Women Standing Up to Sexist Interview Questions

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 women 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 many 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 these inane questions 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.

Photo: Nicki Minaj / Facebook

  • Scarlett Johansson
    Video: YouTube

    Q: Now, were you able to wear... undergarments?
    A: What's going on? You're like the fifth person to ask me that question. Since when did people start asking each other in this industry about their underwear?

    The Extra reporter certainly regretted this question after Jeremy Renner dropped his head in shame, and all attempts at salvaging the question were for naught. Who knew promoting The Avengers was really just a panel about undergarments?

    388 votes
  • 2
    365 VOTES
    Jennifer Garner
    Video: YouTube

    Q: How do you balance work and family?
    A: A bold 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?”

    365 votes
  • 3
    376 VOTES

    Nicki Minaj

    Nicki Minaj
    Photo: CyanOwl / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Nicki Minaj shut down a New York Times Magazine reporter who accused her of feeding off the of the drama between her boyfriend, Meek Mill, and Drake.

    Q: ‘Is there a part of you that thrives on drama, or is it no, just pain and unpleasantness —

    A: That’s disrespectful. Why would a grown-ass woman thrive off drama? What do the four men you just named [Meek Mill, Drake, Bryan Williams AKA Birdman, and Lil' Wayne] have to do with me thriving off drama? Why would you even say that? That’s so peculiar. Four grown-*ss men are having issues between themselves, and you’re asking me do I thrive off drama?

    That’s the typical thing that women do. What did you putting me down right there do for you? Women blame women for things that have nothing to do with them. I really want to know why — as a matter of fact, I don’t. Can we move on, do you have anything else to ask?

    To put down a woman for something that men do, as if they’re children and I’m responsible, has nothing to do with you asking stupid questions, because you know that’s not just a stupid question. That’s a premeditated thing you just did. Do not speak to me like I’m stupid or beneath you in any way. I don’t care to speak to you anymore.

    376 votes
  • 4
    284 VOTES
    Keira Knightley
    Video: YouTube

    Q: How do you balance your career and having a personal life?
    A: Um, are you going to ask all of the men that tonight?

    Shade is never better than when it's done with a British accent. Knightley has got the same old tired question at the Hollywood Film Awards in 2015, and she put those reporters right in their place.

    284 votes
  • 5
    201 VOTES
    Alice Eve
    Video: YouTube

    Q: Aren’t you a little too beautiful to be a science officer?
    A: Oh, um, that’s very kind of you. I’m very flattered. But I didn’t know that those things were mutually exclusive.

    The old sexist slam disguised as a compliment routine. Mikko Silvennoinen interviews the cast of Star Trek: Into Darkness and finds the dark part of the bar with what seems like a silly pick-up line when he asks this question. (Jump to 8:58)

    201 votes
  • 6
    315 VOTES
    Video: YouTube

    Q: What are you looking for in a man… to wear this fragrance?
    A: I’m not looking for a man. Let’s start there.

    At the Atlanta launch party for her men’s fragrance line, Rogue Man, a reporter put an unfortunate pause in their question, causing Rihanna to roll back on her heels, lean in, and deliver her verbal punch.

    315 votes