Another season of awards, red carpets and cringeworthy acceptance speeches has come to a close, following the pattern of the hundreds of awards ceremonies before it but with one noticeable difference: women have decided enough is enough.
For a long time, women have been treated as the face of the film they’re promoting and men have been treated as the brains, and not just on the red carpet. On Q&A panels and one to one interviews, women are asked questions such as ‘What was your workout regime?’ and ‘Were you able to wear undergarments under that tight suit?’ For the best example, look to a reporter who asked Robert Downey Jr. at a press conference how he approached changing the egotistical nature of Tony Stark to allow him to work with a team in the Avengers, and then in the same sentence ask Scarlett Johansson what diet she had to go through to get into the shape of Black Widow. Johansson rightly called the journalist out for her ‘rabbit food’ question, but still the issue remained, and people continued to ask women more about their appearance than their roles.
So, this year, Amy Poehler, one of the main proponents of inspirational feminist quotes, decided to take matters into her own hands. She hosted the Golden Globes with Tina Fey for the last time this year, and before the red carpet started she posted on her Smart Girls Twitter page (the caption of which is ‘change the world by being yourself’) for the media to #askhermore. If in doubt, use a hashtag. Fey and Poehler were at the front of the campaign at the Golden Globes, answering the ridiculously common ‘what’s in your purse?’ question with a completely honest answer – loose cashew nuts. It caught on – Elisabeth Moss flipped the bird at the utterly irrelevant mani-cam and Julianne Moore solidly refused to even go near the thing.
The movement gained more traction at the Oscars when Reese Witherspoon showed her support on her Instagram page, and spoke a lot about it throughout the night, telling ABC’s Robin Roberts “this is a movement to say we’re more than just our dresses. There are 44 nominees this year that are women and we are so happy to be here and talk about the work that we’ve done. It’s hard being a woman in Hollywood, or any industry.”
Let’s stop acting like they’re just a body to hang a dress on and actually treat them like there’s actually something in their brains that’s worth asking about.
She later got criticised for later posting another picture on her Instagram tagging the dress, her jewellery and the people who had done her hair and make-up, so let’s just set this straight. It is not sexist to ask questions about the dresses the women are wearing, or for them to let people know what they’re wearing and who helped them get ready. A lot of hard work goes into the look and people deserve credit for it. The dresses themselves are infinitely more inventive and colourful than the men’s boring suits and people really do enjoy getting ready and looking at the other dresses, so reporters should feel free to ask about it but that should not be all they ask.
However, these women are intelligent human beings with bucket loads of talent who deserved to be asked more – that is the important word here. Let’s stop acting like they’re just a body to hang a dress on and actually treat them like there’s actually something in their brains that’s worth asking about.
photo credit: bm23tvreviews.com