The F-Word #8
CANTA Issue #10, 2017
Congratulations to Jacinda Ardern, the new leader of the NZ Labour Party!
What wasn’t new, unfortunately, was the line of questions thrown at her about future family plans. We won’t
explain here why that is – of course – an unacceptable thing to ask a person applying for any
kind of job, as Jacinda Ardern did that so well herself. But it made us think of questions that are almost only asked of women, and that reinforce sexist stereotypes.
Here are 5 real-life examples:
1:‘Are you planning on having children soon?’ – see above, or google Jacinda Ardern
2:‘What’s your relationship status?’ – fine to ask if you want to flirt, it’s an appropriate situation for that and they seem keen, but in most situations, this is none of your business
3: ‘Would you consider dressing less sexy to be less distracting?’ – this has been suggested about female PMs before, and no, it’s not women’s responsibility to be ‘not distracting’ whatever that entails
4: ‘Why aren’t you smiling more?’ – research shows that women in general smile more than men. The fact that they are still asked this shows an assumption that women should always seem more approachable and friendly than men
5:‘Tell us about your outfit’ – unless you are interviewing someone for your style blog, just don’t – please.