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Posts Tagged ‘ashley judd’

We’ll Eat Our Hats If Interviewers Keep Asking Hillary About Her Clothes

In news on August 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Recently, UniteWomen.org posted a picture of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her response to an interviewer asking what designers she wears. Here’s the text:

Hillary Clinton on what designers she wears:

Interviewer: Okay. Which designers do you prefer?

Hillary Clinton: What designers of clothes?

Interviewer: Yes.

Hillary Clinton: Would you ever ask a man that question?

Interviewer: Probably not. Probably not.

Probably not indeed. The Secretary of State is not the first woman to respond in this way to similarly dumb questions as of late. Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson both recently made news when they called interviewers out for asking only about their pre-superheroine diets and costumes. And a few months back, Ashley Judd wrote a scathing op-ed wherein she slammed the Huffington Post for printing an article that discussed her puffy face. (She was sick! But that’s not the point). Judd pointed out the problematic reduction of female stars to their bodies and outfits, wherein their male counterparts are consistently asked to talk about character development, acting, and things actually pertinent to the film or TV show at hand.

Objectifying women is, of course, nothing new. The latest backlash, however, does seem to be new–and exciting.

Fashion is important to talk about: it’s political and meaningful. But why reporters ask about the Secretary of State’s clothing when it has no bearing on her job has everything to do with our society’s expectations about women, and the pre-set scripts we use to talk to and about powerful women.

Here are some of our thoughts on the recent trend of high-profile women calling out sexism during their interviews. Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments!

Sarah T: I love that the trend of women calling out their interviewers is drawing attention to the sexist underpinnings of seemingly innocuous questions.  On the surface, a question about your workout routine or who designed your blazer or whatever just seems so dumb it’s not even worth getting into. So I think in the past, women have tended to just gloss over the question, avoid conflict, and move on. And that’s a completely valid tactic. But I love the way Hillary asks the interviewer if he would ask a man that same question. She directly confronts the double standard of the topics the media expects men and women to talk about. Anne Hathaway takes a more sarcastic (and hilarious) approach when her interviewer starts prying about her diet and exercise, turning the tables on him and starting to interrogate him about why he’s so interested — “We need to talk about this. Are you trying to fit into a catsuit?” That makes me laugh so much. Read the rest of this entry »

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