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?