Despite what you might believe, gender equality in Hollywood still has a long way to go. Yes, there are signs of improvement in representation, but that doesn't change the fact that there's still a very backward mentality wired into the brains of a lot of people around the world. This mentality leaks through in particularly fluff questions female celebrities often get in comparison to their male counterparts.
Today, we got an example of that. #BlakeLively attended Variety's annual Power of Women event as an honoree for her incredible fight against child pornography. During the event's red carpet, a reporter decided that was the perfect time to ask her about her outfit.
Fortunately, the actress wasn't having it:
“Are we really doing this? Would you ask a man that?We need to become more aware, and that we change, and that we build women up. So, you can ask me another question.”
Lively's response was the perfect way to highlight just how inappropriate that question was. Let's think about this for a second: The actress was attending an event to honor her efforts to combat child pornography - a matter very few people are willing to tackle head-on, might I add - and she's asked about the dress she's wearing.
Just as she asked the reporter: Would a man get such a question? The answer's no. Especially not during such an important occasion meant to honor strength and courage. As screenwriter Shonda Rhimes put it:
The worst part about this is the fact that...
This Is Not An Isolated Incident
Sexist questioning has unfortunately plagued the movie industry since its conception. Let's look at a 2012 interview with #ScarlettJohansson, for example. While promoting The Avengers, she was asked about whether she was able to wear underwear beneath her Black Widow costume.
Her answer sums up the ridiculousness of the inquiry:
"Since when did people start asking each other about their underwear?"
But that's just one example. There are numerous other instances of this happening, that include people like Amy Schumer and Cara Delevigne. Fortunately though...
Celebrities Are Looking For Ways To Stop This
There's been a bigger effort from celebrities to tackle the problem in different ways. A popular one has been through parody interviews. While promoting Age of Ultron, the interviewer proposed to Johansson and #MarkRuffalo to switch their usual gender-based questions:
Another instance of this came courtesy of #JesseEisenberg and #KristenStewart. During promotion for their 2015 hit, American Ultra, the actors also reversed their most common questions for a Funny or Die sketch.
Yes, the result from these two might get a few laughs out of you. But keep in mind that aside from the comedy generated, the point of the interviews was to highlight the absurd nature of the questions women have to face on a daily basis.
Of course, when it comes to fighting this sexist practice, we can't forget the #AskHerMore initiative. A project backed up by celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Sally Field, and Gloria Steinem before the 2015 Oscars ceremony, it focused on encouraging reporters to find creative questions for female celebrities rather than just - say it with me now - "Who are you wearing?"
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The right steps are being taken to shift the public's mentality. What these type of questions do is diminish a woman's worth by encasing her in one misguided topic. So it's great to know that change is slowly underway.
Of course, things don't change over night. As we've seen for a large number of causes, shifting people's mindset is, sadly, a lengthy process. But at the end of the day, the women being asked these inane questions aren't the only ones affected by them; there are also young girls around the world watching and believing that's the way things are supposed to work.