I came across something that disgusted me recently. As I was wasting time perusing through the story page of Snapchat, I stumbled upon a Snap story that was titled something along the lines of “women firing back at sexist questions”. I was immediately intrigued so I didn’t swipe past. The videos that made up this story displayed female celebrities being asked inappropriate and personal questions instead of professional or work-related ones. However, instead of ignoring the sexist questions altogether and going along with them, the women pointed out the sexism and a few even raised questions of their own toward the interviewers.
Snapchat probably meant for this video to be satisfying, in the sense that the interviewers weren’t getting what they wanted, and while the strong female celebrities of our society were standing up for themselves, it made me angry. I didn’t feel any satisfaction watching them being bombarded with these questions. I found it alarming that it was such a normal occurrence whether it was a sit-down interview, on a talk show, or walking the red carpet.
The women putting up with this juvenile shit are attending award shows with the possibility they will walk out recognized for their achievements because of all the time and effort they put into their work. The night that could be one of the most important or rewarding in their career will most likely start with them dodging irrelevant and inappropriate questions.
One interviewer asked Scarlett Johansen if she wore underwear with her costume for a movie, and then when she fired back, he asked if it was wrong to ask her that question. I mean come on! What kind of society do we live in that he could think that was an appropriate question to ask?
Actually, I have an answer to that rhetorical question. It comes back to the patriarchal society that we live in where women are constantly objectified while their male counterparts, or in this case costars, are asked about the work they put into the movie. Whenever women are asked about the work they put in, its normally diet and exercise related. How did they get that body? Did they have to starve themselves? What did they eat as their guilty pleasure?
After watching the Snapchat story, I switched over to YouTube and was able to find more examples with ease, highlighting how common of an occurrence this disrespect towards female celebrities is. Some of the worst examples I found occurred when a female celebrity was being interviewed on a talk show by a male host.
What I found alarming was that it wasn’t just the talk show host creating a problem, in all the clips I watched the audience was laughing at the woman’s discomfort. At first, I was somewhat surprised at this phenomenon, but as I thought more about it, I realized how normalized this behavior is in society.
I also realized it’s not just women that this happens to. The practice of ignoring the fact that celebrities are human and assuming that because of their fame all aspects of their life can be made public is extremely common. Whether it’s the paparazzi or a nosy interviewer people are constantly trying to dig deeper into their personal lives and expose the most private parts.
Both of these normalized occurrences in our society need to be broken. Influential female celebrities speaking up and challenging questions is a good start, but to change our society as a whole we have to start with ourselves.
Have you ever noticed sexism, racism or disrespect celebrities experience in interviews? If not check out some of the videos below that set me off.