#askhermore – should we be asking different questions to women? 9



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In recent months, there has been a campaign in Hollywood, and around the world, to ask female celebrities more. More about their lives, more about their talents, and less about what they’re wearing, who they’re dating and what their beauty regime is.

The movement was started by actress Amy Poehler in January on Twitter, when she came out and said, “The #RedCarpet is open and we want the media to #AskHerMore! Let’s go beyond ‘who are you wearing?’ and ask better questions! #GoldenGlobes”. It seems it has started a revolution of sorts, with thousands of people retweeting her post and demanding better questions for women in general. But is the media listening?

It doesn’t seem like it so far. Just last week, 57-year-old Ellen DeGeneres was asked when she was going to have children. Was that appropriate? Forget asking about her top-rating TV show and how she juggles her personal life with a demanding program – it’s all about when she’s having a baby with her wife, Portia De Rossi, and if they’re having marriage issues.

Another actress Jennifer Garner has called out the media for asking different questions to her husband Ben Affleck, despite sharing the same family. She told press at the Elle Women in Hollywood event late last year that “My husband and I do kind of the same job…Not long ago we both had a junket, where we both attended these lovely events where people come in every four minutes and they ask the same questions. I told him every single person who interviewed me — and I mean every single one… asked me: ‘How do you balance work and family?’”.

The interviewers instead asked Ben about what it was like to work with a sexy young actress, and not about his family – despite being a working father of three. “Isn’t it kind of time to change that conversation?”, Garner asked. What do you think?

We are now seeing mature actresses such as Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren objectified on the red carpet, and constantly asked about ageing and their standards of beauty. Men of their age, such as Richard Gere and George Clooney, are asked about women and their latest role. So why is this happening? Why does our media resort to such superficial questions about women?

We’re more than what we’re wearing and more than just mothers, sisters, and daughters. If we haven’t got children or even grandchildren, there’s no need to ask us why.

Even our own former Prime Minister Julie Gillard was repeatedly asked sexist questions throughout her term. She was an anomaly: an atheist woman without children and a husband. So of course the focus was on that – but do you ever see Tony Abbott being asked about what it feels like to be a man in the top job?

Do you remember when you were younger, people would continuously ask you when you were getting married? They still do it today whether you’re single or in a relationship and over the age of 20. Babies and marriage are such personal thing yet still, in this day and age, we’re asked why we haven’t done this or that, so we are asking more today: are society’s standards of women stuck back in the 50s?

Do you think it’s time we asked her more? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Why does the media ask superficial questions of women and not men. Don’t know, maybe when men start dressing up for these occasions in see through suits, exposing buttocks and every other bit of flesh they can then the media will start asking them superficial questions too. I find it amazing that these red carpet people go to extreme lengths to wear attention grabbing dresses, then complain about being asked about the dress and the jewels, not world peace.

  2. Definitely YES. But I wish female actors and all women would stop flaunting themselves in such a gender specific way all the time. We can’t even have a bloody Brownlow Medal without women making the evening into their ‘frocks’ for heavens sake!!!

  3. I believe that women are asked stupid questions, but I also believe anyone in the spotlight is a target for jokes,satire we like taking the Mickey out of them. We love to hate our Pollies. In saying that I’m just as bad every now and again I can be heard muttering what was she thinking, re someone’s outfit . I sorry as soon as it’s said.

  4. Yes, we should be interested in women as people who function in multiple spheres of life. Just as men do. Tired of women being asked superficial questions.

  5. Even female interviewers ask gender specific questions concerning some crap that no one gives a toss about then follow it up by asking the woman being interviewed how she, as a woman feels about whatever it was that the interview was supposed to be about. Meanwhile we have all lost the plot and moved on to more important things.

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