Reese Witherspoon has questioned sexism on the red carpet, sparking debate over the issue. Before appearing at the 87th Academy Awards, she made it clear that she wanted to be asked different questions. Most of the time, questions for women revolved around clothes and shoes, with “who are you wearing” being one of the most popular.
Witherspoon started the campaign via social media on Sunday. She used Instagram and Facebook with #AskHerMore in her comments. All she wanted was for interviewers to come up with more creative questions. The Wild actress mentioned that there are so many talented nominees that it is time to hear the stories, and not just hear about their clothes.
She is not the first actress to call interviewers out about the sexist red carpet questions. Cate Blanchett started Witherspoon’s campaign, asking her interviewer whether men are asked the same “who are you wearing” questions. This was at the SAG Awards just weeks earlier.
However, Entertainment Tonight interviewer Jackie Willis defended the question. Actresses do deal with designers, and they are expected to promote those designers while on the red carpet. The only way to easily do that is to be asked the question about who designed their clothes. She hit back at Witherspoon and Blanchett saying that there is nothing wrong with asking about couture fashion “on the most stylish nights of the year.”
Red carpet sexism is not only about being asked about clothes, despite Witherspoon and Blanchett hinting to that. Jennifer Garner complained in October while at the Elle Women of Hollywood event that she was constantly asked about creating a work-life balance. It is something that her husband, Ben Affleck, is never asked.
Garner did go on to say that there seems to be some sexism for a man, too. Affleck said that his most common question was over the breasts of Emily Ratajkowski, who was his Gone Girl co-star and the model used in the Blurred Lines video.
Witherspoon has gained a lot of support from other woman in the industry for her fight against sexism on the red carpet. Lena Dunham is well known for her feminist views, and said that it is time for people to ask about the causes a woman supports, rather than her “support garments.” Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes also showed support for Witherspoon’s movement.
It has sparked debate over the question Witherspoon raised. Is it really that sexist to ask about the clothes a woman is wearing? Many interviewers and designers do not believe that. In fact, designers support the question because it gets their name out there. It is the whole point of doing these financial deals with the actresses. However, it may be about time that the men are asked the same questions regarding their suits or, as Witherspoon wants, ask women the same things they would ask men.
The answers could also be ones that the fans want to hear. Those who look up to these women may want to hear about how the balance work and family. They may want to know who Witherspoon is wearing because they really like the dress. However, Witherspoon has certainly sparked debate as she raised questions over sexism on the red carpet.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by WEBN-TV – Flickr License