At many award shows, the gowns dripping with sequins and sky-high heels are as much a part of the conversation as the awards themselves, and while the outfits are often stunning to look at it, the practice of asking women about their clothing and men about their impact or their creative inspirations demonstrates again and again how much sexism is ingrained into Hollywood culture.
Blake Lively is one of Variety‘s Power of Women honorees, so she was more than a little irritated when a reporter asked her what her “go-to power outfit” was.
“Come on, you want to talk about an outfit today?” she asked. “Come on, what about building women up? Outfits? Would you ask a man that? … You wouldn’t ask a man what a power outfit was. I’m sorry.”
Some news outlets have tried to paint her as snappy or “freaking out,” but she was entirely in the right to tell off this reporter. She’s being honored at a Power of Women event — there’s a reason for that. Ask her about her experience being a woman in Hollywood, ask her what she’s doing to raise awareness for different causes, ask her how she feels about being honored or what her future goals and plans are. There’s no reason to ask what her “go-to power outfit” is when she has so much more to offer.
Lively is using her celebrity to work with the Child Rescue Coalition to promote a “groundbreaking technology” to catch those who share and download sexually explicit images of minors. The reporter could have easily asked a question or two about her participation in the cause.
A Twitter video shows Lively encouraging reporters to change the way they approach questions to women.
— Maeve McDermott (@maeve_mcdermott) April 21, 2017
If we’re ever going to change the dialogue about women in this world, we need people like Lively to speak out.