackler said, “Anita Hill has become a symbol. Miss Piggy has, too, the same way Gloria Steinem has.”

Calling Miss Piggy gritty and tenacious, Sackler added that she “has all of the qualities that…women need to have to face the world as it is, and she gives us a good smile on top of it all.” This is the fifth year that the award has been handed out. The first year, 15 women received the award.

On the one hand, many people are pleased with the selection. Refinery 29 went so far as to publish a listicle highlighting the nine times Miss Piggy was a feminist icon, written by the reporter who called her the “Gloria Steinem of the Muppet World.” In her words and actions, she embodies strength, self-confidence and an “I can conquer the world attitude.”

But there are just as many detractors that we’ve seen in the comments sections of blog posts who are quick to point out that she’s not a real woman. Aren’t there a ton of living women who would be deserving of the award?

On the one hand, this is a creative choice by the Sackler Center that is in keeping with its goal of acknowledging the progress women are making in society. But on the other hand, you have to be careful that you aren’t taking a prestigious piece of the Museum’s brand and eroding it with a questionable stunt. In this case, I would argue that there are enough fans of both Miss Piggy and the choice to make it a positive for the Sackler Center. For many, it could be interpreted as the Center’s willingness to acknowledge those people and things that share its values, no matter what form they come in.

“The Muppets Studio is sponsoring seats at the event for children from the Ronald McDonald House New York, who are suffering from pediatric cancer, along with their families, as well as for Brooklyn-based Girl Scout Troops 2081 and 2158, Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity and artists from Groundswell, a community mural project,” said Newsweek.

via Newsweek and the AV Club; cover image via Shutterstock