If we were to go by the dictionary meaning, sexism is ‘the unfair treatment of people, especially women, because of their sex’. It is basically prejudiced against or discrimination based on one’s sex/gender. The most common target of this practice is women because it essentially is male dominant society.
While it is very common to come across sexist remarks in our day-to-day lives, what garners the headlines is when celebrities are faced with it. It has become so rooted that people don’t really realize that they are being sexist. It is very common for people to joke about somebody and not let the words register.
There is a thin line between what is a joke and a problematic statement which only sounds funny because the stereotypes of society have made us believe so. It is very common to see public figures being asked inappropriate questions but the irony is there is also discrimination in that inappropriateness.
While female personalities are asked questions that are mostly very problematic and uncomfortable, male personalities are not subjected to this very often.
Interviews of various celebrities, especially actors and singers who are always in the limelight, show at times how disrespectful people can really be.
Here is a list of celebrity interviews that were sexist in all the meanings and definitions of the word:
When Rianna made an appearance on the red carpet of an award show, she was very bluntly asked, ‘What are you looking for in a man now?’
While it was not only the right moment to ask but also very disregarding the singer’s talent. But she had a very savage reply to it, ‘I am not looking for a man, let’s start there’.
2. Taylor Swift
While standing for her bite on the red carpet of an award show where she was expected to win some trophies, she was asked, ‘You’re gonna walk home with maybe more than just a trophy tonight. I think lots of men.’
To this, she instantly replied, ‘I am not gonna walk home with any men tonight. I’m going to go hang out with my friends and then I’ll go home to the cats.’ This is not the first time she has been mocked about the relationships she has had.
3. Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson, who played Black Widow in the Marvel’s Avengers movie series, was promoting the first Avengers movie that came out in 2012 and was once very openly asked during an interview, ‘Were you able to wear undergarments [underneath the Black Widow costume]?’
To which she instantly called out and said, ‘Since when did people start asking each other, in interviews, about underwear?’ The interviewer then said, ‘Is it inappropriate?’ And she very rightly snapped back saying, ‘Did you ask Josh (Jeremy Renner who was seated beside her) what kind of underwear he wears? What kind of interview is this?’
4. Britney Spears
Ivo Niehe, a Dutch television journalist, interviewed Spears when she was 17 years old. At one point during their conversation, he said, “There’s one subject we didn’t discuss. What was that? Everyone was talking about it.”
The “Crazy” singer leaned forward and asked, “What?”
“Your breasts,” he replied, adding, “You seem to get furious when a talk-show host comes up with this subject. In general, what do you think about breast implants?”
Spears laughed for a moment before saying that people should do whatever they want with their bodies, adding that she personally doesn’t have implants.
5. Ariana Grande
Sitting for a radio interview recently, Ariana Grande was asked a quick question that, ‘If you could use make-up or your phone one last time, which one would you pick?’
To this, she instantly replied, ‘Is this what you think girls have trouble choosing between?’
6. Keira Knightley
One during a red carpet appearance she was belittled by asking, ‘How do you balance your career and having a personality life?’ To this, she counters questioned, ‘Are you going to ask all the men that tonight?’
Well, sexism has been a part of our language for so long and it is high time now that people understand how discriminatory it is.