feminism Women Standing Up to Sexist Interview Questions  

Lisa Waugh
7.8k votes 2.1k voters 512.8k views 27 items Embed
What are you wearing? Is that egg on your face? Despite the fact that it’s the 21st century, women in the public eye still get asked some of the most uninformed, sexist questions during interviews. Some women respond gracefully, some join up with the #AskHerMore campaign, some wake the neighbors with the sound of a gigantic eye roll, some pull off their rings and kick off their shoes fixin’ to get real… But all of them have to deal with sexism in Hollywood.
 
More and more female celebrities and public figures have been calling out the media about sexist, lopsided, softball, and just plain lazy questions. Robert Downey Jr. probably doesn't get asked about his skin care regime fives times during a full day of press, but women are asked these dumb and dull questions interview after interview. 
 
Tips! We've got tips for interviewers. Maybe watch the movies, come up with better questions, hire a writer to help you craft better questions, shake up an ‘80s magic eight ball, ask the nearest child, consult a fortune cookie… there’s a way to be better. So be better. 
 
When it comes to reacting to those sexist questions on the red carpet, who withstood dumbassery the best? Which of these famous actresses decided they'd had enough and wouldn't answer one more question about their dress, beauty routine, or the balance of work and family life. From the Mani Cam to who Taylor Swift is going home with (hint: it's her cats), these famous women stood up to reporters and their ridiculous, sexism-fueled questions, taking back the runway and their interview time. So upvote the best actress responses to sexist questions below, and leave some good interview question ideas for reporters in the comments section!
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Helen Mirren


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Video: YouTube

Q: Do you find, in fact, that what could be best described as your equipment, in fact, hinders you in that pursuit [of being taken seriously as an actress]?

A: I'd like you to explain what you mean by my equipment. In great detail. 

Q: Well, your physical attributes. 

A: You mean my fingers?

Q: No, I meant your figure.

A: Because serious actresses can't have big bosoms. Is that what you mean?

Helen Mirren is an OG when it comes to standing up to sexist questions in interviews. This heated exchange, from 1975, was conducted to promote a staging of Macbeth in which Mirren starred as Lady Macbeth. Apparently, even when you do Shakespeare, if you're a woman, the questions come down to sex appeal. Almost the entire 15-minute interview consists of Mirren batting down, redirecting, or undermining sexist, ignorant comments from host Michael Parkinson. 

Also Ranked

#6 on The Best Actresses in Film History

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#37 on The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

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Jennifer Garner


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Video: YouTube

Q: How do you balance work and family?
A: A badass speech about double standards.

Two actors. Same profession. Same event: Women in Hollywood. Ben Affleck is asked about his work, Garner is asked how she can possibly be a working mom. Fortunately, Garner was speaking at the event that night and got the chance to fight back, going on to say, "As for work-balance, [Ben] said no one asked him about it that day. As a matter of fact, no one had ever asked him about it. And we do share the same family. Isn’t it time to kinda change that conversation?”

Also Ranked

#76 on The Best American Actresses Working Today

#39 on The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

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Elena Serova


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Video: YouTube

Q: What do you think you’ll worry about in your every day life on the station, such as your hair? How will you do your hair?
A: I have a question for you. Why don’t you ask about Alexander’s hair?

Russian Cosmonaut Elena Serova was the first female Russian cosmonaut to be on the International Space Station. Like the first one ever. So during a press conference with all of the ISS team, why wouldn't they ask her about her hair? One small step for women, one giant leap for shade. 
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Mayim Bialik


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Video: YouTube

Q: Being on The Big Bang Theory, how many people - not that you aren’t a genius - think that you can solve calculus at the drop of the hat?
A: I actually was trained in calculus for several years. I’m a neuroscientist... Yeah, I can do calculus.

Science. It’s for everyone! This genius at the SAG Awards red carpet asked Mayim Bialik about her math skillz, and got schooled.

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#16 on The Best Actresses Who've Never Won an Emmy (for Acting)

#56 on The Greatest Former Child Stars

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