I’ve never been able to figure out why the Academy Awards give Oscars for both Actor in a Leading Role and Actress in a Leading Role.

I understand why there is an NBA and a WNBA. And I understand why there is a PGA and an LPGA. In athletics, men have some advantages in certain sports. The average male NBA player is 6-foot-7; the average WNBA player is 6 foot even.  The average driving distance for a PGA golfer is 288 yards; the average driving distance for an LPGA player is about 250 yards. I’m not knocking the LPGA golfers, mind you, for my average drive is the third yard on the right.

But does gender make a big difference in acting? Certainly, Meryl Streep could not have played Rocky Balboa and Sylvester Stallone would have made a terrible Queen Elizabeth. But it seems to me that you’re either a good actor or you’re not.

I’m a writer. Whether I’m a good one or not is up for debate. But I’ve managed to win an award or two from various groups. Last year I got one for Humorous Column from the Georgia Press Association. I noticed that it didn’t read “Best Humor Column by a Male Writer” on the plaque. I don’t believe the Nobel Prizes are broken down by gender.

Jerry Reed in "Smokey and the Bandit"

Jerry Reed in “Smokey and the Bandit”

So why are the Oscars? You tell me.

I’m just curious, mind you, because I really have no vested interest in the outcome of the Oscars. I’m still boycotting them until they give Jerry Reed a long-overdue, posthumous Oscar for his role as Cletus Snow in “Smokey and the Bandit.”